Because school dislricting lends to segregate students of different social strata, it is hypothesized that a greater percentage of students of an inner-city school, relative to suburban school students, will come from a culture o/poverty background. It is also hypothesized that students of an inner-city school relative 10 students of a suburban school will possess lower educational and occupational aspirations and plans. Finally, it is hypothesized that the education at both schools is similar enough that the school system may not be responsible for the hypothesized prevalence of a culture of poverty. Culture of poverty and social reproduction theories are tested to find if either can explain the hypothesized existence of a culture of pOl'erty. eU/lUre of poverty variables are examined through a descriptive analysis which is followed by cross-tabulations of students' aspirations and plans. Finally. variables of studnets' perceptions of the education they are receiving are discussed with responses from interviews with teachers in addition to observations taken at both schools. Results suggest that a elllture o/poverty may be more prevalent among inner-city school students than suburban school students. However. aspirations and plans are generally similar among students from both schools. Finally. significant differences were not found between schools with respect to the education students are receiving and opportunities available to students. suggesting that a student's background may be more influential in the apparent existence of a culture of poverty than the education students are receiving at school.


Burnell, James


Urban Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1993 Nicole M. Krantz