The role of higher education in social mobility


Education-A Long Way of Success

In this technological world, everything changes quickly in front of our eyes. Education is a very important element that helps us understand this new environment of advanced technology. There are some people who are passionate to continue their education, but some others are not interested. Education provides people with a better chance to access more knowledge and become successful in their lives. Unfortunately, in poor communities there is a lack of education. Poverty causes common problems such as shoplifting, violence, and drugs…etc in the low-income neighborhoods. Individuals in middle school who grow up in poverty are more easily drawn to crimes, which will not allow them to go on and finish high school. This will have long term physical and mental health issues because of what they would be doing instead such as trying to make money to make ends meet. We know, for example, that the poor and middle classes have many overlapping value, including valuing education and the importance of hard work (Gorski, P. 1). Without enough money to prepare food and buy school supplies for the family, so children will not have a stable home, which will not continue their education. In the book The Color of Water, the author, James McBride, explains a wide range of themes owing to his focus on identity and race. The book, takes a convoluted approach of expressing the African American and Jewish experience through the ‘black son’ and ‘white mother’ points of view. Even though McBride family was poor, education was highly important. Additionally, another book I love Yous Are for White People, Lac Su recounts the experiences of Vietnamese immigrants struggling to make ends meet while living in squalid conditions in Hollywood, California. In the United States, he fell behind in school, made bad friends, and had problems with his family because he was an immigrant trying to integrate into the American life. Both memoirs show that this situation is not that different from many others who struggle with the cycle of poverty. A child exposed to a lack of education leads to poverty or a life of crime, but an individual can positively change one’s future with education.

The book ILYAFWP shows that a lack of education leads to poverty. Poverty in the families forces them to change their location because of lack of political and economic freedoms in their home country. When Pa and four member of his family Lac, Ma (Lac’s mother), and Quy (Lac’s younger sister) have immigrated to the United States from Vietnam. they live in a small apartment in an old , filthy, and dilapidated brick building inside this box all day which; makes Lac feel “suffocated and claustrophobic”(p.28) . This was because Lac’s parents did not have a formal education before coming to the United States. After the war in Vietnam, Lac Su’s family had to deal with a language barrier, culture shock, and challenges in finding a job and stable home. Similarly, many immigrant families face challenges such as limited finances when adapting to the American culture. The struggles detailed that are in line with poverty are with gangs. Since Lac lived in poverty, he needed money for things that he wanted. This caused him to quit going to classes and join a gang. The gang allowed him to get money fast and easy. As an example, when Lac Su was a child, he was supposed to learn Chinese instead of playing video games with his friends. This made it much harder for Lac to realize his mistakes when he found out what that the money he was stealing from his parents’ piggy bank was really for his future. After getting a physical punishment from Pa, Su describes, “‘ What does it say?’ It says, ‘children’s college fund’” (Su 118). Pa is very angry because Lac has stolen from his own family. Pa feels betrayed by his own son. If Lac were to take his Chinese studies more seriously, he would have seen what the money was really for. He ended up cheating his way out of his own education. What can be inferred is that education is so important that Pa and Ma are willing to save every penny, and go without eating, just so that their son could have money for his education in the future. What Su is conveying is that for people in poverty, education is so important that they take it very seriously. Comment by test: 6- signal phrase Comment by test: 7- passage Comment by test: 8- citation Comment by test: Micro Level analysis Comment by test: 10- Meso level analysis Comment by test: 11- Macro level analysis

Similarly, in the book, The Color of Water James growing up in all- black projects complexes in Brooklyn, James and his eleven siblings were under the watchful eye of their protective mother. Despite her restricting financial situation, she was keen to take her children too free cultural events in Manhattan to broaden their outlook and perspective in life. It would be prudent to assume that she considered informal education just as important as formal education. She consistently affirmed the notion that the most important thing were education and being religious. Living in poverty, education was packaged as a tool of social and class mobility. McBride describes, “What’s money if your mind is empty! Educate your mind” (33). Add micro analysis. Add meso analysis. Poverty influences negatively in the education of people. In addition, poor children cannot learn effectively they quit school because they cannot pay the tuition fee, which is high, and this leads to serious health problems. As a result, poverty result in a lack of education. Comment by test: Sub-paragraph- start at 3 Comment by test: 3-introduce title and author Comment by test: 4-brief summary of the book Comment by test: 5-setting up of the scene Comment by test: 6- signal phrase Comment by test: 7- Passage Comment by test: 8- citation Comment by test: Macro level analysis

