Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Education


The educational system in the United States has been characterized as political, a meritocracy (Hurn, 1992), a structure that socializes citizens (Warren, 1996), a system that marginalized those of races marked other or defined as minority by society (Ratvich, 1983; West, 1993; Katz, 1999) and, most importantly for this study, the key to a more equitable society through schooling and personal beliefs and the possibility of lifelong achievement (Anderson, 1988). Our educational system, ever changing and complicated by definition and action, plays a large role in one's perception of the ability of people to achieve social mobility -- especially for Blacks living in Southside Chicago (Lipman, 2004). This study posits that there is a historical connection between social mobility, race, and education when discussing how Black people perceive the impact of the newly elected Black President, Barack Obama (Anderson, 1988).

This social mobility study relies on interviews with Black students and staff at ACE Technical Charter High School in Chicago, Illinois to determine an understanding of how personal perceptions of race and education have an impact on their understanding of social mobility. Furthermore, this study is interested in understanding whether those perceptions of social mobility have changed as a result of the election of President Obama.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.