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Sociological explanations of under achievement.

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Introduction

Sociological explanations of under achievement Maihan Safi SOCIOLOGY L3 Wednesday 10th December 2003 Sociological explanations of under achievement This essay is about some sociological explanations of underachievement in education. There are many different reasons for differential educational achievement, some of these will be explored in this essay many people believe that the differences in achievement is due to the individual's attitude towards working in the school environment, However by comparing different factors in a child's life it can be seen that their attitudes are not the only that can affect how they learn. We are going to have a look at some main sociological theories including functionalists, Marxists, interactionists, black and feminists' views about underachievement of certain groups of people in certain places. According to the evidence and research of Emile Durkhiem one of the founding fathers of sociology and his frame work about education could be argue that "He saw the major function of education as the transmission of society's norms and values" (Harlambos,H 1995), so according to the above evidence we can say that education system benefits society by passing on its culture, norms and values through generations ensuring value consensus and thus social order. The second issue that we are going to focus is their views on underachievement, As the American sociologists Talcott persons argued that "schools operate on meritocratic principles status is achieved on the basis of merit (or worth)" ...read more.

Middle

As about the interactionalists , so they argue that education exist to enable individuals to construct themselves, so if we consider this point then it could be proposed that pupils who underachieve are unable to construct their own personalities, furthermore they believe that self full filling prophecy has a big role in education, it means that everyone has a picture of themselves and this picture comes from the reaction of others to them because if others respond to a person as if he is intelligent or dull then that is the time when he would tend to see himself such the other important issue is labelling "A label is a the major identifying characteristic of a person" (Taylor, P, 1996) if a person is labelled lazy even if he do something clever he would still be judged in terms of his label and others will count that as unusual, which as a result this effect on their educational career. The other effect that they believe is negotiation of the teachers because teachers use a set of tactics in order to get control over classroom such a they can make a demand and then compromise or they can give lots of homework and then reduce it another good example would be their punishment and rewards they give to pupils or they can put a condition such as ' if you do your homework you wont get punishment, teachers ...read more.

Conclusion

have the opportunity to develop friendship with peers and relationships with teacher but unfortunately this is an ideal for a lot of ethnic minority students, for an evidence to support the argument please have a look at the table3 in the appendices page. The theories that I have shown in the assessment are significantly different and we can not judge them as right or wrong because their theories are based on the reasons and the evidence they have or had on a certain time. But one thing could be argued that education exists for the benefit of the society and individuals, as about underachievement in education is hard to know about the main reasons of underachieving certain groups of peoples in particular a particular time. The suggestion of functionalists and interactionists seems to be more fair however if we look at the reports and evidences it is possible to say that there is still a big gap of ethnic minorities underachieving which make us to consider at racism and ethnicity, beside that feminists believes that education is for male however at the present and the last few years we find that boys are more likely to underachieve in the early stages of their education so finally as a result of all the theories we discussed in this essay it could be proposed that self fulfilling prophecy, labelling, racism and social background could effect the situation of underachievement. ...read more.

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