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Weighing the “burden of 'acting white'”: Are there race differences in attitudes toward education?

Listed author(s):
  • Philip J. Cook

    (Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, 4875 Duke Station, Durham, NC 27706)

  • Jens Ludwig

    (Department of Public Policy, Graduate Public Policy Program, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057)

Recent reports by ethnographic researchers and media sources suggest that many African American students view academic success as a form of “acting white,” and that peer pressure reduces their level of effort and performance. This article analyzes the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 to answer three questions: (1) do blacks experience greater alienation toward school than non-Hispanic whites?; (2) do blacks incur social penalties from their peers for succeeding academically?; and (3) if so, are these “achievement penalties” greater than those for whites? Our analysis suggests the answer to each of the three questions is “apparently not.”

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 16 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 256-278

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:16:y:1997:i:2:p:256-278
DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6688(199721)16:2<256::AID-PAM4>3.0.CO;2-H
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