In this paper we begin a discussion around the need for science educators to understand the relationship between cultural and socioeconomic issues and the science education of inner-city students. We refer to the works of critical scholars in science, education, and sociology in order to help us deconstruct the relationship between sociopolitical agendas and the lack of opportunity in science education for students from lower socioeconomic inner-city enclaves. Through our ethnographic case study of a homeless family in a major metropolitan area in the Northeast, we frame our analysis through the pedagogical questions of representation of science through culture, socioeconomic status, and “culture capital.” We use this analysis to raise questions for further research on the significance of understanding, accessing, and critiquing the “culture of power” in science education. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 37: 871–889, 2000