Education and Poverty Essay

978 Words4 Pages
Exploring Poverty and Education
Education and poverty is a difficult subject to explore. Many views are held when it comes to the value of education for the underprivileged and whether or not it is the key to removing an individual from an impoverished condition. “The Social Animal”, a book by David Brooks, explores this subject of poverty and education through the life of one of his characters named Erica. Erica comes from an ethnic background, from a broken home, born from parents who did not receive higher educations, and can be considered an underprivileged child. Brooks focuses on the changes Erica goes through in her life from elementary school, all the way to adulthood, and highlights the fact that she was able to attend a
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Erica, from a young age, could see she did not want to continue her life in poverty. She longed for the stability in life that she knew could be found by obtaining a college degree. Erica had a deep internal feeling, and unconscious feeling, that her surrounding environment would be a detriment to her life. Internally, as well as consciously, Erica longed for an environment that was positive, nurturing, organized, and socially motivating. Brooks brings this out in text by explain her thought process on this matter, “she could make one decision, to change her environment. And if she could change her environment, she would be subject to a whole different set of cues and unconscious cultural influence. It’s easier to change you environment than to change your insides.” Brooks quote about Erica is saying once negative unconscious norms are established, it can be very difficult to change a conscious minds attitude about the world. It is easier to change your conscious way of thinking by surrounding an individual with a positive environment that can nurture and change the unconscious mind through positive reinforcement models. Consciously Erica knew her only hope for a successful future was to remove herself from the poverty cycle, and immerse herself into a school that would help her get into college. This school was called “The Academy”. In today’s world, the Academy could be considered a charter school, or a prep school that was specifically

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