My research for this paper was designed to study inequality in American education by specifically looking at the awareness of inequality, attitudes towards this problem, and the justification of privilege by the students at New Trier High School in the wealthy Chicago suburb, Winnetka, Illinois. I administered a survey to 130 students to test their awareness of conditions and funding in Chicago public schools, and their attitudes toward obvious inequalities in education opportunities between New Trier and Chicago. I studied New Trier administrators and faculty members. I found that New Trier students had limited awareness of Chicago public schools realities, but a bit more than stereotypes of elite high schoolers might lead one to believe. I found that, although their awareness was inadequate, they expressed an interest in the problems of Chicago public schools. Not all New Trier students subscribed to the meritocracy belief that their parents had worked hard to secure their deserved privilege. Further research is needed to determine whether New Trier's new co-curricular multi-cultural program will affect and broaden students' awareness, attitudes, and justification of existing educational disparities.


McConnell, David


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1997 Adrienne Lockwood