Moreover, the book ILYAFWP demonstrates the lack of education leads to crime. Pa The relationships between children and their parents are one of the strongest and tightest bonds in the real life. If the family has comfortable and calmness at home without any violence or argument toward each other, this environment helps children feel peaceful and fortunate in their whole life. Lac Su’s father pushed his children towards academic excellence as a means of getting a head in life. Therefore, Pa does not like his family to leave the apartment without his permission while he is out looking for a job (p.42). He however, did not provide a safe home environment where the children were allowed to pursue their dreams and ambitions. He was hot-tempered and violent while the mother was paranoid and mistrusting of people from other races. When Lac obtains freedom because of Pa’s sickness, he is influenced into the Kingsley Street Gang where his friends try to convert him from an obedient child into a gang member. Lac begins to steal from his mother’s food stamps as well as from his college fund to strengthen the camaraderie he has with Javi (p.108) These environmental conditions discouraged Su’s success and saw him joining Asian gangs to get the sense of love and belonging her could not get at home (Su). Although Lac Su‘s father was also insistent on education, his lack of nurture and emotional support led Su down the wrong path. Lac join bad friend in the poor neighborhood Dragon Head and Street Rat. Dragon Head and Snooky negatively influences Lac by teaching him how to steal, bully, smoke, drink and focus his time on sex and truancy. Lac does not live to the expectations of his parents, which are “thug life” (p.167). Lac Su’s father did not like his son communicate with white people. He want Lac Su connect only with Asian people because Su keep his own culture and language. When Lac was discourage from his family because of strict father Lac choose another way to make him free from his violence father. He joins Dragon head and Snooky he chooses bad way. Lac Su learn plundering, steal money, and robbery .He accustomed with bad habit that his father did not allow him when he was child to go outside and play with other kids. His friend had bad affect for him in his personal life. Su explain that lack of education and did not focus his family to their son. His father did not have any affection and had spent time to talk with his son they do not care about his relationship with his friends. Because family do not provide a better lifestyle for their children to motivation to continue their education. Lack of education results into generation after generation joining gang and theft activities which is an evident issue in some parts of the country rather than focusing on how their social life can be improved.

Furthermore, in these two books, education helps an individual improve his/her future goals. Although they had poverty and violence in their life, lac Su’s life was filled with violence and emotional abuse. Their experiences are somehow connected considering they both sought to find their place in the world. Although Lac Su’s father was also insistent on education, his lack of nurture and emotional support led Su down the wrong path. This bring into perspective the importance of children having a structured family support system to help nurture and reinforce positive ideas. The book has this ability to recount the past in a manner that feels presents. This allows us to identify with the struggles of the characters and empathize with their experiences. As relates to education, James reaffirms how the efforts of his mother and the determination of his siblings allowed them to complete school and pursue different professions. Education was the only tool the McBrides had in their arsenal and they exploited it to what it was worth. Ultimately, with the children moving on to be professionals in different fields, the efforts of their mother bore fruits. James’s mother Ruth focus on education helped instill a culture of excellence among her children. They all completed their degree program and made her a very proud and fulfilled mother. The children possessed different artistic skills and perfected their crafts in addition to their academics. It is refreshing to see that the children were encouraged to pursue their talents and follow their passions. This proves some level of open-mindedness in Ruth considering she raised her children in an era of great cultural turbulence. Her emphasis on education did not solely focus on academics but instead transcended different disciplines of art and expression. Also, interpret her denial of her ethnicity can, however, as a source of social and cultural teaching. She did not see the world as black and white and believed that values transcended race. When asked on multiple occasions about her color, she said that she was the ‘color of water’. This might illustrate the fluidity and tendency of water to bend and change course based on the environment, she herself, was adapting in a world that was full of prejudice and discrimination.

In conclusion, Educations is an important tool that guarantees the development and sustainability of any society. A good education is a different between where you will live, where you will work, and even whom you will marry. When a society struggles to uphold superior education standards, the beneficiary generation goes forth to be innovators, educators, and visionaries who devise ways of propelling society forward(Haveman and Smeeding 137).Education is a centerpiece to the sustainability of the society as it produces critical thinks that can effectively make decisions. It is thus, important to ensure the school curriculum addresses the needs of the students and prepares them to fall the challenges and struggles of life. Education as a theme is central to the plot and authenticity of the book. James does not shy away from documenting his shortcomings and how his education and passion as an artist allowed him to come to terms with his reality. Lac Su’s situation greatly differs from James since his mother was actively involved in her children’s lives whiles Su was emotionally neglected and not encouraged to succeed. The book illustrates how education allowed the McBride siblings to improve their financial situation. It also does a good job of highlighting the importance of good parenting skills as the central motivation to the academic success of the children.

Works Cited

Haveman, Robert, and Timothy Smeeding.”The role of higher education in social mobility.” The Future of children (2006):125-150.

McBride, James. The color of water: A black man’s tribute to his while mother. Penguin, 2006. Su, L. (2009). I love yous are for white people: a memoir. Harper Perennial.

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