In the course of an interesting article about how to promote college success among disadvantaged New York high school students, Tina Rosenberg of the normally hyper-sensitive NY Times presents this (my emphasis):
The second way that Posse is subversive is that it shows that academic chops do not completely determine college success. It demonstrates other important factors: whether a student has social support, a sense of belonging and a network that can offer advice. People from a dominant culture take these things for granted, but minority students have to build them. Posse helps. Every Posse member I talked to said having the group is crucial.
Groan. Are Asians no longer a majority? Do the famed 'dragon moms' really take their kids effort and selection of friends for granted?
And even amongst the dreaded dominant whites, do all kids simply coast along on a strong network of friends and family? Do parents really just "take for granted" that they have worked hard in order to move to a safe neighborhod and put their children in good schools? Please - otherwise talented white kids who lack social skills or come from difficult domestic situations are left to drift to wherever they drift without anyone outside their immediate circle fretting about their lack of opportunity and achievment. Certainly we aren't seeing charities and NY Times article focusing on the problems of the under-achieving offspring of one-percenters.
Social support is important for everyone; some families and communities are successful at providing it, and some need help. No one takes it for granted. Grr.