Internal Factors of class achievement

  • Created by: Mpow01
  • Created on: 05-02-19 20:41


Howard Becker - 60 Chicago teachers, he found they judged pupils depending on how closely they fitted ideal student 

Hempel Jorgensen - Aspen primary school, largely working class, staff said discipline was a major problem, the ideal pupil was defined as quiet and obedient. Rowan Primary school had very few discipline problems, it was mainly middle class, and here the ideal pupil was defined in terms of personality and academic ability rather than being a non misbehaving pupil.

1 of 19

Labelling in Secondary schools

Dunne and Gazeley - Teachers normalised the underachievement of working-class pupils, they felt they were a lost cause so they didn't bother encouraging them to learn.

This was because they labelled the working class as uninterested and unmotivated in educational achievement whereas they would set middle-class extension work

2 of 19

Labelling in Primary Schools

Ray Rist - Teacher who decided were fast learners labelled them tigers and seated them near the teacher to show support and encouragement

The other two groups were cardinals and clowns which she would seat further away. They were given lower level books and were ignored.

3 of 19

Self fulfilling Prophecy

A prediction that comes true simply by the virtue of it being made

Rosenthal and Jacobson - They told the school that they had an IQ test. The teachers believed what they had been told. Random pupils were selected as spurters. Teachers treated these pupils better as they accepted label attached to the score and felt they were most likely to succeed

4 of 19


Separating children into different abilities 

Working class pupils are placed in lower streams and get the message that they have no chance of success therefore SFP.

5 of 19

Streaming and the A - C economy

Gillbourn and Youdell - teachers are less likely to see working-class, black people as having the ability so they are placed in lower streams.

To achieve good league table positions school needs to get as many students with 5 A*-C grades as possible.

So teachers focus on the C/D students to give them extra help to improve league table position

6 of 19

Educational triage

Sorting students between 

those who will pass anyway

Those who achieve C/D grade (targeted for extra help)

Hopeless cases (lowest stream working class pupils) teachers don't bother with these

7 of 19

Pupil Subcultures

Lacey's definition of differentiation and polarisation explain how subcultures develop.

Differentiation - Those who are deemed more able are given higher status and those who are less able are given low status

Polarisation - How pupils respond to streaming by moving one of two opposite extremes e.g. pro-school or anti-school subculture

8 of 19

Pro School Subculture

Pupils placed in high streams who are committed to schools values

9 of 19

Anti School Subcultures

Those placed in low streams and schools undermine their self worth placing them in a position of inferior status

The label of failure encourages them to pursue other ways of status gain this involves rebellion of schools values.

These casues pupils within this subculture to remain failing at education as their attitudes change

10 of 19

Aboloishing Streaming

Ball - WHen streaming was abolished, subcultures were largely removed and anti-school subculture was removed.

But differentiation continued and teachers still labelled students according to their social class

11 of 19

Pupil Responses to labelling

Labelling and streaming

Ingratiation - Being the teacher's pet

Ritualism - Going through motions to stay out of trouble

Retreatism - Daydreaming and mucking about

Rebellion - outright rejection of everything the school stands for

12 of 19

Criticisms of labelling

It is deterministic, pupils do not have to accept the label and fulfil it

Marxists say it ignores powers of wider structures and say it doesn't explain why teachers label

13 of 19


Refers to the taken for granted ways of thinking and acting within a social class.

It includes tastes, preferences, outlook on life

The middle class have the power to impose their habitus as superior and enforce it in the education system as a result middle class thrive in schools 

14 of 19

Symbolic capital and symbolic violence Archer

By defining working class' lifestyles as inferior it causes 'symbolic violence' and keeps working class in their place

This results in a clash between the middle class and working class and working class feel alienated

Archer said working class would have to lose themselves to be educationally successful i.e. talk posh

15 of 19

Nike Identities Archer

Wearing the right appearance earnt symbolic capital and approval from peer groups.

However, it led to conflict in schools dress code as Nike was not middle-class clothing.

Archer argues the school's middle-class habitus stigmatises working class pupils identities. Seen from the school's point of view as failures but to young people, it gives them self worth and recognition

Nike identities play a part in pupils rejection of higher education as they see it as unrealistic (not for people like us but for the rich and posh.) It is also undesirable because it does not suit their preferred habitus e.g. Student loan means they can't afford street style

16 of 19

Working class identity and educational success

Ingram - Two groups of Catholic boys one clever one not clever from the same deprived neighbourhood

Clever went to grammar school the others went to local secondary school

Working class communities required people to fit into their habitus' which was now challenging for the grammar school clever boys.

In the end the clever boys ditched their working-class habitus' and joined middle class because they were seen as worthless by the school and their peers

17 of 19

Class Identity and Self-exclusion

Evans - a group of girls from south London reluctant to apply for Oxbridge because they knew they wouldn't fit in

She also found that girls had a strong attachment to locality which narrowed the options of working-class pupils to not elite universities

18 of 19

Relationship between Internal and External factors

The restricted code causes pupils to be labelled and SFP

Poverty leads to bullying and stigmatisation 

19 of 19


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Education resources »