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When Race and Gender Collide: Social and Cultural Capital’s Influence on the Academic Achievement of African American and Latino Males


This study regressed undergraduate grades on background traits, pre-college variables, and measures of sociocultural capital for nationally representative samples of African American and Latino male undergraduates using data from the NCES’s National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88/00). Results suggest that African American and Latino males differ significantly on measures of social and cultural capital, thereby challenging normative assumptions that all racial/ethnic minorities are equal. Additionally, achievement prior to college matters most for Latino males while African American males reap significant benefits from their socioeconomic standing and involvement during college. Implications for future research, policy, and practice are highlighted.