Family Matters Essay

1086 words - 4 pages

When thinking of our family, and our background, most would argue to say that what we get from them are positive things such as a sense of comfort and pride. In countries like the United States, having a family to lean on is never a bad thing. However, what most of us do not usually see is that, sometimes the very own people who brought us up, and had the utmost influence on our lives, are the very own people who have set barriers for us. Such is the case presented when Lee Bryant, a contributor to the History Learning Site, says, “people who are working class have themselves to blame for the failure of their children in education” (par.1). Cultural capital is an attribute handed down to us from those who have raised us, such as our parents; unfortunately, like most other things in the world, the people in the upper class are the one’s who most benefit from this idea, leaving the rest of society in a bind trying to figure out how to break the vicious cycle.
The issue with cultural capital is that we do not have any control over it. To a certain degree, it comes down to luck and destiny as we are each born into certain families who have too been passed down a certain cultural capital from the families to which they were born in. Being surrounded by a certain type of success, whether it’d be good or bad, makes it easy for one to end up in similar situations. It is for reasons like this that Vincent J. Roscigno and James W. Ainsworth-Darnell, authors and contributors of the book, Sociology of Education, claim that
“background matters for achievement” (par. 1). How far your achievements take you depends on the quality of cultural capital your guardian gives you growing up.
This can be a major problem for the less fortunate as in many cases, there is not much to pass down to the children as the parents themselves do not have much to contribute since they too were luckless growing up. For most of the kids like this around the country, their parents are often busy with other tasks and cannot be involved with their education which leads to failure; because as Southern Illinois University Grad. and author, Annette Lareau indicates, “parental behavior can be a crucial determinant of educational performance” (qtd. in Epstein 1984; Marjoribanks 1979). And as we go from generation to generation, the cycle reappears, presenting the children with the same obstacles that kept their parents from moving up in social position.
In order for a family to move up the socioeconomic scale, they must have a good foundation, which usually comes from home. This is another circumstance where one’s cultural capital plays an evident role, as many of the working class children receive little, if any, education from home compared to that of the kids with prosperous dwellings. John Guillory, author of “Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation”, argues the same by stating that how successful you are in school can be measured by “the amount and type of...

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