Education from a Sociology Perspective

Written September 27, 2015

 In the article, “U.S. Education: Still Separate and Unequal” by Lindsey Cook, the author discusses how the United States spends is the country that spends the most on education, but the outcomes are unequal. For example, the difference in white and black students is huge yet the United States education system still claims it’s fair and equal.

The article, due to the authors’ stance of inequality, has a sense of a conflict perspective. The author argues how by age two there are huge separations in white and black children. Statistics in the article also show how “blacks are three times more likely to be held back (Cook, 2015)”. Conflict perspectives also see social and economic inequalities in education. For example, when a student is held back, it does not “benefit them socially or academically (Cook, 2015).”

There are many social factors that can affect the education inequality. According to Cook, “Black children are far more likely to live in households that are low-income, extremely poor, food-insecure, or receiving long term welfare support (2015).” This can cause poor education (as they cannot afford to send their child to a good school) and lack of motivation to get good grades. In a chart in the article, it is also proven that the upbringing of white and black children is very different and affects their learning experiences in school. There is also a graph that shows the huge difference in degrees earned by white and black parents that can be a factor to their children’s education.

This issue is most certainly a personal issue, as it can become a repeating cycle. If a child has to drop out of school to work or go straight to work after graduating to help stabilize their family, that child will never get the motivation or money to go to college. When they have children, they will be putting their children in the same situation of having to go straight to work. It is a social issue as well because without education, more people will be at a disadvantage for the job market and will most likely rely heavily on government programs to survive.

Reference Page:

Lindsey Cook (January 28, 2015). U.S. Education: Still Separate and Unequal.
Retrieved from

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