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Christopher Lewis, Oppositional Culture & Educational Opportunity, 10 Theory & Res. Educ. 131 (2012).

Abstract: The most common lay explanation for the racial gap in educational achievement in the US is the ‘oppositional culture hypothesis’, which holds that Black students tend to undervalue education and stigmatize their high-achieving peers, accusing them of ‘acting White’. Many believe that, insofar as this hypothesis is true, Black underachievement is unproblematic from the perspective of justice, because Black students are simply not taking the fair opportunities presented to them. This article offers a systematic critique of the normative aspects of this view and some conceptual clarifications regarding the nature of opportunity.