The Trouble with Geniuses

Topics: Social class, Sociology, Working class Pages: 2 (751 words) Published: December 9, 2011
The Trouble with Geniuses

Part One:

Although both Chris Langen and Robert Oppenheimer were both geniuses, Oppenheimer had better life chances and more opportunities than did Chris Langan. Oppenheimer was born in a wealthy and well-known family and was in an upper social class. Therefore he had a richer cultural capital than Chris Langan because his parents taught him how to deal with adults and how to assert himself. They also encouraged him to take chances. For instance, when he has an opportunity to be a speaker at the New York Mineralogical Club, he was afraid and did not want to do it, but his father encouraged him to take the challenge. His parents encouraged and help Oppenheimer to prosper and grow and develop his genius.On the other hand, Chris Langan was born into a poor family, therefore in a lower social class than Oppenheimer, and was a college drop out. He had little life chances, only working in low-paying jobs such as construction and a bouncer and night clubs. He had the opportunity to go to Reed College. However, due to some circumstances, his scholarship was revoked and the school cut him off of any financial means for college. This caused him to drop out of Reed and he recieved all F's on his transcript, even though he had straight A's at the beginning of the term. When he attended Montant State University, he requested to move from an early class to an afternoon class, due to car problems. He was denied the request because of his poor grades at Reed College.Oppenheimer was also treated differently than Langan. When he tried to poison his tutor, Oppenheimer was left off with probation and had to see a psychiatrist. If Langan was to do the same, he would face much harsher punishments due to his different social class.Langan and his brothers had a very different cultural capital than Oppenheimer did. He and his brothers were taught to hate authority figure, therefore Chris Langan did not know how to interact with adults. He could not even...
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