Write this reflection for the lab:
In two to three paragraphs (i.e., sentences, not bullet lists) using APA style citations if needed, summarize, and interact with the content covered in this lab. Summarize what you did as an attacker, what kind of vulnerabilities did you exploit, what might have prevented these attacks. Mention the attackers and all of the targets in your summary. You can provide topologies, sketches, graphics if you want. In particular, highlight what surprised, enlightened, or otherwise engaged you. You should think and write critically, not just about what was presented but also what you have learned through the session. You can ask questions for the things you’re confused about. Questions asked here will be summarized and answered anonymously in the next class.

Lab-5: Scanning and Enumeration

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Reconnaissanceandinformationgatheringmethods were passive methods, meaning that they did not cause any alarm, alerts, and log file creation on the target systems: computers. In Lab-5, you will actively scan and enumerate target systems. These actions would cause some log files and probably trigger alerts if the target systems were used by a sensitive organization, such as a military or financial institution.
You will perform Lab-5 by using the Netlab environment provided by Franklin University. Netlab environment is an isolated environment with no Internet connection so that none of your actions will cause anything harmful for you or the target system.

Section-1: Scan the Network Using nbtscan Tool

nbtscan is used forscanning networks to obtain NetBIOS names, file shares, and other information. It is one of the tools that come with Kali Linux. Nbtscan is a convenient tool to scan the active computers on the network quickly.
Windows machines have NetBIOS names by default. Linux/Unix computer may also have NetBIOS names if the Samba interoperability suite is installed.
Before starting scanning the network from Kali Linux, you have to learn the network address first.
1) Enter the Netlab environment
2) Open Kali Linux and enter the password (password: toor)
3) Open a terminal window
4) Type this command:

The IP address of your computer is, and the netmask is That means the network address is You will use this in your nbtscan.

5) Run a nbtscan by typing
nbtscan to the terminal window. You will see all active computers along with IP addresses, NetBIOS names, and MAC addresses. That is an essential piece of information for a pentester and can be regarded as your initial attack surface.

Take a screenshot of the terminal window.

Section-2: Scan the Network by Using Nmap
You will perform another network scan by using a more versatile tool called Nmap. Nmap is one of the swiss knives of the pen-testers. It is a free and open-source tool and comes with Kali Linux. Nmap has many different scanning options; it can even perform vulnerability scanning in addition to network and host scanning. In this lab, you will first use Nmap’s network/host scanning features, and then you will perform vulnerability scanning with Nmap.
1) Type in
nmap -n -sn in the terminal window.

Take a screenshot of the terminal window.

Type in
nmap in the terminal window to see the help page of the Nmap tool. Find why you used n and sn options.

Section-3: Perform a Port Scan Against a Host

In the previous section, you scanned the network by using Nmap. In this section, you will scan a specific host for open ports.
1) Type in
nmap -n in the terminal window.

Take a screenshot of the terminal window. is the Metasploitable machine. There are many open ports on this machine. It is an intentionally vulnerable Linux machine used for training purposes. As the pentester, you determined your initial attack surface using nbtscan and nmap tools, which can be thought of as the active computers on the network. The list of open ports of the Metasploitable computer is also an attack surface specific to a host. An open port can be considered one of the most valuable attack surfaces. Because an attacker can attack computers by using open ports in many ways, such as:
a) By flooding the port, such as SYN flood to port 80,
b) By exploiting the service using the port, such as an SQL injection attack against web application using Port 443
c) By brute-forcing the login forms,
d) By using default usernames or passwords, such as accessing to wireless modem management interface by default username: admin/password: admin credentials

Section-4: Scanning for Top 1000 Ports

Top 1000 ports are a list of statistically most popular 1000 ports used by the network-enabled applications and services. In this lab, you will scan the same target (Metasploitable) to check for the top 1000 ports.
1) Type in
nmap -n –top-ports 1000 –open in the terminal window.

–open switch only shows the open ports on the target machine.
2) Now, type in the command with an extra switch -sV:
nmap -n –top-ports 1000 –open -sV

sV switch fingerprints the service running on the port.

Take a screenshot of the terminal window.

