Silicon Valley Notebook


Anna Heider


Racial differences in the types of social resources that White and African American students need to complete high school and be successful in young adulthood were assessed using the 10-year longitudinal data on 10th graders from the 2002-2012 NELS survey. Racial limits of home and school resources for socioeconomic success were theorized using Bourdieu, Coleman, and Lareau’s social capital theories in the context of Massey and Denton’s residential segregation. Qualitative interviews and content analyses of journalistic and of select documentary evidence were used to illustrate the statistical analysis. Not only was completing high school essential, for both groups, to succeed socioeconomically as adults, access to resources in their homes was a critical element of early success in high school. But only Whites were able to activate academic and home resources to their benefit in their later success. African Americans continued to rely only on their home resources in their adulthood. These racialized resource models added to the social capital literature on the racialized pathways to economic success, but more research attention is warranted on the future success pathways of African Americans.