ethnic external factors dea


cultural deprivation

Cultural deprivation:

  • intellectual and lingustic skills
  • attitudes and values
  • family structure and parental support
  • fathers, gangs and culture (Sewell)
  • asian families
  • white WC families
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intellectual and linguistic skills

Low income black families:

  • lack intellectual stimulation leaving children poorly equipped for school
  • unable to solve problems

The language spoken by low income black families is seen as ungrammatical and inadequate for educational success - children who don't speak english at home are at a disadvantage.

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attitudes and values

Lack of motivation is a major cause of failure for many black pupils.

Some black children are socialised into a subculture that instils a fatalistic 'live for today' attitude that does not value education - leaving them unequipped for educational success.

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family structure and parental support

Murray - high rates of lone parents and lack of male role models leads to underachievement.

Moynihan - many black families are headed by lone parents - children are deprived of adequate care - mother struggles finacially in absence of no male bread winner. This becomes a cyle - inadequately socialised children - fail school - become inadequate parents themselves.

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asian families

Indian and Chinese pupils - benefit from an Asian work ethic which places high value on education. 

Lupton - adult authority in Asian families is similar to the authority in school - respectful behaviour from children towards adults is expected, and this has a positive knock on effect at school - they treat teachers with the same respect. 

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white working class families

  • often have lower aspirations and underachieve

Lupton - studied 4 schools with different ethnic mixes - teachers reported poorer levels of discipline in white WC schools - blamed on lower levels of parental support and their negative attitudes.

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criticisms of cultural deprivation

Driver - it ignores the positive effects of ethnicity on achievement - eg. black Carribean families provide girls with positive role models of strong independent women 

Lawerence - black pupils underachieve due to racism, not low self-esteem

Keddie - ethnic minority children are culturally different, not deprived - they underachieve due to the ethnocentric curriculum

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material deprivation


  • almost half of all ethnic minority children live in low income households
  • almost 2x as likely to be unemployed compared to whites

Many live in economically deprived areas - there is high uneployment and low wages.


Cultural traditions prevent women from working outside of the home - they should remain as housewives.


There is racial descrimination in the job market.

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racism in wider society

Wood et al - there is deliberate discrimination in the workplace

For example...

  • 3 similar applications sent using different ethnic names
  • only 1 in 16 ethnic minority applicants were offered an interview
  • 1 in 9 white applicants were

This shows why they are more likely to be unemployed and have low pay. This effects children's educational prospects.

Rex - racial discrimination leads to social exclusion - this worsens poverty for ethnic minorities

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