Journal of Undergraduate Research


poor and Latino, race, ethnicity, parents' conceptualizations, good schools


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




To determine whether race/ethnicity and social class have similar effects on conceptualizations of school quality, we conducted qualitative interviews of families from distinct, selfidentified racial/ethnic and lowSES backgrounds (Hispanic/Latino, Caucasian, and Polynesian backgrounds, the latter a group often overlooked by the literature (Fullmer, Elmore and Orfield 1996) a bout their views and attitudes regarding choices related to their children’s education. Considering that lowSES families behave differently and operate in a different set of barriers than highSES families (Stevens, Torre & Johnson 2011), limiting our sample this way accounts for class background issues, which then allows us to analyze the remaining differences by race/ethnicity. Our study is unique because we’re seeking to understand these discrepancies in parent’s values and subsequent decisions with a distinct group of parents—those living in lowSES neighborhoods.

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