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Demonstrate how social class continues to affect the educational attainment of an individual despite living in a so called meritocratic society.

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Introduction

AS Sociology Coursework AIM The aim within this piece of coursework is to demonstrate how social class continues to affect the educational attainment of an individual despite living in a so called meritocratic society. I will be exploring Pierre Bourdieu's concept of 'cultural capital' and Douglas's concept of 'cultural deprivation' to provide explanations for working class underachievement. The reason why I am going to explore this is due to my interest in the differences that occur within educational attainment. It is evident in my community that working class students attain lower than the middle class students. By doing research on this issue I hope to find out what affects the educational attainment of the two classes. (111 words) CONTEXTS AND CONCEPTS From a Marxist perspective Pierre Bourdieu a French sociologist states that there is a dominant culture in society. The higher a person's position in the class system, the greater the amount of dominant culture they are likely to have. From a Marxist perspective, Bourdieu believes that schools are middle class institutions run by and for the middle class and the working class do not have the cultural capital which is the ruling class values and experiences required for the academic success. ...read more.

Middle

Both of these contexts relate to my aim as they show that working class children continue to fail or underachieve, whereas the middle class are succeeding. (409 words) MAIN RESEARCH METHOD AND REASONS The main research method I will use here is a questionnaire. This clearly links to the positivist approach, which will give my work more of a scientific view, because science always seems to provide facts and not opinions and it will also identify clear trends about social class and educational attainment within my sample group and offer possible solutions. Also I chose this method is because I wish to question a large number of individuals from two different schools and this method will be less time consuming and quicker, also because questionnaires are more likely to be more reliable than interviews, where respondents could give socially desirable answers. The method will enable the collection of quantitative data. The quantitative data will make it possible to establish correlations between variables such as class and educational attainment, it will also give more reliable information, because quantitative data is more likely to be accurate whereas qualitative data is harder to categorize and I could put the answers in the wrong category, because I may interpret the answer differently, also quantitative data will enable other sociologists to repeat my research using a similar method and hopefully find similar findings. ...read more.

Conclusion

The individual may have a group of friends or family around him/her and the answers may not be from his/her point of view, this would make my research unreliable and invalid. There may also be limited response because all of the questionnaires may not be returned and therefore I may only have a few responses this will make my research unrepresentative because I may get most of the responses from the middle class or the working class. Another problem is that the individual may not understand the questions clearly; therefore they will not have anyone to ask if they don't understand the language I use in my questions for example 'cultural deprivation' and 'cultural capital'. They may interpret the questions in a way it is not intended and so could lead to answers which are not related entirely to my study. Another problem is that not all Grammar school children are middle class there could be e few working class children and my questionnaire may go in their hands so this will make my research unrepresentative, or it could be the other way round there may be middle class children in state schools. If I give the questionnaires to people I know then I may get socially desirable answers making my data invalid. (310 words) TOTAL WORDCOUNT: 1223 CANDIDATE NUMBER: 7334 CENTER NUMBER: 32441 SAMIA ARSHAD 13AD ...read more.

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