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Minority Education and Caste: The American System in Cross-Cultural Perspective


reviewed by Edmund W. Gordon & Carol Camp Yeakey — 1980

coverTitle: Minority Education and Caste: The American System in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Author(s): John Ogbu
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: , Pages: , Year:
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In what began as an effort at putting into correct perspective aspects of the controversy concerning the heritability of intellect and its relation to school achievement, John Ogbu presents a reconceptualization of the culpable factors involved in the failure of the schooling of low-status minority groups to effectively educate. In addition, he has provided, from a nonpsychological perspective, a conceptualization of learning-task involvement and achievement that is not only logically compelling but consistent with emerging evidence from behavioral psychology. Although Ogbu contrasts his approach and conclusions with those of others who have joined the nature/nurture controversy, his position places him in the camp of the environmentalists. Arguing from a structuralist position, he asserts that it is the castelike status of blacks and other low-achieving minorities and their attendant perceptions of differential rewards for equal effort that result in lower task involvement and derivative low achievement. Rather than a contrasting view, the... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 81 Number 4, 1980, p. 526-529
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 1056, Date Accessed: 10/18/2017 11:07:48 AM

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About the Author
  • Edmund Gordon
    Yale University
    Edmund W. Gordon is professor of Psychology and Afro-American studies at Yale University, and is editor of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, the official journal of the American Orthopsychiatric Association.
  • Carol Yeakey
    Purdue University
    E-mail Author
    Carol Camp Yeakey is a postdoctoral research fellow at Yale University's Bush Center for Child Development and Social Policy for the 1979-1980 academic year. She is also assistant professor of administration and higher education at Purdue University.
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