Education Unit - Social Class

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There are inequalities in the educational achievements of different classes.
Class differences in achievement can be explained by looking at external factors.
Cultural Deprivation
Cultural deprivation theorists argue that parent's attitudes and values are a key factor in
affecting educational achievement.
Intellectual development
Douglas (1964) found that working-class pupil's score lower on ability test than middle-classes.
Because working-class parents are less likely to support their children's intellectual
By reading with or to them and other educational activities in the home.
Lack of parental interest
Feinstein (1998) working-class parent's lack of interest was the main reason for their children's
under achievements.
Argue that middle-class children are much more successful- parents provide them with the
necessary, motivation, discipline and support.
Cultural deprivation theorists - lack of parental interest in their children's education reflects the
subcultural values of the working-class.
Large sections of the working-class have different goals, beliefs, attitudes and values from the
rest of the world.
This is why their children fail at school.
Values of lower-class
Hyman (1967) argues that the values of lower-class subculture are...
Self-imposed barrier to educational and career success.
Lower class believes that they have fewer opportunities for them to advance themselves.
Little values on achieving high status jobs.
Can see no point in education.
Family structure
Cultural deprivation theorists-failure to socialise children adequately - result of a dysfunctional
family structure.
Moynihan (1965) many black families are headed by a lone mother.
Children are deprived of adequate care - she has to struggle finically- no male breadwinner.
Absence of the father also means that there is no role model of male achievement.
Cultural deprivation is a cycle...
Inadequately socialised children fail and school and become inadequate parents themselves.
Showing an interest

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Douglas (1964) parents showing interest in their children's education most important factor for
educational progress.
Generally middle-class parents show more of an interest than working-class parents.
Criticised by Becca (1971), that educational attainment is a reflection of what happens in the
class room not at home.
Street culture
Evans (2006) street culture in white working-class areas can be brutal
So young people learn how to tolerate intimation and intimidate others.
Make schools become a place where young people engage in street activities.…read more

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The education system plays a major part in producing social class differences in achievement. This
can be can be explained through internal factors.
Labelling and teacher racism
Studies shown that teachers often attach such labels to pupils, regardless of their actual ability
or attitude.
To label some is to attach a definition or meaning to them.
Teachers label pupils on the basis of stereotyped assumptions based on their class background.
Labelling working-class pupils negatively and middle class pupils positively.…read more

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Most schools have a system for placing pupils in teaching groups in terms of their ability.
Each group is taught separately from the others for all subjects.
Studies have shown that the self-fulfilling prophecy are likely to occur when, children are
Hargreaves (1967) and Lacey (1970) looked at the effects of ability grouping in schools.
Tendency for middle-class pupils to be placed in the higher groups, and working-class pupils in
lower groups.…read more


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