Section-5: OS (Operating System) Detection by using Nmap
One of Nmap’s features is remote OS detection by using TCP/IP stack fingerprinting. In this lab, you will detect the operating systems of the live hosts in the network.
1) Type in
nmap -n -O –osscan-guess

Note that you have to make the “O” letter uppercase.
Notice the operating system info at the command output.
Find the command output showing the operating system of and
Take a screenshot of the terminal window.

Section-6: Vulnerability Scanning by Using Nmap
Now, it is time to perform vulnerability scanning by using Nmap. The first vulnerability will be the use of an FTP service with anonymous login is enabled.
In the previous lab, you found that (Metasploitable) has the FTP service enable. Let’s check whether it has anonymous login enabled. Anonymous login is a common feature among FTP services.
1) Type in
nmap -n –script ftp-anon -p 21 in the terminal window.

In this command, you use Nmap scripts, which is a powerful and flexible feature of Nmap. Nmap scripting engine allows security researchers to prepare scripts to perform particular tasks such as finding FTP services (port 21) with anonymous login is enabled. In this section, you used anonymous ftp logins detect script (ftp-anon).

Now, you will use another Nmap script to detect SMB vulnerability. SMB is a standard protocol used by the Windows operating system to share files and printers among computers. You check another host ( for any SMB protocol vulnerability. is a Windows computer. In Section-5, you detected the operating system of this host remotely as Windows 7.

2) Type in
nmap -n –script smb-vuln* -p 445

In this example, you used a wild chart. smb-vuln* use all scripts which start with “smb-vuln.”

Take a screenshot of the terminal window.

Weekly Learning and Reflection
In two to three paragraphs (i.e., sentences, not bullet lists) using APA style citations if needed, summarize, and interact with the content covered in this lab. Summarize what you did as an attacker, what kind of vulnerabilities did you exploit, what might have prevented these attacks. Mention the attackers and all of the targets in your summary. You can provide topologies, sketches, graphics if you want. In particular, highlight what surprised, enlightened, or otherwise engaged you. You should think and write critically, not just about what was presented but also what you have learned through the session. You can ask questions for the things you’re confused about. Questions asked here will be summarized and answered anonymously in the next class.





Discussion about Exploratory Essay Issues
No unread replies.No replies.
For the Exploratory Essay, you have to write about a narrow and manageable topic related to socioeconomic class. As socioeconomic class (or just “class”) is a very broad term encompassing both financial and also social components, your issues can be varied. You can write about class and education, class and social mobility (the ability to move between class brackets), class and healthcare, people’s experience with the American Dream in relation to class, etc.

Chapter 3

Download Chapter 3, please read
Choosing Your Issue and Focus(pp. 137-139). You may also want to review the materials related to social class earlier in the chapter, Considering Social Class (pp. 115-127).

Please take a few moments to share with your peers (and with me) which subtopic regarding socioeconomic class you will be writing about and which personal experience you will include in the essay. Let me know if you have questions about topic ideas, and I’ll be happy to help!
If you come across some interesting ideas on this Discussion Board, feel free to respond and help out your classmates. Chapter 3

Exploratory Essay

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


Exploratory Essay Assignment Guidelines

As its name implies, the Exploratory Essay allows you to explore a complex issue to not only

better understand the issue itself but also to inform your readers and better situate yourself as

a critical thinker within the cultural conversation. Because of its investigative nature, the

Exploratory Essays purpose is informative and its tone is neutral and invitational, allowing you

to build on the skills you developed in the Reading Reflection (Chapter 2).

What will you do?

For this assignment, you will write a 1,0001,200-word (45 double-spaced pages) essay that

explores a sociocultural issue related to socioeconomic status or social class from multiple

points of view. You will read several articles together with your classmates to better understand

the scope and complexity of the conversations around social class in the United States; you will

also supplement these sources with independent outside research. Your independent research

should help you identify a topical focus that will serve as the thematic frame for your own

exploratory essay. Additionally, because the essay is designed to help readers understand the

conversation around your topic, your essay must include at least three sources.

To explore a sociocultural issue from multiple viewpoints, you should read a variety of sources,

such as newspaper articles, editorials, and policy reports. These are not meant to be models of

exploratory writing. Their purpose is to provide some of the core knowledge that will help you

to contextualize this issue in your own essay. As you read, keep in mind the purpose of your

writing: you are not arguing in favor of or against a particular stance; you are not attempting to

prove which authors are right or wrong; instead, you are respectfully engaging with all authors

ideas to present a neutral overview of the conversations happening around your topic.

