Ethnic differences in Achievement


Cultural Deprivation

Intellectual/ language skills: low-income black families lack intellectual stimulation. Engelmann- language is disjointed, meaning childen cannot express ideas, hindering achievment 

Attitudes and family structure:

  • Fatalism/ immidiate gratification
  • Lack of male roke model = anti-school macho gang culture
  • Asian families: 'asian work ethic' - Sewell

Compensatiry education: Sure start (pre-school children in deprived areas) - victim blaming  - cultural exclusion: minorities dont know how to work the education system, so not deprived, just excluded

1 of 4

Material deprivation

  • Half of ethnic minority children live in low-income households 
  • almost 2x as likely to be unemployed
  • discrimination in housing market

1. Racial discrimination in jobs and housing 

2. Social exclusion

3. Unemployment 

4. Inadequate housing 

5. Effects childrens education

2 of 4

School factors

Labelling: interactionist focus on interaction and impact of labelling 

  • Black pupils: teachers had racialised expectations of pupils, expected more disciplenary actions as they assumed they were violent. High levels of exclusions for boys, andf placed in lower streams 
  • Asian pupils: teachers stereotype and treat differently. They assumed they would have poor language so spoke simplistically, mispronounced names and saw them as a problem they could ignore

Pupil Subcultures: reaction to labelling

  • Conformist
  • Innovators 
  • Retreatists 
  • Rebels 
3 of 4


Instutional Racism: not just racist labelling that effects achievemtn, but the way institutions operate is built to oppose non-white cultures.

Critical Race Theory: sees insituttoinal racism as deeply rooted in features of the education system

The Etnocentric Curriculum:

David- argues the curriculum is specifically british and teaches the values and religion of the 'host' culture (western). However the effect of this is not known as Asian culture is not taught yet chinease and indian pupils achieve higher than average. 

4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Education resources »