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Moving Up without Losing Your WayThe Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility$
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Jennifer Morton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691179230

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691179230.001.0001

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Recognizing the Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility

Recognizing the Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility

(p.17) 1 Recognizing the Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility
Moving Up without Losing Your Way

Jennifer M. Morton

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes the ethical costs of upward mobility and presents an argument for why they are different from other costs that strivers face on their path. It argues that understanding the nature of the ethical goods move people well beyond the cost-benefit analysis that might be appropriate when thinking about money, time, or effort. The ethical costs of upward mobility are particular and not easily offset. Consequently, loss is felt keenly by those who succeed even if they ultimately have much to gain from the sacrifices they have made. The chapter emphasizes how people who are concerned with the challenges faced by first-generation and low-income college students often fail to appreciate the significance of the potential ethical costs that strivers encounter in pursuing a better life for themselves.

Keywords:   upward mobility, ethical cost, first-generation students, low-income students, strivers

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