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Assess the view that working class underachievement in education is down to home circumstances and family background.

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Introduction

Asses the view that the work classes underachievement in education is down to home circumstances and family back ground. Yes arguably, the working classes? underachievement in education is down to home circumstances and family back ground, as mentioned in item A, students underachieve because ?they are disadvantaged by their early experiences?. This is clearly referring to their home circumstances. However the item ignores educational factors which ultimately lead to a working class child?s underachievement. The item refers to how a working class students are not being taught how to speak properly by their parents, which affects how well they do at school. Sociologist Basil Bernstein argued that the underachievement amongst the working class was down to the fact that students from a working class background are primary socialised in a restricted language code. A restricted language code is where the sentence structure of how a person speaks is not very clear, this can be because of the use of colloquialism or just missing out words. Now many teachers talk in an elaborate language code. This can be a problem for those who speak in a restricted language code for numerous reasons. ...read more.

Middle

Sociologist, Herbert Hyman takes the view that the values and beliefs of lower class subculture are a self-imposed barriers to education and career success. the lower class believe that they have less opportunities for individual achievement and place little value on achieving high status jobs so they see no point in education. They are less willing to make sacrifices involved in staying on at school and leave early to take manual work. Marxist, Pierre Bourdieu, argued that the working class were at a disadvantage to the middle class because their parents lacked economic capital. A parent?s economic capital has a huge impact on their child?s educational success. Working class parents will not be able to afford extra tuition, expensive iPad or even a big enough house to provide space to study. Therefore one of the reason working class students underachieve is because of a lack of material resources in the home. David Ball (1980) refers to this as the cost of "free schooling". A study by Emily Tanner et al (2003) found that the cost of items such as transport uniform books computers calculators and sports and music and art equipment place a heavy burden on poor families ...read more.

Conclusion

Gillbourn and Youdell would agree that educational factors are more significant than home factor when it comes to determining a student?s success. They argued that a student?s ability is socially constructed by teachers. Teachers hold certain opinions and judgements about a student?s intelligence based on certain indications such as how students dress, how they speak and how they behave. Furthermore Howard Becker argued that it?s this labelling by teachers that creates the self- fulfilling prophesy, which is where a teacher labels a student is a negative way, for instance the teacher may believe a certain student will never succeed, which that student will eventually pick up on and through that students actions or lack of action, they causes that original label to become true. In conclusion, clearly home factor have a huge influence on whether or not a child with be success whilst in education, however it appears that working class students are put at a natural disadvantage for example J.W.B Douglas found that working class children scored lower at tests of ability than middle class student. He believed this was down to that working class children were less likely to have the support from their parents in their intellectual development through reading to them, etc. ...read more.

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