Talk of interest to COR community…
“Fool Me Once: Disproportionality and Vulnerability to Trust among Black Families in an Affluent School District”
Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professor and Associate Chair,
Department of Sociology
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Friday, February 7, 2020
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Education 2001
Abstract: Sampson Hills is an affluent and predominantly white suburb in the Northeast, with a small but established black population. Although it is a “destination district” — a place to which families move for access to high-quality material goods and services, including high-performing schools — black children have endured educational exclusion for decades. What explains this longstanding pattern, particularly in a setting that presumably offers greater opportunities for educational success and social mobility? To address this question, I focus on disproportionality in special education and explore the paradox of how some parents’ trust of schools can contribute to unfavorable outcomes for their children. Based on data from a community ethnography of Sampson Hills, I argue that low-resourced parents are _vulnerable to trust_. I show that in unequal power relationships, individuals with lower power and limited resources are at greater risk of manipulation, yet more compelled to trust, particularly in situations in which the decision holds enormous consequences. To understand ongoing mechanisms of educational inequality, I advance the idea of _vulnerability to trust_, arguing that vulnerability is a position of _structural disadvantage_ and not simply a position one assumes voluntarily as a way to inspire trust.
Bio: Karolyn Tyson is the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1999. Her main fields of interest are sociology of education, social psychology, and social inequality. Dr. Tyson’s publications have addressed such topics as how schools reproduce social inequality and the role of the schooling experience in the development of attitudes toward school. Her overall program of research centers on understanding how cultural, structural, and individual-level factors affect school achievement and contribute to unequal educational outcomes.