Summary Of Ain 'T No Makin' It By Jay Macleod

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Equality. Opportunity. Prosperity. The American Dream paints a vision in which each of these ideals are ever present and available to all individuals inside the vast border of the nation. The notion is that every individual can, through concentrated efforts and dedication, improve their own socioeconomic class and climb up the hierarchy. Social mobility is within the grasp of each person so long as they earnestly invest themselves. There exists, however, a dissonance between the achievement ideology and reality as discussed in Jay Macleod’s Ain’t No Makin’ It. In his book, Macleod perfors a longitudinal study over a group of young black men, the Brothers, living in the projects of Clarendon Heights and reveals the insidious social factors that…show more content…
The Brothers faced this challenge in their, largely, futile attempts to achieve middle class status through achieving a proper education. Macleod highlights that, historically, the “overall structure of class relations from one generation to the next” is extremely reluctant to change(4). The Brothers evince this in their inability to earn work with greater wages than their parents, forcing them to live in working class neighborhoods like they did. Although some of the Brothers did manage to obtain middle class work, they struggled to keep those jobs as they either got laid off or were pressured out believing that they just didn’t fit in the workplace environment- though this is largely in fact due to differences in cultural capital, knowledge, disposition, and skills passed on generationally, that arise from the different upbringings of the supervisors and the Brothers. Moreover, differences in cultural capital makes the structures of inequality extremely stable as working class individuals struggle to match the syntactic and lexical constructions of the upper socioeconomic classes. While the those on top utilize elaborated codes that express unique perspectives, the working class grow up learning a restricted code that is context dependant. Schools also enforce an elaborated code, causing working class students such as the Brothers to struggle in school, lacking the cultural capital…show more content…
In it, Macleod evinces how inequality is supported by those at the top and the bottom and how the structure of inequality itself is stagnant. Through the young working class men dubbed the Brothers, Jay Macleod illustrates the hopelessness in their attempts at Makin’
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