To put it another way, keep the idea of an invitation in mind. When we send an invitation (to a

party or a wedding), we are letting recipients know that they are welcome to attend, but they

are in no way required to comethey can accept or decline as they see fit. Think of this paper

in a similar way: you are inviting your audience to look at the different facets of an issue, but

you are not requiring them to agree or disagree with any of them. They may consider what you

say and form their own opinion; you are not trying to persuade them to accept a certain

position. You do want them to engage seriously with your writing, though, and we will talk

about strategies to help you do so without falling into argumentative or persuasive language.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of writing an Exploratory Essay is how the invitation you will

extend to others extends to you, too: in the same way that you are inviting your audience to

consider different perspectives, you also are inviting yourself to explore these same


Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


Who is your target audience?

While your instructor ultimately will assess your success in respectfully engaging the larger

conversation on your topic and consistently maintaining an invitational tone, you should

imagine your target audience as a reader who may have a partial, or even firmly narrow, view

about the issue. Your reader might come from a different background, might have different

knowledge, and/or might have experienced the world differently than the authors with whom

you engage. Remember that your goal is not to convince your reader that they are wrong (or

right); instead, you are inviting them to understand the many facets of the issue.


By the end of this assignment, you should be able to do the following:

Demonstrate your ability to respectfully examine a complex issue from multiple


Maintain a neutral, invitational tone

Show that you understand and respect the perspectives of others

Objectively and accurately summarize writers main points

Organize sources thematically to inform an audience about a larger conversation

Synthesize sources in terms of their common and diverging points

Effectively integrate outside sources into your essay

Effectively and purposefully organize your ideas to convey a clear topic focus in your



An exploratory essay invites you to imagine, understand, and engage diverse perspectives an

important aspect of critical thinking and global citizenship, as reflected in Kansas State

Universitys Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes and its Principles of Community. Such

an assignment also asks you to think through how issues such as gender, race, and class impact

your life in the academy and within the larger social realm. In fact, part of being an engaged

student and citizen is a willingness and ability to consider not only your own perspective but

also the perspectives of others. This assignment will help prepare you to consider and articulate

these multiple viewpoints or angles of vision; it also will prepare you to analyze a written text

and to put that text in conversation with other texts. Such analytical skills will prove crucial

throughout your college career and will serve you well throughout your life.

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


You will also encounter exploratory writing in many of your classes. If you are a student in the

sciences or social sciences, your professors are likely to assign a similar essay called a Review of

Literature or Literature Review. This type of essay shares the informative goal of the

Exploratory Essay in its quest to capture the state of research on a topic at a given point in time.

Academic researchers use Literature Reviews to ground their own research projects, while

professional readers might use them to stay in touch with current events in their field.

If you are a biology major, for example, you might be asked to write a Literature Review about

the rise of antibiotic resistant microbes; if youre a health and nutrition major, your topic could

be diet trends such as paleo; and, if youre an education major, you could work with a topic

like special education inclusion models. The paper you would write, then, would not be based

on your personal experience or interpretation, but instead be based on the objective

presentation of data, theories, and other research material. Finally, similar to the Exploratory

Essay, though the papers topic might be framed as a problem, the Literature Review is not

solution-oriented or argumentative in nature.

In short, the Exploratory Essay is a typical academic essay, one that will help you in your

academic career.

Considering Social Class

Socioeconomic Class in the U.S.

In the United States, socioeconomic class can be surprisingly hard to talk about. Part of this

resistance is likely tied to the investment in American individuality and the American Dream.

Within these concepts, anyone can succeed if they work hard enough. Additionally, many

middle- and upper-class Americans were raised to believe that its impolite to talk about issues

of money and income. In Great Britain, on the other hand, social class is much more obvious.

Social class determines the dialect, the words one uses (e.g., what upper-class folks call a

sofa, working-class people call a couch), eating times for lunch and dinner, and even the

way one makes a cup of tea. In the United States, however, class involves cultural distinctions

that can be more subtle and harder to classify. Social class identity may also blend with regional

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


identity, and it may be difficult to untangle working-class culture from rural, Midwestern, or

Southern identities.

