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Cultural Deprivation.
Cultural Deprivation Theory views the
underachievement of some ethnic groups as
the result of poor socialisation in the home.
This view has three main aspects:
Intellectual and Linguistic Skills.
Attitudes and Values
Family Structure…read more

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Intellectual and Linguistic Skills.
Lack of these skills are a major cause of under-achievement for many
minority children
Many children from low income black families lack intellectual
motivation and enriching experiences. This leaves them poorly
equipped for school
Engelmann and Bereiter consider the language used by low income
black American families as inadequate for educational success
Additionally, Gordon Bowker (1968) identifies their lack of English as a
big obstacle to progress in education and integration into wider society
There has also been concern that children who do not speak English
at home may be held back educationally
However, the Swann Report (1985) found language was not a major
factor in under-achievement…read more

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Attitudes and Values.
Cultural deprivation theorists also view a lack of motivation as a major
influence on the failure of many black children
Other children are socialised into the mainstream culture which instils
ambition, competitiveness and eagerness to make the sacrifices
required to achieve long term goals which equips them for success
By contrast, theorists state that some black children are socialised into
a subculture that instils a fatalistic, "live for today" attitude that does
not value education and leaves them unequipped for success…read more

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Family Structures.
Deprivation theorists argue that this failure to socialise children
properly is the consequence of a dysfunctional family structure
Daniel Moynihan (1965) argues that because many black families are
headed by a lone mother, their children are deprived of adequate care
because she has to struggle financially in the absence of a male
Other sociologists agree, such as New Right thinkers (most notably
Charles Murray) and Ken Pryce (1979)
Pryce stated that from a comparison of black and Asian pupils, that
Asians achieve higher because their culture is more resistant to racism
and gives them a greater sense of self worth however black Caribbean
culture is less cohesive and less resistant to racism which leads to
them under-achieving…read more

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Criticisms of Cultural Deprivation.
Geoffrey Driver (1977) criticises cultural deprivation theory for ignoring
the positive affects of ethnicity on achievement. He shows that the
black Caribbean family is far from being dysfunctional and provides
girls with positive role models of strong independent women
Errol Lawrence (1982) challenges Pryce's view that black pupils fail
because their culture is weak and they lack self esteem. He argues
that black pupils under-achieve not because of low self esteem, but
because of racism
Keddie sees cultural deprivation as a victim blaming explanation. She
states that ethnic minority children are culturally different, not culturally
deprived. They under-achieve because schools are ethnocentric-
biased in favour of white cultures…read more

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