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Assess the Cultural Explanations for Working Class Performance in the Educational System

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Introduction

Assess the Cultural Explanations for Working Class Performance in the Educational System Cultural deprivation is the lack of certain norms, values, attitudes and skills, which are necessary for educational success. The theory states that working class pupils lack the stimulation and encouragement needed for high attainment. It also blames their failing on their background, not on the educational system. It is a known fact that middle class pupils exceed in education and that working class pupils underachieve. This is shown in J.W.B.Douglas's findings. He found that lower working class students only got 37% of good certificated at GCE O'level; where as upper middle class students got 77%. This also links with how many students stay on at school after their fifth year. 50% of lower working class students left after their fifth year; whereas only 10% of upper middle class students left. The key sociologists in this essay are J.W.B.Douglas, Sugarmen and Hyman, and Bernstein. The Marxist theory is called cultural capita theory. ...read more.

Middle

A number of arguments have been advanced to suggest that working class parents are not necessarily less interested in their children's education, just because they go to their children's schools less frequently than middle class. Blackstone and Mortimore (1994) gave these criticisms; one, working class parents have less time to attend school because of demands of their jobs; and two, working class parents may be interested in their child's education but they are put off going to school because of the way teachers interact with them. Hyman argued that the value system f the lower classes was 'a self imposed barrier to an improved position'. Thus, meaning that the working class have created this barrier by being working class, and not doing anything to improve themselves. He used existing research and suggested that the value system of middle and working class people were different. He believe that the working class placed less value on education, they placed less emphasis on achieving occupational status and that they believe that there is less opportunity for personal advancement. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, the restricted code reduced the chances of working class pupils to successfully acquire some of the skills demanded by the educational system. Harold Rosen states that Bernstein's view of social class is vague. Bernstein lumps together all non manual workers into a middle class whose members from top to bottom appear equally proficient in the elaborated code. Also, Rosen accuses Bernstein of creating a myth that the middle class elaborated code is superior in important respects to working class speech patterns. In conclusion, cultural deprivation can, to some extent, be used to explain working class underachievement. If they received the norms, values and skills needed to educational success, they wouldn't underachieve. This comes down to the parents, when socialising their children, to teach them what they need. But this is not always the case, because they are only teaching their children what they know and what has been taught to them. Therefore they cannot provide the skills needed for educational success. However, they could improve their children's success by taking an interest in their education, and by encouraging their children to stay on at school. Thus, them being socially mobile. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Morris 12/8 Sociology Education 1 ...read more.

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