Kundu, A. (2017, Spring). Grit and Agency: A Framework for Helping Students in Poverty to Achieve Academic Greatness.

Recent research in psychology introduces “grit” as a characteristic observable in successful students (Duckworth, 2016). This article applies a qualitative, sociological framework offering “agency” as a concept to complement grit and understand social structures, which facilitate student mobility. Through in-depth interviews, this research gives voice to students who experienced significant upward mobility, despite low-income backgrounds. These cases suggest that interplay between personal agency and a supportive social structure is necessary for students to navigate barriers towards academic and professional success.

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