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The Culture of Poverty Theory (Essay Sample)


Watch the following video
Using information from this video and your text answer the following: Although both students work hard, what are the structural factors in place that either help or hinder their ability to enroll in a good college? How is this an example of institutional discrimination? Think about the housing patterns, the tax base, and the quality of their schools. How are they encouraged or discouraged? What should the districts/schools do to fix this obvious problem? Then apply one of the theories you learned in the previous chapters to this situation. For example, A conflict theorist would respond to the conditions the boys face by arguing that......." Use at least five sociological terms from your text. Please be specific in your description of institutional discrimination and your application of theory.
use the video and this
Healey, J. F., Stepnick, A., & O'Brien, E. (2018). Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class: The Sociology of Group Conflict and Change (8th Edition). SAGE Publications, Inc. (US).


The Culture of Poverty Theory
The film follows two students during their senior years of high school. The students have a lot in common, but they go to different schools. The film shows the results of the differences and what results from the educational disparities. Also, it focuses on the benefits of diversity to all students. There are structural factors that hinder college enrollment and institutional discrimination. Based on the culture of poverty theory, a lot can be done by the district and schools to deal with institutional discrimination.
Structural Factors that Hinder College Enrollment
According to the video, structural educational disparities include race, class, and poverty. There is a sharp divide between student enrollment among students from different races, especially whites, Hispanics, and blacks. White students are generally given better chances at college enrollment than black and Hispanic students due to ascribed status (Erase Racism, 2012). Thus, the race is a major barrier to equal enrollment of the students.
The second structural factor is class. Class is a mode of classification in society whereby people are divided based on social and economic status. In the video, class plays a significant role in determining the college enrollment opportunities for the students. Students from a higher economic status receive more attention from the teacher, so they make better placements. On the other hand, the students from lower socioeconomic status lack the opportunities to make better placement choices. Thus, social class is a major hindrance to college selection among students.
Thirdly, poverty is a structural factor that deters the enrollment of the different types of students in the college. Poverty is manifested in the poor and rich district schools, where the students get different opportunities. Students in the poor district schools in Long Island lack access to tech books, enough teachers, and AP classes to be less prepared. On the other hand, the students from the rich district schools have access to resources that help them make better choices (Erase Racism, 2012). Sexual identity competition between the rich and poor students sees the rich students get better placements in colleges. In general, the poor students experience discrimination compared to the rich students when making college choices.
Institutional Discrimination
The video highlights several instances that confirm institutional discrimination. Institutional discriminations are prejudicial policies and practices within the institutions that give rise to a systematic denial of opportunities and resources to members of subordinate groups. It is a form of discrimination maintained by educational institutions' organizational guidelines, laws, or traditions (Healey et al., 2018). The instances that indicate institutional discrimination include the fragmented tax base, fragmented job centers, and fragmented school system in the lower-income areas. The schools in the lower-income areas cannot meet the resources needs due to the ratio and economic segregation.

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