Professor, Dept. of Sociology & American Studies
A key site of educational inequality today is the growth of supplemental education for young children who are already in resource-rich schools. Examples include corporate-sponsored educational competitions and private after-school learning centers. White, Asian American, and other families take part. Why pursue these opportunities rather than standard extracurricular options such as sports, arts, and the like? Families seek out extra education in order to make their children more competitive academically. But, they also do so for cultural reasons, that is to make their children moral and proper. Upper-middle class, U.S.-born white parents hope extra education will make their children more like Asian immigrants and less like undeserving groups, including their fellow white neighbors. Race, culture, and nostalgia guide their motivations, which when unpacked help us understand the popularity of these educational sites.
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