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J Youth Adolesc. 2009 Feb;38(2):242-56. doi: 10.1007/s10964-008-9354-z. Epub 2008 Nov 11.

Escaping poverty and securing middle class status: how race and socioeconomic status shape mobility prospects for African Americans during the transition to adulthood.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3270, USA. cecily@email.unc.edu

Abstract

This article draws on extant research from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and economics to identify linkages between individual, family, community, and structural factors related to social mobility for African Americans during the transition to adulthood. It considers how race and class together affect opportunities for social mobility through where African Americans live, whom they associate with, and how they are impacted by racial and class-related stigma. Of particular interest is social mobility as accomplished through academic achievement, educational attainment, employment, economic independence, and homeownership. Research on five issues is reviewed and discussed: (a) the unique vulnerabilities of newly upwardly mobile African Americans, (b) wealth as a source of inequality, (c) racism and discrimination, (d) the stigma associated with lower-class status, and (e) social and cultural capital. The article concludes with a summary and directions for future research.

PMID:
19636721
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4108157
Free PMC Article
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