Achievement Ideology - Reasons For Endorsing or Rejecting Achievement Ideology

Reasons For Endorsing or Rejecting Achievement Ideology

Jay MacLeod studied two groups of boys who live in a low-income neighborhood for his book, Ain’t No Makin' It. The “Hallway Hangers,” a group a mostly white boys, did not endorse the American achievement ideology. MacLeod found that this was a result of several factors. The Hallway Hangers' parents wanted the best for their children and for them to do well but feared encouraging high aspirations because they did not want to set them up for failure and disappointment.

Therefore, not only do students from low income backgrounds see underachievement as they grow up, but parents might also be affected by an environment of underachievement and exacerbate this for their children. The Hallway Hangers and their parents go against the achievement ideology because they do not see success in the future through hard work despite the environment of underachievement. Also, to accept the achievement ideology would be to say that their parents who have not “succeeded” are lazy or unintelligent.

The “Brothers” are a group of African-American boys who live in the same housing project as the Hallway Hangers. They, however, do endorse the American achievement ideology. The Brothers see the racial situation in America as vastly improved since the situation of previous generations. This causes them to believe that each generation has worked harder and harder, and, if they do the same, they will be able to do well in school and succeed in the workforce. The Brothers have also lived in the housing project for far less time than the Hallway Hangers whose families have lived there for up to three generations. Many also moved to the housing project from far worse situations such as impoverished countries and even lower income neighborhoods. This causes the Brothers to think that they are upwardly mobile.

Read more about this topic:  Achievement Ideology

Famous quotes containing the words reasons for, ideology, achievement, reasons and/or rejecting:

    While there are practical and sometimes moral reasons for the decomposition of the family, it coincides neither with what most people in society say they desire nor, especially in the case of children, with their best interests.
    Robert Neelly Bellah (20th century)

    Commerce is greedy. Ideology is bloodthirsty.
    Mason Cooley (b. 1927)

    It is not the literal past that rules us, save, possibly, in a biological sense. It is images of the past.... Each new historical era mirrors itself in the picture and active mythology of its past or of a past borrowed from other cultures. It tests its sense of identity, of regress or new achievement against that past.
    George Steiner (b. 1929)

    I call it our collective inheritance of isolation. We inherit isolation in the bones of our lives. It is passed on to us as sure as the shape of our noses and the length of our legs. When we are young, we are taught to keep to ourselves for reasons we may not yet understand. As we grow up we become the “men who never cry” and the “women who never complain.” We become another generation of people expected not to bother others with our problems.
    Paula C. Lowe (20th century)

    This woman is headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self- opinionated.
    —Report by Personnel Officer at I.C.I., rejecting Mrs. Thatcher for a job in 1948.