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Explanations of Class Differences
in Educational Attainment
Differential educational attainment refers to the tendency that
some groups do better or worse in academic success. It has
been explained in a number of ways:
Material Deprivation
Cultural Disadvantages
Cultural Capital…read more

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Material Deprivation
Children may feel isolated, Socioeconomically
Low income reduces the disadvantaged children will
bullied and stigmatized due
chances of having a PC with be left at the mercy of badly-
to their inability to afford the
web access, a desk, books, resourced underfunded
material things others can
educational toys, work space schools in their deprived
for school i.e. School uniform
and a heated environment. areas.
etc.…read more

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The govt. has attempted Positive discrimination schemes in order
to level the playing field for socially disadvantaged children.
Offering compensatory education in order to not only ease the WC
schooling experience, but to offer incentive to the poorer students
to do well and attend school passed GCSE with the provision of the
EMA (Educational Maintenance Allowances)…read more

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Cultural Disadvantages
Who makes up the curriculum?
· The education system is mainly set and controlled by the middle class, many of
whom are White.
· They don't represent the demographics of every district in the UK yet they set the
national curriculum for everyone
What makes the system bias?
· Students who share this background and the characteristics will be more likely to
succeed at the standardised tests to assess their abilities.
How are the working classes disadvantaged by this system?
· The bias is now mainly focussed on the differences between spoken language and
written language where WC students are put at a disadvantage as they have the
dual burden of learning English all over again in school as their parents speak a
more broken version of the language.…read more

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Cultural Capital
Cultural capital is a term that is used by Marxists to
highlight the effect of cultural background on
educational success.
Bourdieu and Passeron (1977)
· MC cultural capital material wealth
Ball (1994)
· MC parents the education system with their cultural capital
· Getting their children accepted into the best schools
· Making impressions on Head Teachers
West and Wind (2003)
· Interviews often exclude WC families in favour of MC families. They have
the advantage of conversing with the interviewer about University etc and
can connect with them on a different level
· The Govt. banned such interviews in 2005…read more

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