Date of Award
Honors Thesis (Open Access)
Colby College. Education Program
This project explores the ways in which students’ identities are shaped and created at an elite school in a large metropolitan city in Chile, called Croft School. The project focuses on the ways in which privilege is reproduced at this elite institution and how the school inadvertently and purposefully teaches its students lessons about social class. In order to examine these lessons, interviews with students, alumni, teachers, and administrators as well as a site visit to Croft’s campus were conducted. These methods were used to analyze the students’ understandings of themselves and the ways that the school attempted to shape those understandings. The findings of this research reveal that the homogeneous community, one-dimensional community service program, and cultural scripts around issues of privilege influenced students’ understandings of their own social class, privilege, and class identity. Unless Croft is willing to give up some of its elite status and some of its financial gains, and make significant changes to the demographics of the student body, the school will not be able to succeed in its goal to create well-rounded and responsible citizens of the world. Croft must accept that true change can only occur once the school creates a community that fosters thoughtful discourse around issues of privilege and justice.
social class, privilege, identity development, Chile, elite, social reproduction
Recommended CitationPeck, Sarah, "Social Class Identity Development and Elite Schools" (2017). Honors Theses. Paper 842.
Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Commons, International and Comparative Education Commons, Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education Commons