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Assess the argument that social class difference in educational attainment are the result of processes within school

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´╗┐Assess the argument that social class difference in educational attainment are the result of processes within school Failure and success in life depends on one?s motivation and capability. This applies to education as well. Besides aptitude and determination, sociologists discovered that social class affects one?s educational achievement as well. Internal and external factors of differential educational attainment can be explained due to class culture, resources and the society. An internal factor that affects the academic results of pupils is the labeling theory. The labeling theory was first found by Durkheim in the 1960s; he discovered that crime is an act that infuriates the society and labeling fulfills the society?s demand to control one?s behavior. Becker later on applied that theory to education; he believed that teachers judge pupils by characteristics such as gender, appearance and class rather than intelligence and effort. ...read more.


He performed an experiment with 3 groups of students, each group with a different level of ability and backgrounds. All students were eager to learn. However, due to the different expectations and attitudes of the teacher, one group did well while the two other groups failed. This clearly shows that the teacher?s attitude towards the pupils are important and may affect their educational success. An external factor that influences pupils? educational attainment is material deprivation. Material deprivation is the lack of money in one?s life that leads to disadvantages such as substandard housing, an unhealthy diet and attending state schools. This made a huge influence on the pupils? academic results. In 1995, Smith and Noble formed a list of barriers that has an influence on the pupil because of insufficiency of money, preventing them from achieving their best. When a pupil?s guardian is unable to pay for school expenses, it often leads to isolation and oppression from other pupils. ...read more.


It is easier for middle class children to understand, interact and communicate in school rather than working class children since schools are mostly middle class establishments. This may lead to a higher chance of failure for the children in working class. According to Alice Sullivan?s survey research on Bourdieu?s theory of cultural capital in 2001, success seemed to occur more for those that read complicated novels and watched educational shows or documentaries. Overall, I believe that the external factors are more influential than the internal factors to the success of the pupils because effort may be useless when one lacks the resources and the benefits of the middle and upper class. From the theories and researches sociologists have done over the past decades, it appears that even if one has the motivation to study and do well, it?s not as common for them to succeed without the help of money, resources and culture from their family in the right social class. In conclusion, I believe that for one to succeed in life, one must have the right instructions, motivation and connections. ...read more.

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