The Land of Opportunity by Loewen
The Land of Opportunity (Loewen)
Give examples of how American history textbooks perpetuate the idea that America is the Land of Opportunity.
Assuming that Loewen is correct about the “mythical” quality of the information given in high school history textbooks, what might be the function of these myths in American society? What might be the dysfunctions?
What other ways, based on your reading this week, or your own experiences, do schools perpetuate social class systems? Pay particular attention to how access to education during the pandemic might reinforce class structure.
James W. Loewen writes in Land Of Opportunity about the lack of opportunities and inequality that is presented in history. He asks college students questions referring to the poor and the wealthy and all they can say is it it their own fault. Students are not taught everything they really need to be taught like the fact that equal opportunity was not a thing in the 1800’s and 1900’s.
Your status and wealth was all down to your race. Somehow today it is still true to an extent. Loewen writes about how your family’s wealth can effect your education and your individual future. He makes an interesting statement when he points out the fact that people with more money can study for the SAT’s more productively therefore receiving a better score on the test that consequently gets you into a better college. It’s almost like a domino effect. His main goal was just to prove that social class and inequality is an important thing for students to learn and understand.