• 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 A and elsewhere, assess the view that working-class underachievement in education is the result of home circumstances and family background

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

AS Sociology Essay Douglas is one sociologist in particular who would tend to agree with the generalisation that working-class underachievement in education is the result of home circumstances and family background. Douglas feels that this educational underachievement is maintained due to what he classifies as 'poor' parental attitudes and encouragement towards the education system and its functions. He use's evidence of poor parental interest with regards to lack of attendance at parent teacher meetings and other functions held by the school which would be in the best interests of the children if their parents attended. He highlights the fact that parents of working-class students have poor rates of attendance at these meetings and thus it comes across as if they are less interested in their child's educational experiences and opportunities compared to a middle-class child's parents who do attend. However some would say that Douglas' view is rather controversial in that he fails to recognise that many of these parents could be at work when these meetings are scheduled or perhaps they are looking after children and are unable to find or afford someone to look after them. So can we really say that working class underachievement is a result of home circumstances and family background as sociologists such as Douglas suggest? Newson and Newson would also agree with the statement that working-class underachievement in education is the result of home circumstances and family background. ...read more.

Middle

The feminist sociologist Melanie Philips would also agree with this statement. She states that modern family life in Britain is characterised by a rapidly increasing number of broken families in which effective socialisation has been disrupted and disordered. She is in the opinion that inadequate parenting among one parent, reconstituted families and cohabiting couples. She points out that working-class families have high levels of these broken families and thus their underachievement is caused by the family disruption and disorder. While Philips makes a valid point she fails to take into consideration the fact that many children strive and work hard at school despite being part of these family structures. So is it correct to say that working-class underachievement is caused by home circumstances and family background? Bernstein focuses on the concept of cultural deprivation and how this has been an influential factor on educational achievement. Bernstein points out that working-class children are linguistically deprived due to the fact that they use a restricted code in contrast to middle-class children who use a more elaborated one. He feels that this places them at an advantage as they are able to meet the demands of what teachers and examinations ask of them as they understand what is being requested. Working-class students on the other hand find this difficult as they have been brought up with linguistic deprivation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lack of quiet place to study, healthy diet etc contribute to absenteeism and results in them underachieving. Halsey also points out that money becomes a barrier for working-class students from continuing in education despite having similar intelligence to middle-class children. If this is the case then we are nearly inclined to feel that home circumstances and family background is a reason for working-class underachievement. In consideration of the points outlined I feel that while cultural capital, cultural deprivation and material deprivation have contributed to educational underachievement they are not the only reasons why working-class students are doing poorly in school. Internal factors which interactionists point out such as streaming, labelling, self-fulfilling prophecy and deciding what constitutes as the 'ideal pupil' have all greatly hindered how working-class students perceive school and how they act as a result. While indeed students may witness domestic violence or be a victim of child abuse within a working-class home or have lack of money or material this may not necessarily be the case for all working-class children. They may find the negative stereotypical nature of school and the view the teacher places upon them as greatly affecting their academic performance and thus they do poorly in school and are classified as underachieving. I personally feel that such factors which occur internally in schools are as much to blame for working-class underachievement as home circumstances and family life. These internal factors can have a profound affect on students and their educational achievement rather their home situations. ?? ?? ?? ?? Declan Magennis 13/32 Sociology Essay ...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. Peer reviewed

    Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the contribution of religion to social ...

    3 star(s)

    Worsey studied Cargo cults in Melanesia. He argued that cults included elements of Christianity such as ideas of a heaven where the righteous would be rewarded. The cult members were deprived as their cargo was being given to white people.

  2. Evaluate sociological explanations for working class underachievement.

    The cultural deprivation supposition projects a number of ideas explaining working class underachievement but this theory has been criticised. Firstly the fact that some working class children do well defies all of the explanations. Also it is complicated to measure attitudes and values so it can not be known that all working class parents lack interest.

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

    This shows that a factor contributing to under achievement in education for ethnic minorities is the attitudes of the staff within the school. Gillborn [1990] also found that teachers negatively label black students. Afro Caribbean students were seem as a challenge to the school authority.

  2. Assess the view that the underachievement of some ethnic minority pupils is the result ...

    Jenson and Eysenck support this viewpoint. They both argue that blacks have genetically inherited levels of intelligence, which are lower than those of white people. However environmental factors are also influential, for example blacks tend to live in poverty, which may lead to unemployment, racism and discrimination.

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

    found whilst researching the matter, and what are the factors we feel to be the most important, valid or most intriguing. I have decided against doing a pilot study as in my opinion with an unstructured interview the length and context of each interview will be very different.

  2. Outline and assess the impact of the 1988 Education Reform Act

    Eton, which would be the ?gateway? to success as they would more and greater connections in the real world. In comparison, to the working class who would look to place their child in a local and free public school which would cost them little for their child to have an adequate education.

  1. Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the extent to which material deprivation ...

    Other issues caused by material deprivation are things such as not having space to study or poor living conditions which will affect the advantage a child has on their education, because a lack of peaceful places to study will in turn affect the quality at which a child can study, because they will more than likely become distracted.

  2. Assess the usefulness of an Interactionists perspective on education.

    Rosenthal predicted that if teachers were given information about certain students having higher IQ?s than others then the teacher might act in a way, which may positively affect and encourage the student?s success. Two other researchers Feldman and Prohaska decided to reverse this study in 1979.

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