Cultural Capital Needed For Gain Upward Social Mobility

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As a student from a working-class background, I did not have access to the type of cultural capital needed to gain upward social mobility. For example, I come from a family that has had no formal education beyond high school and so I was without the knowledge of how to gain access into the realm of higher education. My family had never gone through the application process and so they did not know how to access and utilize the college help that my school provided. Also, my high school only had fourteen counselors available to provide assistance to the 4,263 students that attended the school (Illinois Report Card 2010). This counselor-to-student ration meant that not much time could be devoted to each student to give them the help they needed to navigate the complex college application system (Civil Rights Data 2009, Illinois Report Card 2010). During my time in high school, I never actually spoke to any of the counselors about college plans and I was not even aware that they could help in that area. In the following sections I detail how the cultural capital borrowed or learned from scholarship programs and cultural mentors ultimately impact a student’s upward mobility most.
Exclusive scholarship programs can act as a tool that helps move a working-class student beyond the achievement levels of their parents. These programs do so by exposing students to privileged knowledge, skills, and strategies that they would not access to otherwise. Lareau and Horvat define these types

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