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Slide 1

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Key thinker: Colin Lacey (1970)
Colin Lacey findings of differentiation
and polarisation explains how pupil Hightown Grammar school (not its real
subcultures develop. name):
All the boys passed the 11+ exam to get into
Grammar school (mainly middle class).
Differentiation: This is the process by which
Once there, the competitive atmosphere
the teachers judge and rank pupils in
and streaming meant that many boys were
terms of their academic ability and the
soon labelled failures or labelled positively.
They either forms anti-school subculture or
The middle class are labelled `more able' and
pro-school subculture, depending on how
is given high status by being placed in a they were labelled.
high stream.
Whereas the working class are labelled `less exam
able' and is given an inferior status by
being placed in a low stream.
Polarisation: is the process in which pupils
respond to streaming by moving towards
one of two opposite `poles' or extremes.…read more

Slide 2

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In his study of Hightown boys' grammar school, Lacey found that streaming
polarised boys into a pro-school and anti-school subculture.
Pro-school subculture: The good boys
`more able' were placed in high Anti-school subculture: the bad boys `less able'
streams and were committed to suffer a loss of self-esteem. They adjusted to
the norms and values of the school. their status as failures and started to rebel
against the schools norms and values.
They gained their status in the
They form an anti-school subculture, as a mean
approved manner, though of gaining status among their peers, for
academic success. example-
They form a pro-school subculture · By answering back to a teacher in a rude
(subculture of success) manner
· Truanting
·100% attendance · not doing homework
·Always do
· Smoking
homework and
handing it in on the · Drinking
due date · or stealing
·Contributing in
·Doing extension
work etc.…read more

Slide 3

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Key thinker: Paul Willis
The `ear holes formed pro-
school subculture. They
conformed to the schools
values and were labelled
Paul Willis studied a group of 12 working class
boys- the `lads'. The lads developed anti-school
There behaviour reflected their expectations of Middle
failure employment and they brought working
class subculture to school with them. class
The lads were keen to leave school as soon as
possible and look forward to `real' work. School
was a waste of them to them.…read more

Slide 4

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Key thinkers: Martin Mac an Ghaill
White working class boys:
They rejected the schools values,
for example by not answering
the teachers, pretending you The `Macho Lads' rejected the
didn't hear them etc. This schools values and the teachers
made the teachers suspicious authority. ­ e.g. By acting
of them. tough, having a laugh, looking
smart in front of their peers
and looking after their mates.
The `Warriors' were a group of Asian
students. They were strongly critical of The teachers viewed them with
the college they went to because of the
suspicion and policed their
racism. School work to the Asians were
behaviour , banning certain
clothes and hairstyles and
making constant demand- `sit
However they didn't want the
up straight and `look at me
stereotype the teachers placed on them, when I'm talking to you.'
so they changed and became pro-school
subculture.…read more

Slide 5

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Key thinker: Tony Sewell
Sewell identifies four ways in which the The retreatists were a tiny group of
boys responded to racist stereotyping. isolated individuals who were
disconnected from both school and
The `rebels' were a small group of black subcultures.
black pupils. They rejected both The innovators were pro education but
the goals and the rules of the anti-school. They wanted to succeed
school e.g. The boys smoked but rejected the schooling process.
cannabis on school premises. The conformists accepted the schools
They behaved like this because of goals and had friends from different
the racism in the school. ethnic groups. They were keen to
They were violent toward the pupils succeed and anxious to avoid being
and staff and were often stereotyped either by the teachers
excluded from school. or their peers.…read more

Slide 6

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Key thinker: Mary Fuller
Fuller studied a group of black girls in
year 11 of a London
comprehensive school.
Instead of accepting the negative
stereotype of themselves, they
rejected it. Summary
The girls did not seek approval of the · Students may still succeed even
teachers and they did not limit when they refuse to conform.
their choice of friends to other · Negative labelling does not always
academic achievers. Instead they lead to failure.
were friends with other black
girls from lower streams. These girls rejected their labels and
they remained determined to
They worked consistently, but they succeed . There were no self-
gave the appearance of not doing fulfilling prophecy.
so. They preferred to rely on
their on effort rather than
accepting the teachers negative
stereotype of them.
negative labels…read more

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