Minority Group and Class Status as Related to Social and Personality Factors in Scholastic Achievement

Minority Group and Class Status as Related to Social and Personality Factors in Scholastic Achievement

Minority Group and Class Status as Related to Social and Personality Factors in Scholastic Achievement

Minority Group and Class Status as Related to Social and Personality Factors in Scholastic Achievement

Excerpt

The evolution of social problems into critical issues offers social and behavioral scientists a special opportunity to study socio-psychological processes. Frequently, it is through addressing a practical problem that the psychology of the individual can be related to the social environment, and thus the psychologist can study the basic questions in his field. It may be that in physics a concentration on theoretical problems of relativity and atomic structure is the shortest path to the development of atomic power; but, in the social sciences, it is the concrete presence of the problem which leads to an investigation and theorizing about basic issues, and this, in turn, leads back to greater practical application. The very fact that social psychology deals with society, and the individual in it, dictates that its starting point be in the concrete problems and processes of society. Social necessities do provide impetus to social psychological inventions.

Various eras produce different necessities. Since the Supreme Court's desegregation decision in 1954, the necessity has been peaceful integration of schools, and the solving of problems arising when children of widely varying socio-economic levels and prior educational backgrounds are for the first time put together in the same

plete freedom for research and who must necessarily remain anonymous. And a special debt is owed to those thirty or so students who, over a three-year period, gave their time so generously and beyond the call of normal course requirements.

The study and its publication in this form were aided by a grant from the New York Foundation, and appreciation is due Mr. D. John Heyman for his support and cooperation. Both the Field Foundation and the Phelps-Stokes Fund have also generously aided the publication of the study, and I should like to thank Dr. Wilton Dillon for his interest, both in this regard and more generally in the study and its implications.

This study was carried out while the writer was Research Director of the Community Service Division, City College, New York. Although it was conducted under the auspices of The City College and with the cooperation of the Board of Education, the conclusions presented here are the author's own, and are not necessarily those of the College, the Board, or any of the individuals or agencies mentioned above.

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