In theory, education should enhance society’s quality of life at large and decrease inequality by providing more career and vocational opportunities for individuals, thus the potential for increased earnings. So logically, access to education should have the ability to overcome issues involved in the cycle of social class reproduction. However, outside societal forces that have nothing to do with cognitive ability can influence an individual’s ability to attain higher education. I am very interested in intergenerational issues involved in inequality and unequal access to education. Although many factors are involved with generational influences associated with educational attainment, I decided to focus on social support issues for this blog post.
With social support in mind for this assignment, I initially read an article by Li et al. (2018) that researched the link between social support, educational achievement, and emotional exhaustion. This article can be viewed at the following link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321300563_How_Social_Support_Influences_University_Students’_Academic_Achievement_and_Emotional_Exhaustion_The_Mediating_Role_of_Self-Esteem)
This article discussed the importance of social support and social capital in avoiding emotional exhaustion and burnout related to educational achievement. In this, I often think about nontraditional students that often lack social and emotional support.
This direction of thought also leaves me pondering the double-edged nature of social capital and education. So, I decided to read the following article “10 Strategies for Strengthening Academic and Social Support” (https://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/05/10-strategies-for-strengthening-academic-and-social-support/). This article seemed to focus on things like building time management skills, positive peer groups and relationships, “develop academic mindset and culture,” promote educational aspirations, etcetera. These strategies seem to miss the mark on creating social support in a more inclusive environment that can address inequalities, especially those that involve generational influences involved with educational attainment.
Social capital is associated with educational achievement, positive collective consciousness, and community cohesion. It is important to note that social capital can act adversely in its collective nature and bind individuals with diverse backgrounds and needs to community expectations that reinforce ideological principles of the dominant culture that perpetuate social class reproduction. These considerations should be accounted for in creating social support structures in academic institutions and in addressing inequality. Although this is not my area of expertise, perhaps social capital is not the ideal term or goal/outcome conceptualized in this type of framework.
Ark, T. V. & Ryerse, M. (2017). 10 Strategies for Strengthening Academic and Social Support. May 16, 2017. https://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/05/10-strategies-for-strengthening-academic-and-social-support/) Retrieved November 16, 2020.
Li, J., Han, X., Wang, W., Sun, G., & Cheng, Z. (2018). How social support influences university students’ academic achievement and emotional exhaustion: the mediating role of self-esteem. Learning and Individual Differences, 61, 120–126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2017.11.016