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Views From The Summit: White Working Class Appalachian Males And Their Perception by Stephanie Alexander


In this study of the American working class and academic success, the role of working-class cultural capital is examined through the perceptions of academically successful, white, Appalachian American men from the working class.

Contextualized within the Appalachian region known as the state of West Virginia, what is most notable about this predominant social class group is that it is not well represented in post-secondary academic completion.

In West Virginia, many of these individuals do begin post-secondary education; however, they do not finish. Previous working-class and Appalachian studies on post-secondary academic success have focused primarily on those who did not succeed and the barriers encountered. However, this study utilized an appreciative inquiry format, looking instead at those who were academically successful; their perceptions were gathered, with the hope that some common thread could be detected. The findings were intriguing and countered previous assumptions that to be academically successful these men must have abandoned their working-class roots. Instead, the findings revealed that it was their working-class roots that helped them prevail.

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Ragged University is in partnership with the Working Class Academics conference sharing its ideals and love of open intellectual spaces

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