AQA A-level Sociology Education Topic 1

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  • Topic 1- external factors in class achievement
    • Cultural deprivation
      • Speech codes Bernstein
        • Elaborated- used by MC. Wider vocabulary, communicate abstract ideas, context free. Often used by teachers and in textbooks
        • Restricted- used by WC. Limited vocabulary, predictable, context bond
      • Parents education Douglas
        • Use of income
          • Young and Bernstein
            • WC home likely to lack such resources
            • MC mothers more likely to buy educational toys, books and activities encouraging reasoning skills
        • Parenting style
          • Highly educated parents will show consistent discipline and high expectations
          • Less educated parents show harsh or inconsistent discipline, resulting in prevention of self-control
      • Working class subculture Sugarman
        • 4 key features
          • Collectivism
            • value being part of a group
          • Present-time orientation
            • present more important than future
          • Immediate gratification
            • seeking gratification now rather making sacrifices
          • Fatalism
            • belief in fate, nothing can be done to change status
        • Compensatory education
          • Aim to tackle cultural deprivation
            • Operation Head Start in USA included improving parenting skills, setting up nursery classes and home visits by educational psychologists
      • Children lacking cultural equipment needed to do well at school
    • Cultural capital
      • Educational and economic capital
        • MC children can attend private schools and receive extra tuition
        • Leech and Campo's: Coventry study showed MC parents more likely to buy house in catchment area of highly placed schools in league tables
      • Culutural capital
        • Knowledge, attitudes, values, language, tastes and abilities of MC
        • WC finds school devalues their culture-lead to exam failure
      • A test of Bourdieu's ideas
        • Sullivan: used questionnaires on 465 pupils in 4 schools, assessing cultural capital. Found those reading complex fiction and watched serious TV documentaries developed wider vocabulary
          • She found greater resources and aspirations of MC families explain remainder gap in achievement
    • Material deprivation
      • Diet and health
        • Howard: young people from poorer homes has lower intakes of energy, vitamins and minerals, weakening their immune system
      • Housing
        • Overcrowding can make it harder for children to revise. Lack of room for educational activities, nowhere to do homework
      • Fear of debt
        • Jackson and Callender: found attitude to debt was important when deciding to go to university for WC students
      • Financial support and costs of education
        • Tanner: found cost of transport, uniforms, books, computers, calculators, sport, music and art equipment, places a heavy burden on poor families
      • refers to poverty and lack of material necessities


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