What is this book about?

“Ain’t No Makin’ It” by Jay MacLeod??? I need a summary of this book or an overview of the main points and I can’t find it anywhere

..if you find a summary somewhere please list ur sourse or post a link..

thanks!

8 Answers

  • “Racial divides between inner-city black boys (Brothers) and inner-city white boys (Hallway Hangers)show that race relations have a long way to go in the United States, according to McLeod.

    In Ain’t No Makin’ It, habitus played a major role in the lives of the Brothers (inner-city black boys) and the Hallway Hangers (inner-city white boys). There were unable to see past their immediate conditions and despairs. They could not become individuals. They were trapped in the collective failure of intergenerational cycle of poverty. If they had any role models, they were negative. Most of these boys who grew up without their fathers experienced great anger and grief.

    In my understanding of achievement ideology and cultural capital, I would account for the divergence in the outlook between the Hallway Hangers and the Brothers in terms of how the dominant culture paints race relations in America. Even though, both of the groups were impoverished, the dominant culture assures a better outcome for the Hallway Hangers over the Brothers. I understand McLeod’s study was just a sample of the working class in America’s cities. Nevertheless, I believe his studies still reflect a reality that America can’t deny.

    Does the educational system play any role on the Hallway Hangers and the Brothers? An education is not a luxury, but a need in this country. I see a great benefit in attending school. However, until the United States recognizes the fact that this country represents various ways of interpreting information based on different linguistic codes vis a vis different social and cultural classes, the way education is prescribed as we know it in our public school will be an enormous detriment to the characters being analyzed above.”

    “In Jay MacLeod’s book, Ain’t No Makin’ It, The Hallway Hangers and the Brothers come from the same economic background and are of similar age. The only outward difference is their race. MacLeod shows that this factor, along with class, directly influenced their aspirations, and consequently, negatively affected how these two groups fared in life. The Brothers and Hallway Hangers both grew up in the same housing project. For the most part, their parents did not graduate from high school. Furthermore, most of their parents worked in low paying factory or service jobs. Often times they have a hard time holding onto their jobs. This lower class position disadvantages both the Hallway Hangers and Brothers. At school, their ways of speaking, dress, and other mannerisms are not valued by the educational system. Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu calls these elements “culture capital” (Pg. 13). For example, students that live in a poor homes where their parents were not home to read to them early on, may lag behind more affluent students that had that luxury. Since schools value good grammar, the more affluent student holds the advantage over the poorer one. This leads to tracking students into alternative schools that focus in on vocational training.”

    “Ain’t No Making It by Jay MacLeod 1987

    A sociological account of two groups of teenage boys.

    In Ain’t No Making It Jay MacLeod compares two groups of teenage boys in a low-income housing project, the “Hallway Hangers,” a group of mainly white boys, and the “Brothers,” a group of mostly black boys. In his interviewing and research, MacLeod studied the different aspirations and outlooks between the two groups, what aspects made these differences, and the long-term implications of the differences. The answers and explanations that MacLeod puts forth are somewhat surprising but are rational considering the different level of education and family backgrounds between the two groups.

    At first look, it would seem that the group of white boys, the “Hallway Hangers” would have higher aspirations in life as they would have come from typically a more wealthier background and one that would put more stress on going to college and striving for a good job and well-off life. This reasoning also goes for the group of black boys, the “Brothers” who’s background would tend not to put stress on a higher education and would not have as many assets of which to draw off from for a well-off life and would accordingly have lower aspirations in life. However, MacLeod describes that these seemingly logical generalizations were not the case in these two groups that in fact, the “Brothers” had higher aspirations in life than did the “Hangers.” His sociological explanations make rational sense of these observations.

    MacLeod’s argument is that black group, who must overcome both class and racial barriers will view opportunities in education and occupation as more open whereas the white group their opportunities as closed. Therefore, the “Brothers” whose chances in life seen much lower than those of the “Hangers,” nonetheless hold optimistic attitudes toward the future and the “Hangers” hold feelings of bitterness and hopelessness. The “Hangers” reject and mock the American Dream of social mobility, seeing their parents in poorly paid and unwanted jobs. They question the American Dream since it goes against the experiences that they are exposed to, their family, neighbors, and their own experiences. They therefore create a counterculture, going against the culture of their parents and the middle class. On the other side, the “Brothers” internalize the success philosophy believing that if they work hard enough, they can make the middle class. Racial differences have a key effect in the two group’s views. The “Hangers,” for example, believe that affirmative action has worked to create black favoritism in school and occupation opportunities creating a reverse discrimination. They therefore argue that they do not have equal access to achievement, affecting their outlook on their life.

    These ideas are very similar to Bourdieu’s idea of habitus, a class-based outlook on life. MacLeod shows rationally through the example of the different groups of boys that the class and group that a person belongs to is extremely important in determining the person’s outlook on life and subsequent opportunities and achievements. The choices made by the “Hangers,” for example, to be underachievers may not be rational but they are reasonable considering their background and exposure to society reiterating Bourdieu’s habitus.”

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    What is this book about?

    “Ain’t No Makin’ It” by Jay MacLeod??? I need a summary of this book or an overview of the main points and I can’t find it anywhere

    ..if you find a summary somewhere please list ur sourse or post a link..

    thanks!

  • Amazon has it, with some reviews:

    http://www.amazon.com/Aint-Makin-Aspirations-Attai…

  • Ain T No Makin It

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