The Reproduction of Class Inequality: Relationships between the Anglo-American Economic Model, Homeownership, and Higher Education

Herbert Hudson Taylor, IV, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

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Abstract This paper identifies the Anglo-American economic model as one potential cause of class inequality and surveys the ways in which one’s class relates to one’s ability to own a home. These relationships establish a framework for the paper’s sociological question, which investigates how parental homeownership and several of its corollaries (i.e., its effects on one’s ability to afford opportunity, the quality of one’s communities, and one’s self-concept and self-esteem) influence children’s achievement of higher education. Thus, the paper ultimately attempts to explain the relationship between the Anglo-American economic model, America’s class inequality, and homeownership and the eventual impacts of these phenomena on children’s attainment of higher education. In this way, analyses comment on the cyclical functioning of class inequality under the Anglo-American economic model.

Introduction And Objectives According to David Cho and Neil Irwin, staff writers of the Washington Post, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. recently detailed a new proposal presented by President George W. Bush’s administration to implement mortgage-relief for American citizens (D01). Cho and Irwin explained that this plan allows for local governments to assist struggling homeowners by refinancing their mortgages. Government officials and politicians seem to indisputably acknowledge that America is currently experiencing, what Cho and Irwin refer to as, a “mortgage crisis.” As legislators pursue comprehensive solutions to improve this crisis, they will most likely attempt to isolate its proximal causes (e.g., devastating increases in adjustable-rate loans) and render policies to mitigate its proximal consequences (e.g., foreclosure) (D01). Yet, as America’s government works to locate and address these immediate issues pertinent to homeownership, I seek to expand upon this mortgage crisis to understand a much larger picture of severe class inequality.