What complicates social class even more is that it is not directly or solely correlated with

income levels, although income levels certainly impact class. In a series of articles about social

class, The New York Times defines class as a status system involving such variables as

occupation, education, income, and wealth.1 Some also include patterns of consumption,

recreation habits, language, taste both aesthetic and culinary and etiquette. In other words,

social class is tied to the subjective perception of behaviors, dispositions, and refinement, as

well as simple income. Additionally, the kind or source of income impacts social class. You

might have heard the term old money, or passive income, for example, indicating that a

persons family simply has wealth or simply is wealthy. All these variables (often the socio

part of socioeconomic class) help determine an individuals status in society and influence

how we judge others.

As you can already see, socioeconomic class (or social class, or sometimes just class) is a

complicated topic. Its made more complicated by the fact that scholars still dont really agree

on just what class is or which term or terms most aptly describe what it is were talking about.

For example, most of us have probably heard of a three-tiered class system in which people are

sorted into the upper, middle, or lower (or sometimes working) class. Such a system likely

dates back to 19th century cultural critic Matthew Arnolds categorizations of class. These three

categories are often now broken down further into five: upper, upper- middle, middle, lower-

middle, and lower.2


Below, youll find a 2008 table that employs these categories in an American context. Whats

important to note is that these data are based on participants who defined themselves as


While you look at these data, consider these following questions:

1 These articles are available at
2 Fussell, Paul. Class: A Guide Through the American Status System. Touchstone, 1983. p. 27.

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


What take-away points can you make about how different groups of people represent

themselves as middle-class?

How might these responses have changed since 2008?

What surprises you about these responses? (What might you want to explore some

more in this chapter?)

The Middle Classes: Who Makes Up Each Group

Top of the




Gender % % % %

Male 56 45 49 37

Female 44 55 51 63

White, non-Hispanic





Black, non-Hispanic 10 7 10 20

Hispanic 6 12 11 19

Other 5 6 6 5






30-49 46 19 59 32

50-64 30 16 26 18

65+ 8 34 3 15

College or more





Some college 29 29 30 16

High school or less 30 56 40 76

Family Income
$100,000 or more



$50,000-&99,000 68 1 62

$30,000-$49,000 60 24 19

$20,000-$29,000 23 23

$20,000 or less 16 58

Marital Status





Not married 31 62 32 77

Quality of Present Life





Medium 42 36 43 27

Low 12 23 40 47

Will Children Have Better Life Than You?





Worse 17 12 28 16

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


Same 24 17 20 18

No Children 6 3 6 4

Figure 1. Attitudes & Demographics about Middle Class Identity in the United States, Pew
Research Center. 3


Here are two more recent examples to help us make sense of these categorizations. In the first,

Kansas writer Sarah Smarsh describes her experience as a first-generation college student. The

second is an excerpt from journalist Sarah Sugars (Vox) interview with author and University of

Michigan lecturer, S. Margot Finn, over Finns 2017 book, Discriminating Taste: How Class

Anxiety Created the American Food Revolution.

Sarah Smarsh: Even at a Midwestern state university, my background agricultural

work, manual labor, rural poverty, teen pregnancies, domestic chaos, pervasive

addiction seemed like a faraway story to the people I met. Most of them were from

tidy neighborhoods in Wichita, Kansas City, the greater Chicago area. They used a

different sort of English and had different politics. They were appalled that I had grown

up with conservative ideas about government and Catholic doctrine against abortion. I

was appalled that they didn’t know where their food came from or even seem to care

since it had always just appeared on their plates when they wanted it.4

Sarah Sugar: You talk about one of the failures of the food revolution being the way its

helped stigmatize the foods and bodies associated with the poor, while convincing

middle- and upper-middle classes that their dietary choices mean they deserve their

status. In the book, you say that trying to get other people to eat higher quality foods

is a kind of bigotry, because it feeds into pernicious social divides. But at the same

3 Morin, Rich. Americas Four Middle Classes. Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends, Pew Research
Center, 29 July 2008. Pew Research Center,
4 Smarsh, Sarah. Heartland. Scribner, 2018.

