Assess Sociological Explanations Of The Relationship Between Ethnicity And Educational Performance In Britain

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Josh Holt-Flusk

Assess Sociological Explanations Of The Relationship Between Ethnicity And Educational Performance In Britain

The term ethnicity refers to the culture of a group of people. The achievement level of different ethnic groups varies greatly in Great Britain. This may be due to factors such as home background, class, language, in-school factors and racism. It is believed that the ethnicity influences these factors which then leads on to an impact in their education. "

Statistics collected by the government in 2003 show that 64% of Indian’s and 51% of White students gain 5 or more A-C GCSE qualifications in comparison with only 45% of Bangladeshi students, 40% of Pakistani students and 37% of Afro Caribbean Black students. There are many explanations for these differences in achievement that are going to be examined.

One explanation for under-achievement in Pakistani and Bangladeshi children, is the cultural deprivation theory. This refers to how the culture of Pakistani and Bangladeshi children can have an affect on their education, leading to deprivation of some sort. For example, their culture has a large emphasis on the Muslim religion, which stresses the importance of the teachings of Islamic values over academic education. In addition to this it is believed that women’s traditional roles, still largely exist in their culture, and so they are held back from education. Also related to culture is language, which is not primarily English in most Bangladeshi and Pakistani families. This results in the children being disadvantaged from a young age when they start school, with a poor grasp of English. However the problems with this theory is that it is a very stereotypical view of Bangladeshi and Pakistani families and does not take into consideration that Asian culture does value education highly.

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The cultural deprivation theory is also offered as an explanation for the low success rate of Afro-Caribbean’s. They believe that at a young age, Afro-Caribbean children are deprived of toys, and lack communication, which later leads on to disruptive behaviour at an older age and lack of motivation at school. However, there is no evidence to suggest that Afro-Caribbean parents lack care and understanding for their children at a young age, so this explanation cannot account on its own for the low achievement of Afro-Caribbean’s.

 Linked to the cultural deprivation theory, is the affect of backgrounds, which is to some ...

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