Affirmative Action and Socioeconomic Status

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October 17, 2012 by bibianamarisa

Affirmative action has been a very popular topic whether it is being discussed in American Government or Sociology. I do not think affirmative action should be banned;however, effort needs to be put in. In today’s society, it is getting more and more difficult to rise between social classes, especially if the younger generations cannot finish high school or go to college. In all actuality, there is a very low chance of being a part of the middle class if one does not receive a college diploma. College is a privilege that many student from wealthier families take for granted. They may not realize that some people cannot attend college because of the price, not because they are not “smart” enough.

While talking about affirmative action in class, the first person to state that “affirmative action is not fair” was a well-dressed Caucasian male wearing beats headphones, which are extremely pricey headphones (I looked up how much they cost online really quickly and I saw prices from 180 to 200 dollars). Making an educated guess, I would say that he was middle class or upper middle class. I realize that he was most likely frustrated because it may have been harder for him to get scholarships considering his race and gender. However, I believe that he did not take a few factors into account. He is not aware that “race often determines a person’s socioeconomic status”. Socioeconomic status is measured by mostly income, education, health, etc. So, speaking from a socioeconomic stand point, minorities are not well off.

Statistics prove that African Americans and Hispanic are more likely to live in poverty than Caucasians. If we look at the cause and effect of things, living in a “poor” area most likely means the children of that neighborhood have to attend inadequate schools. This means that they will not get the same education as someone who lives in a wealthier neighborhood. These less fortunate schools have out of date textbooks and out of date everything where the better schools have access to computers, new textbooks, higher paid teachers, etc. This greatly affects the grades that the children receive as well as the credibility of their schools. Therefore, when state wide tests go around to the better schools and the poor schools, the two schools will receive two completely different results. Is it the children’s fault that they can’t attend a better off school? Don’t they deserve a shot at college? Just going by statistics, the children attending the worse schools are mostly Hispanic and African American, and they should not be punished just because they did not have the luxury of going to a school with brand new textbooks, amazing teachers, brand new graphing calculators, and computers. They would do just as well as everyone else had they been able to attend one of these better schools which is why affirmative action should not be banned. From a socioeconomic standpoint, “the distribution of resources is terribly skewed“.

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