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


time, arent there reasons environmental reasons, health reasons you might want

to try to get people to change their behavior?5

Smarsh begins her paragraph with a list of class descriptors agricultural work, manual labor,

rural poverty, teen pregnancies, domestic chaos, pervasive addiction. In what ways are we to

understand how these are in tension with the tidy neighborhoods in the more urban places of

Wichita, Kansas City, [and] the greater Chicago area? What class is she describing? Do your

own experiences lead you to agree or disagree with her observations?

Similarly, what clues does Sugars interview questions provide about social class and culinary

tastes? What other examples can you think of to explore this topic (i.e., think about

Lunchables and charcuterie boards, American cheese, and the size of your grocery stores

cheese selection)?

The American Dream: Social Mobility

Some might wonder why we worry about socioeconomic class at all. After all, it doesnt matter

what class one is born into; if you work hard, you can be successful and change your social

class, right? This is what we call a classic bootstraps narrative, popularized by authors such as

Horatio Alger. The phrase now refers to a person who improves his or her station with

individual hard work (interestingly, it seems the phrase originally was meant to refer to

something impossibleone cannot, after all, actually pull oneself up by ones own bootstraps).

In terms of socioeconomic class, it refers to the ability to improve ones social class through

hard work and perseverance. This is commonly referred to as economic mobility.

Scholars are somewhat divided on this topic, but most research suggests that it is actually very

difficult to move up the socioeconomic ladder. That isnt to say that children make the same

5 Sugar, Rachel. Good Taste is All About Class Anxiety. Vox, 26 Sept. 2019,


Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


amount of money as their parentsas well see, they often dobut it is rare for people to

actually move into a different level of socioeconomic status than that of their parents.

Additionally, because social class is marked by more than simply income, some research shows

that it is nearly statistically impossible to move from one social class level to the next. Professor

of Economics Gregory Clark cautions that focusing solely on changes in one factor (such as

income, occupation, or education) allows us to confuse the random fluctuations of income

across generations, influenced by such things as career choices between business and

philosophy, with true generalized social mobility.6 Instead, Clark believes we need to look

across generations, analyzing larger trends as well as the variety of factors that play a role in

social class. As a result of his intergenerational study of social mobility in Sweden, Clark found

that when we take a variety of factors into considerationincome, occupation, education,

etc.we find that there is almost no change in social status. If your family was middle class in

the 18th century, they are statistically likely to be middle class in the 19th, 20th, and 21st

century. While income levels fluctuate more in the United States than they do in Sweden, Clark

argues that his study shows how single-factor or single-generational studies within the U.S.

overinflate the possibility of sustained social mobility.7

Lets take a moment to consider the implications of Clarks findings. In short, Clark found that

while individuals might move between social classes across time and generations the

daughter of a mechanic with a high school diploma might become a neurosurgeon, thereby

moving up the ladder of social class in education, occupational status, income, and wealthit is

statistically much more likely that the future generations of this same family will fall within the

working class than the upper-middle class. Structurally, then, while there will be individual

cases of members of the upper class moving down the social ladder (due to such things as stock

market crashes, for example) and individual cases of members of the lower or working class

moving up the ladder, across generationsacross hundreds of years, in factmost members

within a family line will maintain the same class status as their ancestors. If this is true, and

much recent research implies that it is, then we must grapple with the fact that sheer individual

hard work is rarely enough for most people or families to break class barriers, at least not for a

sustained period of time.

How Americans think about social mobility changes over time as well. According to a 2014

article using survey results from 2009, When the Pew Economic Mobility Project conducted a

6 Clark, Gregory. Low Mobility Associated with Inherited Ability is No Social Tragedy. Free Exchange: Economics,
13 Feb. 2013. The Economist, mobility-2.
7 Clark, Gregory. What is the True Rate of Social Mobility in Sweden? A Surname Analysis 1700- 2012. Gregory
Clark: Professor of Economics. Economics: Faculty, UC Davis,

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


survey in 2009hardly a high point in the history of American capitalism39 percent of

respondents said they believed it was common for people born into poverty to become rich,

and 71 percent said that personal attributes like hard work and drive, not the circumstances of

a persons birth, are the key determinants of success.8

These attitudes about the American Dream may be shifting. Compare the results from the

2009 survey to Pew Research Centers 2020 survey results about the same question. Note how

the responses differ more sharply based upon the political affiliation of the respondent.

