About NYU Press Our Affiliates Jobs Sitemap
 
The Burdens of Aspiration
Schools, Youth, and Success in the Divided Social Worlds of Silicon Valley
Elsa Davidson
 
261 pages
August, 2011
ISBN: 9780814720882
 
Table of Contents
 
$24.00 Paper
also available in Cloth, eBook
click here for exam or desk copy
 
Bookmark and Share
 
Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology, Education
 

During the tech boom, Silicon Valley became one of the most concentrated zones of wealth polarization and social inequality in the United States—a place with a fast-disappearing middle class, persistent pockets of poverty, and striking gaps in educational and occupational achievement along class and racial lines. Low-wage workers and their families experienced a profound sense of exclusion from the techno-entrepreneurial culture, while middle class residents, witnessing up close the seemingly overnight success of a “new entrepreneurial” class, negotiated both new and seemingly unattainable standards of personal success and the erosion of their own economic security.

The Burdens of Aspiration explores the imprint of the region’s success-driven public culture, the realities of increasing social and economic insecurity, and models of success emphasized in contemporary public schools for the region’s working and middle class youth. Focused on two disparate groups of students—low-income, “at-risk” Latino youth attending a specialized program exposing youth to high tech industry within an “under-performing” public high school, and middle-income white and Asian students attending a “high-performing” public school with informal connections to the tech elite—Elsa Davidson offers an in-depth look at the process of forming aspirations across lines of race and class. By analyzing the successes and sometimes unanticipated effects of the schools' attempts to shape the aspirations and values of their students, she provides keen insights into the role schooling plays in social reproduction, and how dynamics of race and class inform ideas about responsible citizenship that are instilled in America's youth.


© 2013 NYU Press  |  Read our Privacy Policy  |  Design by Point Five  |  Developed by Seisan
Resources for:
   Authors
   Educators
   Reviewers/Media

Sign up for our newsletters!
Connect with us!