Sociology- Identity, class and girl's achievement

  • Created by: Daisymac
  • Created on: 17-01-19 16:28
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  • Identity, class and girls' achievement
    • Symbolic capital
      • Archer et al 2010- One reason for underachievement in girls is the conflict between working class girls' feminine identities and the values and ethos of the school
      • Refers to the status, recognition and sense of worth that we are able to obtain from others
      • Archer found that by performing their wc feminine identities, the girls gained symbolic capital from their peers. This brought them into conflict with the school, preventing them from gaining educational and economic capital
    • Hyper- heterosexual feminine identities
      • Many of the girls invested lots of time, effort and money in constructing desirable heterosexual identities. Eg. one girl spent £40 she earned from baby-sitting on makeup
      • This feminine identity brought status fro their female peer group and avoided them being ridiculed
      • Often punished for wearing the wrong uniform, makeup, jewellery ect
      • Led to symbolic violence
    • Boyfriends
      • Whilst they gained symbolic capital, it gets in the way of schoolwork and lowered girls aspirations
      • Not wanting to study masculine subjects at uni, and instead wanted to settle down and have children
    • Being loud
      • Often led to them being outspoke, independent and assertive eg questioning authority
      • This failed to conform to the schools stereotype of the ideal female pupil as passive and submissive
      • Leads to conflict with teachers, who interpreted their behaviour as aggressive
    • Working class girls' dilemma
      • Either gaining symbolic capital from their peers by conforming the hyper-heterosexual feminine identity
      • Or gaining educational capital by rejecting their wc identity and conforming to the mc notions of the ideal female pupil
    • Successful working class girls
      • Although some wc girls underachieve, some do succeed and go onto higher education
      • Evans 2009  study of 21 sixth-form students in a south london comprehensive --> Found girls wanted to g to uni, but did it to help their family
      • Skeggs 1997 notes that caring is a crucial part in this identity
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