• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Differential Achievement

Free essay example:

Differential Achievement

  Differential achievement consists of the conjecture that are some social groups that are successful while other social groups under achieve.

This hypothesis can be determined, weighed, judged and selected by a person’s social class, family background, social background, gender, economical background, resources ect, ect.

  One prime example of a way differential achievement can be judged is through social class. Inevitably this is a blatant way to differentiate certain social group. If a person comes from a social class that is receiving a low income society believes that there is a less chance of that person achieving as well in contrast to a person that is from a high income social class.

  Family background is also a way of distinguishing from certain social class. A child who was brought up by a single mother is assumed to not progress as well and becomes as successful as someone who was brought up by two parents.  This can also be seen as an emotional barrier that deprives you from achieving well.   For example, a child who has been brought up by a divorcee e.g. single mother, single father, would have a greater likelihood of suffering from depression, life of crime,  neglect or even poverty/homelessness in comparison to one who was brought up in a happy home that did not undergo a loss of a parent through divorce or even bereavement.

 Social background e.g. ethnic group has also become a form of segregating from people in society that are likely to succeed and from people who will under achieve. One type of labelling is the notion that ‘Asian and Caucasians teenage boys do better in school than African Caribbean teenage boys’ even though this is a wide postulation and assumption sociologist may have used  quantitative and qualitative methods, statistics and observations to endorse there theory. They may have used league tables to compare and contrast the results of different ethnic groups amongst the country. This can also be known as streaming

 Streaming is a form of demarcation. Basically the idea is that those students that the school considers ‘capable’ or ‘skilled’ are place in a higher stream of class, e.g. Suzan may be at the top class in maths while Justin may be in a lower status class for maths. Fundamentally, Streaming categorises students into different class groups and are give a status depending on whether the school believe they are high achievers therefore receive a high status or if the teachers believe that they are low achievers therefore get a low status. Predictably students who are in high streams seem to usually come from either high or middle class family backgrounds. They usually end up being academically successful, steadfast in morals and values of the social institution they are from. They have a propensity to create a pro-school subculture. They usually portrayed as the perfect model of society, that if you work hard you could get to the top (in this case you could gain a higher status through academic success and be placed in a high streams of students and learning). This portrait disagrees with the functionalist views because streaming (one form of differential achievement) portrays that only people that have been put in high streams can be better achievers than those that have not been put in high streams. Lots of Functionalists suppose that every one’s academic achievement rests completely upon that person's IQ. They also believe that society operates in a meritocratic system e.g. society works and operates like a human body, each aspects depends on each other in hopes of surviving; and that people work for what they achieve. While Differential achievement backs up the theory and thoughts brought forward by Marxists, that people from less affluent backgrounds are academically disadvantaged from the beginning.

 Differential achievement theory could also presume that someone who attends a private school in contrast a public city school, or some that receives extra tuition and attends a school that have a great resources and facilities has a greater prospect achieving well in future.

 The sociologist Angela McRobbie acknowledged the subsistence of “Bedroom Culture”. This means girls often condemn of boisterous mentality amongst fellow girls. However on average in education girls are said to do better than boys. One factor to consider while distinguishing between both genders in cases of streaming, and education is that it is said that girls take greater pride in their work compared to boys.

  Primarily in terms of differential achievement, various reasons why middle-class citizens seem to achieve more academically than working class citizens may be because:

  • Enhanced living conditions
  • Cultural capital e.g. more educational resources and extra tuition.
  • Higher level of aspiration
  • The ‘halo-effect from (middle-class) teachers
  • peer pressure from other peers not to se the value of education
  • Higher level of ambition
  • A greater attentiveness of the reimbursement of deferred gratification
  • Solid family background e.g. not from a broken family

  Dissimilarities in levels of educational accomplishment in our civilization can be given in details in terms of three essential categories:

  • Social background differences:

Cultural management

Socialisation

Family administration

Poverty

  • Natural differences in intellect.
  • Educational differences:

Hidden curriculum

Self-fulfilling prophecies

Teacher / peer group labelling

  In conclusion differential achievement claims that because the society different class can verify the result of a child’s education success dynamics like cultural and material depravation can lead to underachievement. This means that the working class children can not become as skilled as working class students because the materials they need are unavailable as they can’t afford them.

Thank you for reading;

Grace Okpaloafe

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

(?)
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Related AS and A Level Sociology Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Is the Underachievement of Ethnic Minority Children due to a Racist School System?

    boys betrayed by racist school system' from my context that shows that covert racism is of the greatest concern in the education system today. I asked my respondent to expand on his views using the experience he has had from working within schools on cases of racial abuse, "We have

  2. Adolescence And Peer Pressure.

    Findings from a study of several hundred teenagers in several communities - a rural area, a poor inner-city neighbourhood with many minority residents, and an upper-middle class suburb - tell us that we cannot draw sweeping conclusions about teenagers as if they were all alike.

  1. Explain the influence of social class and gender on educational achievement

    and because the school system relies on the whole, on middle class teachers, working class children are at a distinct disadvantage as they are not accustomed to the 'elaborated' speech code. Bowles and Gintis (1976) however quash the notion of achievement through merit and intelligence as their study which examines

  2. THE MIDDLE CLASS AS A FIELD OF ETHNOLOGICAL STUDY

    this as it may, as even this brief survey shows we need to do more than take the middle class into account. We need to go further, to consider more precisely how the growth of that class is significant and, indeed, to think more clearly about the concept itself.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work