In your opinion, which generally has more do with

Why a person is rich? Why a person is poor?

They have
had more
advantages in
life than most
other people.

They have
harder than
most other

They have
faced more
obstacles in
life than most
other people.

They have not
worked as
hard as most
other people.

Total 65% 33% 71% 26%

Republican or Rep-leaning 45% 53% 55% 42%

Democrat or Dem-leaning 82% 16% 86% 12%

Figure 2. Attitudes about Social Mobility in the United States, PEW Research Center9

Social Mobility & Race

Recently, the non-partisan research group based out of Harvard, Opportunity Insights,

published a report summarizing its findings of 2018 Census data as they related specifically to

questions of race and social mobility:10

Finding #1: Hispanic Americans are moving up in the income distribution across

generations, while Black Americans and American Indians are not.

8 Swansburg, John. The Self-Made Man: The Story of Americas Most Pliable, Pernicious, Irrepressible Myth.
Slate, 29 Sept. 2014,
9 Pew Research Center. Most Americans Point to Circumstances, Not Work Ethic, for Why People Are Rich or
Poor. 2 March 2020.

10 Chetty, Raj, Race and Economic Opportunity in the United States, Non-technical summary pdf,
Opportunity Insights, May 2020,

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


Finding #2: The black-white income gap is entirely driven by differences in mens, not

womens, outcomes.

Finding #3: Differences in family characteristics parental marriage rates, education,

wealth and differences in ability explain very little of the black-white gap.

Finding #4: In 99% of neighborhoods in the United States, black boys earn less in

adulthood than white boys who grow up in families with comparable income.

Finding #5: Both black and white boys have better outcomes in low-poverty areas, but

black-white gaps are bigger in such neighborhoods.

Finding #6: Within low-poverty areas, black-white gaps are smallest in places with low

levels of racial bias among whites and high rates of father presence among blacks.

Finding #7: The black-white gap is not immutable: black boys who move to more

affluent neighborhoods as children have significantly better outcomes.

Here are some additional findings to broaden our understanding of the relationship between

social mobility and race or ethnicity in the U.S.:

Black Americans and American Indians have much lower rates of upward mobility and

higher rates of downward mobility than whites, leading to persistent disparities across


Today, income inequality in the U.S. is greatest among Asians [Asian Americans]. From

1970 to 2016, the gap in the standard of living between Asians near the top and the

bottom of the income ladder nearly doubled, and the distribution of income among

Asians transformed from being one of the most equal to being the most unequal among

Americas major racial and ethnic groups.12

11 Chetty, Raj, et al. Race and Economic Opportunity in the United States: An Intergenerational Perspective.
Abstract. Unites States Census Bureau, Sept. 2018,
12 Cilluffo, Anthony and Rakesh Kochhar. Income Inequality in the U.S. Is Rising Most Rapidly Among Asians. Pew
Research Center, July 12, 2018,

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


Note: While this chapter is primarily about socioeconomic class, other identity factors such

as race, class, region, ethnicity, and able-bodiedness impact social class. We call this

intersectionality, a useful concept to help us better understand and explain social mobility

discrepancies between demographic groups in this country. You might find this approach

helpful as you decide the thematic focus of your Exploratory Essay.

Social Mobility & Education

This is not to say that hard work and perseverance never pay off. Of course, they can, and as a

student in college, you are expected to work hard, to study, to take your education seriously.

Why? In part, because it will result in better grades than if you had simply blown off all your

exams, essays, assignments, and responsibilities. But there is also a longer chain of effects:

better grades can result in scholarships, which might result in your ability to work fewer hours

to pay for college, which can result in more time to study and more time to sleep so that youre

not falling asleep while studying. This can then result in, again, high marks, maintained

scholarships, maintained time to study and sleep. Additionally, it means you can list academic

scholarships on your resume, as well as graduating summa cum laude. Such accomplishments

can make you more competitive when applying for jobs, and your perceived investment in your

education can result in stronger letters of recommendations from professors. In this way, hard

work and education can help you get a good job, can help you make a decent wage, and can

help you shift those New York Times scales higher on the education, occupation, income, and

wealth categories. You might then find yourself making more money than your parents, having

a level of education equal to or higher than your parents, and perhaps owning a nicer car or

home than your parents.

