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

Using material from Item 1B and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of ethnic differences in educational achievement

Extracts from this document...


Using material from Item 1B and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of ethnic differences in educational achievement Sociological research has challenged the view that ethnic differences in achievement reflect innate differences of intelligence and ability; this has become a view that very few sociologists now put forward. Ethnicity refers to the shared cultural traditions and history, which are distinct from other groups in society. The level of achievement of different ethnic groups varies greatly in Great Britain. This may be due to factors such as home background, class, language and in-school factors. Recent studies highlight the effects of racism. It is believed that ethnicity influences such factors, leading to an impact upon their education. This essay will assess sociological explanations of ethnic differences in educational achievement, using research from sociologists such as Modood et all, Gillborn, Mirza and Wright. Modood et all [1997] produced the Policy Studies Institutes fourth survey of ethnic minorities in Britain. He found figures on the higher and lower levels of achievement from different ethnic groups. The survey found that Chinese, African Asians and Indian groups were more qualified than whites, it was also found that Afro-Caribbean women were more likely to have A-levels than white women. Ethnic minorities were more likely than white pupils to continue into further education. On the other hand, Bangladeshi and Pakistani women were least well qualified. ...read more.


Mac an Ghaill [1992] also studied ethnic minority groups and found that all of the students have experienced problems in education due to racism, but they had generally succeeded in dealing with these by using different survival strategies such as avoiding teachers who had a reputation for being racist, whilst making an effort to build positive relationships with others. This supports Mirza's theory that an explanation for under achievement from ethnic minorities is due to difficulties within school. Wright found that primary teachers were ethnocentric, and disregarded Asian customs and assumed Asian children had language problems. Meanwhile, they previewed Afro Caribbean children as disruptive and a potential threat. Evidence of discrimination is given in the Commission for Racial Equality's study of Jayleigh Comprehensive. This research found that Asian pupils were put in lower sets because of assumptions made about their abilities. Similarly, Paul Connolly (1998) also carried out a study of primary school and found that black and white boys saw Asian boys as effeminate, by bulling and exclusion from boy games. Teachers shared views and saw them as needing protection. These findings show that again, supporting previous arguments, it is the staffing and attitudes which have a strong influence in the success of ethnic minorities. The national curriculum is also a key factor in educational achievement among different ethnic groups. Troyna and Williams (1986) ...read more.


So, this explanation cannot be generalised to the category "Asian" as not all Asian ethnic groups perform well. Social class also has an impact on educational achievement of children, and this too is linked to ethnicity. A point that reflects this is that Afro-Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi pupils are mostly made up of working class families, which are much more economically deprived than White and Indian families. This can lead to deprivation of school resources and also limits the type of school that children can attend. This again shows that material factors can heavily influence students, however, class is not always directly related to ethnicity. Although there is no clear and direct link of ethnicity to educational achievement, there are many factors which when grouped together can have an affect on educational success. It is clear that assumptions from teachers can have a heavy influence on students of different ethnic groups, and it is whether they are able to resist these or not as to how successful they are. However, students may also be held back materially, and factors from their background and class may also affect their success in the education system. Evidence does however seem to suggest that the major factor for underachievement of ethnic minorities comes from in school factors such as labelling and racism. Other factors may also need to be considered such as gender and class. Evidence of this is Afro-Caribbean girls perform well in comparison to Afro-Caribbean boys, indicating that gender also has an influence on educational achievement. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

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

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

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

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and assess Functionalist explanations of the role of the education system.

    4 star(s)

    It can be observed that UCAS acts as a selector when allocating university places and the diversity in degree schemes reflects the diversity in the employment arena. Nevertheless, the perspective seems to ignore the degree of choice of individuals, and could be interpreted as being overly deterministic.

  2. Assess the reasons for gender differences in Educational Achievement

    themselves to the same level as the rest of the class, the males don't feel they need to, and therefore won't work as hard as the females, which may react in them doing badly or not reaching their full potential.

  1. Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that working-class underachievement in ...

    moreover have high levels of double jobs in order to be able to support their family. Many of them are also not welfare dependant and either work or take care of the children at home. So is it fair to say for Murray and Marsland to say that they are inadequately preparing children for education?

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

    for this I will need to know what the respondent believes to be the reasons for underachievement and why they feel that way. The respondent's opinions are of the highest importance to me. These are also the reasons why I wanted a free flowing type of interview, so I start

  1. Outline and assess sociological explanations for class inequality.

    is better understood as a status group who receive a similar amount of prestige in society. He stated that ascribed status has declined in modern times to be replaced by achieved status. Whereas Marx said that status came from your class, Weber contradicts and said that it could be the

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

    For example Hans Eysenck (1971) suggests 'what children take out of schools is proportional to what they bring into the schools in terms of IQ'. Therefore it could be argued that educational differences largely result from class differences in genetically based IQ.

  1. Assess the claim that ethnic differences in educational achievement are primarily the result of ...

    An example of this is Moynihan (1965) who argues that many black families are lone parent and the main role model is a mother, and the children become deprived of adequate care because she struggles financially being a single parent.

  2. Assess the sociological explanations for ethnic differences in educational achievement.

    However, as shown by Moon and Ivin?s telephone survey, B and P parents lack the cultural capital to be able to assist their children with their homework and may be less familiar with school processes and organisation. Whereas in contrast, I and C parents will be able to use their

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