Aashka Parikh 988:101:03 10/11/2012
Donna Langston, in “The Difference Among US: Divisions and Connections” (2003), questions the availability of the “equal opportunity” that the U.S. is proud of. As much as the people would like to deny that people are born into a certain economic class, and will most likely remain in that class for the rest of the life, it is true. As she puts it, “some were born with silver shoe horns” (Langston 371), people who are born into a financially stable environment would likely remain financially well off their entire life, by going to school and becoming a skilled professional and the chances of people born into the working class obtaining higher education are highly jeopardized. Langston’s belief does not just apply to to the people’s finances, but also their culture. The class you are raised in influences “your understanding of the world and where you fit in; it’s composed of ideas, behavior, attitudes, values, and language” (Langston 372). One’s finances decides where he can live, what school he can attend, what kind of social life they can have, and thus creates a kind of community that he is a part of. The claim that everyone has equal opportunity causes people of the working class to feel that they are the cause of their position in society and their problems when in reality they have very limited opportunity to change their lifestyle.
This essay immediately reminded me of a story I read in high school called “Life in the Iron Mills” where the author describes this exact situation. It also reminds me of my own story since I am an immigrant into this country. Although going to college is not a new concept in my family, going to college in the United States was. Like Langston, I did not have anyone to guide me through the process of applying and getting admitted into college. I did not know that you had to take certain tests or have a good community service or extracurricular record.. This really prevented me from getting a...
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