educational differences in social class

  • Created by: 1234am
  • Created on: 03-01-20 13:33

cultural deprivation (external)

speech codes (Basil Bernstein 1975)

- restricted codes... working class. Limited vocabulary, short, simple sentences.

- elaborated codes... middles class. Longer more complex sentnces.

  • theses differences in speech give middle class children and advantage at school (elaborated codes are used by teachers, textbooks and in exams.)
  • critics argue that Bernetein is a cultural deprivation theorist becuase he describes working class speech as inadequate
  • he argues working class children are culturaly deprived, because teachers fail to teach them elaborated speech.

parents education (Douglas 1964)

His study found that working class parents placed less value on education

  •  parents less ambitious for their children, less encouragment
  • children had lower levels of motivation and achievement
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cultural deprivation (external)

(Leon Fernstein 2008)

Reaches similar conclusions to Douglas. He argues parents education is the most important factor of their childs education.

parenting style

  • educated parents - consistent discipline and high expectations and support.
  • less educated parents - inconisistent, less harsh discipline, preventing childs indpendance.

parents educational behaviour

  • educated parents - more aware, better at establishing relations with teachers

use of income (Bernstein and Yound 1967)

  • middle class mothers are more likely to buy educational resources
  • working class home are more likely to lack resources, children start school without basic skills.
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material deprivation (external)

- poverty and a lack of material necessities.


  • poor housing, affect childrens achievement
  • disturbed sleep, distress, illnes, lack of space for play

diet and health

  • (Marilyn Howard 2001) low intakes of energy, affects health, affects attendance and concentration.
  • (Jo Blanden and Stephen Machin 2007) low income children are more likely to engage in externalising behaviours (fighting), distrupting their education

fear of debt

  • (Callender and Jackson 2005) working class students are debt averse, less likely to go to university because there are chances of debt
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cultural capital (external)

middle class children are more likely to develop intelletual interests and understanding of what education requires for success.

cultural capital is passed down to middle class children through;

  • non-fiction and classic literature
  • classical instruments
  • education vists

3 types of capital;

  • economic - money
  • social - resources based on group memberships, relationships and support
  • cultural - forms of knowledge; skill; education; any advantages a person has giving them a high status in society.
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