Just by reading the title “Race vs. Class: The False Dichotomy”, I knew this The New York Times article would be perfect for my next post. The article covers an interesting facet of stratification, which is a person’s position in the hierarchy of society compared to its other members. The writer focused on whether to take race or class into consideration when approving students to Colleges and Universities and also the weight that both factors have in society to this day.
According to the article, class is an important factor when it comes to which members of society will have access to good-quality education. The author also states that using class as a decisive factor on College applications wouldn’t be a way to generate more diversity to the learning environments. This substitution would only emphasize the stereotypes in society and all of its inequality. By mentioning the different positions that individuals and groups have in an institution, the author is also addressing the process of stratification, mentioned in the paragraph above.
Economic inequality is clearly present in this text, since people don’t always have the same economic resources to afford the preparation for the SAT’s or even to attend an educational institution. Usually students who are members of a common medium/upper social class have economic capital to invest in preparing themselves for these exams and have a bigger shot at a College career. That shows that a minority of students has more economic power and prestige, having also a significant advantage in comparison to lower classes. Besides being an apparent evidence of classism, this also exposes the capitalistic ideology, in which economic differences play an essential role in society and in the current competitive individualistic market.
I’d say that culture is definitely a factor in this article because culture is a lot about our beliefs how we interact with and see the world around us. It is within any kind of social institution and should be taken into consideration in the analysis of any social phenomenon. An example would be when the text mentions how society deals with race on a day-to-day basis. That is a part of cultural values and norms that society has adopted with the passing of time.
What I thought was very interesting in this particular article was how the author had a very strong opinion on how not taking race into consideration in admissions decisions could emphasize the clear inequality in society. But at the same time, she mentioned that to have a diverse environment, it’s also important to have members from different social classes so people can be aware of different realities than their own as they are educated. I wish she had gone deeper on how stratification affected people from certain races, leading them to having less access to opportunities in the academic world.