In fact, according to a 2012 PEW report on social mobility, researchers found that a four-year

college degree promotes upward mobility from the bottom and prevents downward mobility

from the middle and top.

In other words, a college degree makes it easier to move up the socioeconomic ladder and

harder to fall down it. More specifically, researchers found:

Almost one-half (47%) of those raised in the bottom quintile of the family income ladder

who do not earn a college degree are stuck there as adults, compared with 10% who do

earn a college degree. Similarly, 45% without a college degree are stuck in the bottom of

the family wealth ladder compared with 20% with a degree.

Having a college degree makes a person more than three times more likely to rise from

the bottom of the family income ladder all the way to the top and makes a person more

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


than four times more likely to rise from the bottom of the family wealth ladder to the


39% raised in the middle of the family income ladder who do not get a college degree

fall from the middle, compared with less than a quarter (22%) of those with a degree.

Similarly, 39% raised in the middle of the family wealth ladder who do not earn a degree

fall down the wealth ladder, compared with 19% with a degree.

An Extended Example: Liam & Jason

A college degree, then, makes social mobility easier, but how does familial social class impact

education and future success? To get a sense of the possible effects of social class, imagine two

high school students who are, by most visible markers, pretty similar. Liam and Jason live in the

same town and attend the same high school. They have the same IQ, both are hardworking,

and both plan to attend college. But Jasons parents would be categorized as upper middle

class, while Liams are working class. Both Jason and Liam grew up seeing at least one of their

parents read the newspaper before heading off to work, but Jasons parents had a bit freer

time in the evening and would often watch the national news and read books about politics,

education, and history, in addition to some of the great classic novels. Jason was encouraged to

do the same, and such books were readily available to him. Additionally, because his parents

had the time to keep up with national and world events, Jason and his parents often talked

about politics and history at the dinner table. Jason quickly learned the vocabulary, the

concepts, and the ways to structure a persuasive argument as he listened to his parents and

participated in their discussions.

Chapter 3 Exploratory Essay (Re)Writing Communities and Identities


Liams parents were also interested in world and national events, but his dad worked the night

shift and wasnt around for dinner. His mom often worked two jobs and tended to be too tired

for serious conversation or leisure reading when she got home. Liam spent a good amount of

his time helping around the housemaking meals for himself and his parents, doing the dishes,

doing laundry. In other words, despite levels of interest or education, there was simply little

time for heavy reading and spirited dinner conversation about that nights news. Because his

parents didnt have much time for reading, there werent a lot of books in the house for Liam to

pick up out of curiosity.

As Liam and Jason entered high school, Jason found he had already read quite a few of the

required novels, so those classes were relatively easy for him. Liam, on the other hand, had

never encountered the kinds of language he was seeing in books by Jane Austen and Nathaniel

Hawthorne, so he struggled a bitnot for lack of intelligence, but for lack of experience.

Additionally, by his sophomore year Liam was working a part-time job to help pay the bills and

to try to save for college, so he didnt have as much time to devote to homework as hed like.

Because most of those books were familiar for Jason, though, he found himself in Advanced

Placement classes in both English and History.

By the time Liam and Jason graduated high school, Jason had taken the AP exam in English and

History, earning him college credit for the introductory courses in both subjects. His teachers

thought of him as bright, dedicated, and college bound. Liam had done well in most of his

classes and his teachers liked him quite a bit, but they noticed that he hadnt always completed

all of the assignments or the reading. Jason was better prepared for the ACT exam, having read

more of the expected literature and history, so he scored higher than Liam. All these factors

impacted which colleges would accept each student.

Lets imagine that both Jason and Liam get into college, but based on his ACT scores, his GPA,

and a call from one of his high school teachers who happens to be an alumnus, Jason is

accepted to an Ivy League school. Proud of his success, Jasons parents buy him a car. Liam

doesnt even apply to Ivy League colleges but is quite happy to be able to attend the local state

school. Granted, hes not quite sure how hes going to pay for it. Based on his parents income,

he qua


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