Master of Arts
Johnson, Heather B.
Other advisers/committee members
Zhang, Yuping; Munson, Ziad
How do first-generation college students activate, manage, and accumulate cultural and social capital while negotiating their marginal identities in an elite university? This thesis analyzes students’ capital acquisition through college experiences in a context of elite education that offers the unspoken promise of social mobility. Interviews were conducted with three cohorts of first-generation college students—first-year students, second- through four-year students, and degree holders—to determine how marginalized identities were negotiated at differing phases of college and beyond. In addition, quantitative data analysis of the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS) of 2003-2009 connects the interview data to the large scale processes occurring in elite universities across the United States. Social capital, including such experiences as student study groups, meetings with faculty, appointments with staff, and mentoring relationships, are explored to understand the impacts that these forms of social capital have on educational transitions and the persistence of social (im)mobility.
Ridge, Brittany Nicole, "First-generation College Students’ Cultural and Social Capital: Activation, Management, and Acquisition at an Elite University" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 2782.