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Article Analysis: "Sociology Of Educational Late Blooming"

732 words - 3 pages

Sociology of educational late blooming, an article published in Sociological Forum and written by Jack Levin and William C. Levin, looks at the timelines of common lifetime milestones and their importance in various cultures. Describing time and scheduling as an important social dimension, the authors explain the subject of timeline scheduling within a context of societal norms(J. Levin & W. C. Levin, 1991, p. 661). Milestones in terms of “proper” chronological age and the order of attainment are established by society and differ greatly from one culture to the next (1991, p. 662). Levin and Levin pick deviancy from the normal age-window for completing higher education, called “late blooming”, as their focus and note that the U.S. has always been more tolerant of this deviant behavior than English and European society (1991, p. 669). The authors attribute this to two aspects of American culture, equality of opportunity for advancement, and free-market determination of educational supply (1991, p. 671). European educational systems, in contrast, are far more selective of college bound students and offer very little in the form of second and third chances to applicants whose secondary educational performance was lackluster. Describing educational opportunity outside the U.S. as “almost universally elitist”, the paper notes that “in most societies, a maximum of only 19 to 26% of the population is deemed qualified even to apply for entry to a college or university” (1991, p. 679).
Application to Course Topics
While this paper was concerned with the National norms of proper entry into higher education, I drew many comparisons with the Moran text’s treatment of organizational norms. Levin and Levin point out conditions under which the rigidity of age norms will soften, such as in the 1980s when many returned to school for training in the use of computers (1991, p. 676). The class text affirms some of the article’s position when it states “A community or institution’s culture facilitates or inhibits change” (R. T. Moran, Harris, & S. V. Moran, 2007, p. 102). Even more, that national culture plays a key role in the consideration of time and time consciousness (2007, p. 131). The textbook makes a...

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