memo 5

memo 5

Order Description

memo should take up a specific argument, comparing the positions of different authors and identifying
particular strengths and weaknesses in the text. In other words, you are not simply being asked to
summarize the readings

Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 31 (2013) 1–21
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Does capital at home matter more than capital at school?
Social capital effects on academic achievement
Mikaela J. Dufur a,*, Toby L. Parcel b, Kelly P. Troutman c
a Department of Sociology, 2008 JFSB, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, United States
b Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Campus Box 8107, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27603, United States
c Department of Sociology, 3151 Social Science Plaza, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, United States
Received 7 December 2011; received in revised form 17 August 2012; accepted 29 August 2012
Abstract
A relatively neglected problem is how individuals derive social capital from more than one context and the extent to which they
benefit from the capital in each. We examine whether social capital created at home and at school has differing effects on child
academic achievement. We hypothesize that children derive social capital from both their families and their schools and that capital
from each context promotes achievement. Using data from the National Longitudinal Education Study and structural equation
modeling, we show that capital from each context is helpful, with social capital in the family more influential than social capital at
school. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on child achievement and for studies of inequality generally.
© 2012 International Sociological Association Research Committee 28 on Social Stratification and Mobility. Published by Elsevier
Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Social capital; Academic achievement; Families; Schools; Structural equation modeling
1. Introduction
It is well known that there is variation across adolescents
in tested levels of achievement (Farkas, 2003;
Fischer et al., 1996; Parcel & Menaghan, 1994) and that
differences in achievement are associated with variations
in school success (Jencks et al., 1972; Sewell & Hauser,
1972). School success, in turn, is a critical predictor of
occupational and earnings attainment (Farkas, 1996), an
important component of life in meritocratic society, and
consequential to the transmission of inequality across
generations.
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 801 422 1720;
fax: +1 801 422 0625.
E-mail address: mikaela [email protected] (M.J. Dufur).
It is also well known that resources from multiple
social contexts influence academic attainment among
adolescents. After classic studies of occupational status
attainment demonstrated the importance of family background
and the intervening effects of education on adult
attainment (Blau & Duncan, 1967), scholars developed
increasingly sophisticated models of why and how education
was so consequential (Breen & Jonsson, 2005;
Shavit & Blossfeld, 1993). Others studied why various
aspects of families, such as family structure (McLanahan
& Sandefur, 1994) and family process (Conger, Conger,
& Martin, 2010) were influential. Theorists such as
Coleman (1988, 1990) pointed to social capital as an
underlying construct influential in both families and
schools that influenced attainment, as well as to the generality
of the social capital concept in explaining other
social outcomes. Despite these accomplishments, additional
questions remain.
0276-5624/$ – see front matter © 2012 International Sociological Association Research Committee 28 on Social Stratification and Mobility. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rssm.2012.08.002