Class Incorporated: Stratified Patterns of Academic Engagement at a Highly Selective University
Sociological Research Online
This research examines the influence of social class stratification on students’ self-reported academic engagement. Drawing from 44 interviews with students from the three major class groups at an elite university, we show how social class patterns academic engagement. We analyze academic engagement along the following four domains: strategies for academic achievement, beliefs in personal ability, connections to academics, and the alignments between academic activities and career plans (Wang and Castenada-Sound, 2008). Counterintuitively, compared to both upper class and students from the lower class, middle-class students reported the lowest levels of academic engagement. We discuss possible explanations for these non-linear findings. We conclude by recommending that our traditional conceptions of academic engagement need to take social class into account, and further, that policy makers consider scaffolding for all non-upper class students within elite spaces.
academic engagement, higher education, social class
Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Megan Thiele and Amy Leisenring. "Class Incorporated: Stratified Patterns of Academic Engagement at a Highly Selective University" Sociological Research Online (2022): 415-433. https://doi.org/10.1177/13607804211013822