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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Discuss the relationship between social class and educational achievement.

    of the working class children, i.e., the school is a middle class favoured institution. Working class children are filtered out of the education system at the school leaving age through failure in examinations and self-elimination. Douglas saw parental interest as the single most important factor affecting pupil progress.

  2. Outline some of the ways in which material deprivation may affect educational achievement

    2003 found that the cost of items such as transport, uniform, books, computers, calculators and sports, music and art equipment, places a heavy burden on poor families. As a result poor children may have to make do with hand-me-downs and cheaper but unfashionable equipment and this may result in being stigmatised or bullied by peers.

  1. How Does Social Class Affect Educational Attainment?

    This is achieved by promoting the 'dominant culture´┐Ż of the ruling classes in the classroom through use of language, ensuring that working class students will be less likely to understand and be understood. This disadvantages working class students, and by creating educational success and failure, this means that the position of both those at the bottom and top doesn't change.

  2. Comparisions of Emma and Clueless Conventions - Social Contexts

    partners should be 'matched' according to social rank - a suitable match Eg Harriet with Robert Martin Emma and Mr K Breaking social understanding of politeness can be seen as reducing level of acceptance Eg.

  1. Is working class underachievement better explained by factors inside or outside the school?

    They are actively seeking their own sub-culture. They often understand that they are unlikely to be upwardly, socially mobile and show an appreciation of the limitations of a strategy of pursuing individual achievement for improving their own lives. On the other hand they have no overall picture of how capitalism wants to exploit them.

  2. Assess the view that schools and what takes place within them are the main ...

    Working class pupils are seen as more disruptive and put in the bottom sets. However Paul Willis stated that pupils could reject this label. Also the hidden curriculum, anti school, subcultures and the quality of school can affect how well pupils achieve.

  1. Gender Capital ? - Bourdieu and Gender Inequality

    or material, and demands an '...endless effort at institution...which is necessary in order to produce and reproduce lasting, useful relationships that can secure material or symbolic profits' (Bourdieu, 1986:249). So 'institution rites', such as school re-unions for the Etonians, confer group identity and enable the strengthening of old ties, leading to the continuation and maintenance of 'useful' relationships.

  2. Crime and Social class - Hypothesis - 'There is a relationship between social ...

    The media reinforce these values through advertising, game shows, and even Hollywood movies based on the lives of the super rich. In such a society, people will try to obtain these values through any means including illegal means. Many laws protect individual properties so working class people, who are trying

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