Social Stratification

Education is at least the second most important factor in determining upward mobility in society. It is the key to securing scarce life chances. The occupation and educational level of one's parents is the best predicator of one's educational goals and social mobility. Access to quality education differs by social classes. Many first class people inherit their riches, and receive greater educational opportunities. However, our social system supports a wide variety of mechanisms to encourage educational attainment including mandatory school attendance and low cost loans and grants for college students, thus giving everyone a chance to be educated. The landmark Coleman Study (1966) found that the single most important factor in determining educational attainment is the family environment. In our United



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