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Class WarfareClass, Race, and College Admissions in Top-Tier Secondary Schools$
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Lois Weis, Kristin Cipollone, and Heather Jenkins

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226134895

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226135083.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Class, Race, and College Admissions in a Changing US Context

Class, Race, and College Admissions in a Changing US Context

(p.1) Chapter One Class, Race, and College Admissions in a Changing US Context
Class Warfare

Lois Weis

Kristin Cipollone

Heather Jenkins

University of Chicago Press

This chapter establishes the context within which the schools and families at the center of this book enact their “class work” vis-à-vis the college applications process. Highlighting recent economic instability and stratification of higher education wherein college credentials matter more than ever, it becomes clear that the college process becomes a site where affluent families seek to “lock in” class advantage through the mobilization of all available capital—economic, cultural, and social. Through conscious efforts to exploit any and all opportunities to position advantageously in the college admissions process, students and parents in this particular strata of secondary schools effectively constrict access to highly and most selective colleges and universities for the rest of the middle class, and, by obvious and clear extension, the working class and poor. Class Warfare takes up this theoretically located “class” project via multi-year ethnographic research with three distinct groups of students in three upper-middle class secondary schools.

Keywords:   college marketplace, (production of) social class, education expansion and class inequalities, college access, academic preparation and social stratification, school opportunity structures, class positioning

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