Urban Appalachians Research Paper

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Mike Dattolo Dr. Daugherty SYE 4007 8 April 2013 Urban Appalachians: Educational Struggles in Cincinnati Education has been prevalent in the United States for decades, and most Americans consider it a very significant process in order to achieve a desirable life. Appalachian citizens in the U.S. are considered to be dumb, stupid, and ignorant. Many people have developed these stereotypes based on the low level of education many Appalachians achieve. There are many problems that have caused Appalachians to fall behind the learning curve. These reasons vary from family to family but nevertheless, have led to a significant fall in education for Appalachians. More specifically, I will be focusing on the urban Appalachians in the southern…show more content…
One problem which is the probably the most common among Appalachians is their culture. Thomas Wagner explains the culture of Appalachians by stating, “The migrant mountaineer comes from a rural way of life which emphasizes individualism, traditionalism, self-reliance, and strong loyalty to an extended family peer group. In the urban environment, the migrant finds himself in a culture that is time-oriented, organization conscious, and where peer groups develop from casual relationships. Many eventually adjust; a significant number, however, are unable to make the transition.” (Wagner) This shows an accurate description of most Appalachians that migrated to urban areas. For many, it is hard to overcome what they have always known and done and change their lifestyle to fit in with the rest of the urban community. Although education is not specific for one race or group, Appalachians have not always had the need or desire to attain high levels of education. More often than not Appalachians started at a young age as farmers and were educated by friends and family so they could learn how to support a family one day on their own. This problem explains why some Appalachians may drop out at an early age but does not explain their low statistics for those that do stick school…show more content…
In urban areas such as Cincinnati where living is more expensive, Appalachians earning low incomes are at a disadvantage. Many students dropout so they can assist in paying family bills or work around their homes while their parents are struggling to support them. This causes students to be unable to purchase decent usable school supplies, get additional help from tutors or programs, as well as participate in extracurricular activities. Financial struggles are also very common among urban Appalachians and play a large role in the position of their education. In conclusion, there is an inevitable problem with education standards for urban Appalachians in the greater Cincinnati area that needs to be addressed. There are numerous reasons for the high dropout rates and low test scores in Cincinnati such as cultural backgrounds of Appalachians, low income and financial troubles, and failure to participate in extracurricular activities. These are just a few main ideas that need to be addressed along with many others in order to remove this problem and bring urban Appalachians in Cincinnati up to par with the learning

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