Securing a financial future under new economic times: White, working-class, first-generation college students re-forming social class through higher education
Thering, Angela Cristen
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This qualitative research study involves 18 white, working-class, first-generation college students. Each participant was interviewed three times concerning their educational life-histories, their decision to attend college and their performance while attending a Research I university. I found that participants viewed the credential of a college degree essential to gaining desirable employment under today's changing economy. These students were able to translate the skills they gained in their high school college-prep classes into college success. Additionally, their whiteness offered them an advantage over many first-generation college students who are of racial or linguistic minorities. The findings of this study point to a need to examine how race influences one's college experience and how a college education fits into today's changing economy.