Public Sociology in Farmtown #8: Ideas and Wrap-Up

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The final session of the two-day conference I’ve been describing in the “Farmtown” posts is supposed to be reports from the small groups that met in the morning. These reports get longer and the discussion gets more animated with each successive speaker. As with the sermon, I’ve tried to capture the flavor of the longer speeches. Again what interests me is the way people weave different themes together when they talk. Continue reading “Public Sociology in Farmtown #8: Ideas and Wrap-Up”

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public sociology in farmtown: #5 about the children

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(This is the next in a series about a two-day conference I attended on racial disparities in education and criminal justice. I was the first speaker. After that, I attended, listened, and learned. This picks up on day two, after a night spent in a dorm room.) After a buffet breakfast, the morning speaker is a Black educational researcher who does qualitative research on children’s and families’ perceptions of schools, stressing the importance of talking to the people being “served” by institutions. One project involved asking children what their sources of support were and then asking teachers what the children’s supports were; in general the teachers did not know. Children often viewed their families as supportive while the teachers saw the same families as unsupportive or problematic. Continue reading “public sociology in farmtown: #5 about the children”

disadvantage

I’ve been working with an undergraduate, a senior. She is African American, from a poor family. None of her elders went to college, although a few cousins are doing it. She graduated at the top of her class in an inner-city high school, where she says she never had to do any work to make As. Her writing is markedly deficient compared to the predominantly-affluent predominantly-privileged students here, and she struggles academically. Continue reading “disadvantage”