Sociology Index

OPEN CLASS IDEOLOGY

Open class ideology is a component part of liberal ideology: the key claim is that an individual has meaningful opportunity to rise (or fall) in social class and social status as a result of personal ability, hard work and individual merit.

Open class ideology or concept therefore claims that society's status system is based on achievement and not on ascription. Despite open-class ideology, advance toward the success-goal is relatively rare and notably difficult for those armed with little formal education and few economic resources. Read inequality of condition and inequality of opportunity.

"The relathionship between aspiration-perceived opportunity disjunction and normlessness transcend class levels but may be specific to a culture which empahsizes an open-class ideology. Here it is the cultural interpretation given to aspiration-perceived opportunity disjunction rather than disjunction per se that may be crucial in normlessness." - William A. Rushing, - Class, Culture, and "Social Structure and Anomie", The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 76, No. 5 (Mar., 1971), pp. 857-872

The community college has become the institution of higher education which implements the American open class ideology, providing an opportunity for students to learn and advance themselves socially and occupationally. By emphasizing the development of small, cohesive learning groups which have norms of communication and support, and which are open to the distribution of authority and the shared responsibility for learning, the interactionist approach addresses both cognitive and affective domains. - Compensatory Education in the Community College: An Interactionist Approach. Topical Paper No. 52. National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. - Morrison, James L.