Ethnic differences (External and internal factors)

  • Created by: sara..
  • Created on: 14-04-19 18:25

External factors-Cultural Deprivation

1) Cultural deprivation-Underacheivement of some ethnic groups result of inadequate socialisation in the home.

Intellectual and linguistic skills:

  • This is a major cause of underachievement as Low income black families lack intellectual stimulation and enriching experiences. The language spoken is also seen as ungrammatical and inadequate for educational success.Children who do not speak English at home are also seen at a disadvantage but this is not always true as Indian pupils often do better than English pupils despite not speaking English at home.

Atittudes and values:

  • Some black children are socialised into a subculture that instils a fatalistic live for today attitude that does not value education leaving them unequipped for success.
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External factors-Cultural deprivation

Family structure and parental support:

  • Moynihan argues that because many black families are headed by a lone parent mother,the children are deprived of adequate care because the mother has to strugglw financially in absence of a male breadwinner.
  • The New Right  argues that a high rate of lone parenthood and a lack of  positive male role models leads to underachievement as boys are deprived of role models of male achievement.Seen as a cycle come from dysfunctional families,fail at school,become dysfunctional parents.
  • Pyrce argues that black caribbean culture is less resistant to racism so many have low self-esteem due to the black culture and their experience of slavery.

Sewell:Fathers,gangs and culture:

  • Sees problem of as lack of fatherly nurturing or tough love making it hard for black boys to overcome emotional and behavioural difficulties of adolescence.Many become subject to powerful anti educational peer pressure e.g. gangs.
  • Criticisms is that its institutional racism that systematically produces failure in black boys
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External factors-Cultural Deprivation

Asian families:

  • Inidan and chinese benefit from supportive families that place high value on education,adult authority is similar to what opeartes in school and parents are more supportive of schools so Asian children can fit in better and know that respectful behaviour towards adults is an expectation.

White working class families:

  • White working class are also subject to underachievement and may be the lack of parental support,street culture can be brutal so young people learn to withstand intimidation and intimidate others,power games are also played bringing disruption,making it hard to succeed.

Compensatory education:

  • To tackle Cultural deprivation, e.g. operation head start was to compensate children for the cultural deficit they are said to suffer because of deprived backgrounds.
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External factors-Cultural Deprivation

Criticisms of Cultural deprivation:

  • Ignores the positive effects of ethnicity,black caribbean girls having positive independent women as role models,black people underachieve because of racism,not low self esteem.Ethnic minority are culturally different not deprived, under achieve because schools are ethnocentric(belief that one's ethnic group is superior to another)
  • Reject compensatory education prefer, multicultural education-values minority and includes them in curriculum,anti-racist education-challenges prejudice and discrimination
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External factors-Material deprivation

Material deprivation-lack of basic necessities such as adequate diet,housing,clothing,or the money to buy these things and class-ethnic minorites are more likely to face these problems.

  • Almost half of ethnic minority children live in low income households.
  • Twice as likely to be unemployed.
  • Three times more likely to be homeless
  • Earn less money

More likely to be subject to material deprivation because...

  • Live in economically depressed areas,high unemployment low wages
  • tradition prevent women working outside their home
  • Lack of language skills and forein qualifications not recognised by uk employers
  • Asylum seekers may not take work
  • Racial discrimination in labour and housing market
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External factors-Material deprivation

Class over ethnicity:

  • Indian and chinese students who are materially deprived still do better,suggesting material deprivation and social class do not completely override influence of ethnicity

Racism in wider society:(separate from material deprivation)

Racial discrimination leads to social exclusion and worsens the poverty,e.g. in housing and employment.

  • Rex shows how racial discrimination leads social exclusion and how this worsens the poverty faced by ethnic minorities.In housing minorities are more likely to be forced into substandard accomodation than white people.
  • In employment there is also evidence of discrimination.A study sent 3 similar job applications from fictious applicants using names from different ethnic groups.Only 1 in 16 ethnic minority applicants were offered an interview as against 1 in 9 white applicants.This helps to explain why ethnic minoirites are more likely to face unemployment and low pay which has a negative effect on their children's educational prospects
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Internal factors-Labelling and teacher racism

Labelling and teacher racism-Teachers often see black pupils as being disruptive and asians as passive with negative labels often leading teachers to treat ethnic minority pupils differently and disadvantages them to educational failure.

  • Gilbourn and Youdell found that teachers were quicker to discipline black pupils than others due to their racialised expectations.Teachers expected black pupils to present more discipline problems and when teachers acted on this misperception the pupils responded negatively saying the teachers were picking on them
  • This may explain the higher levels of black pupils being excluded from school with this affecting achievement as only 1 in 5 excluded pupils achieves 5 GCSEs.
  • Wright says that teacher labelling has also affected asians too as teachers assumed they would have a poor grasp of English so left them out of class discussions leading them to feel marginalised as teachers expressed a misundderstanding to their culute and way of life.
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Internal factors-Pupil identities

Archer describes how the teacher's dominant discourse constructs three different pupil identities:

1)Ideal pupil identity-  A white,middle class,normal sexuality who is seen as achieving in the right way through natural ability

2)Pathologised pupil identity- An asian,feminised identity,asexual or oppressed sexuality,succeeds through hard work

3)Demonised pupil identity- black or white working class,hyper sexualised identity who is seen as unintelligent,culturally deprived and an under achiever.

Chinese pupils

even minorities who succeed can be pathologised,seen to achieve success through passive conformism rather than natural ability so they can never occupy the identity of the ideal pupil.

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Internal factors-Pupil responses and subcultures

Pupil responses and subcultures-pupils can respond differently to racism and negatively labelling such as refusing to accept this label and decide to prove it wrong.

  • Fuller- studied a group of balck girls in London who were untypical as they were high achievers.Instead of accepting the negative stereotypes of themselves,they channeled their anger into educational success by working hard.They don't seek the approval of teachers or limit their friends to acdemic achievers.
  • They only conformed to the school work itself and nothing further.This shows that pupils may succeed even when refusing to conform and negative labelling doesn't always lead to failure.

Mirza;failed strategies:

  • Mirza identifies 3 types of teacher racism which discourages black pupils from being ambitious:
  • The colour blind- teachers who believe all pupils are equal but allow racism to go unchallenged
  • The liberal Chauvinists- teachers who believe black pupils are culturally deprived so have low expectations of them
  • The overt racists- teachers who believe blacks are inferior and discriminate against them.Strategies to overcome this is by asking only certain staff for help, puts disadvantage by restricting opportunities.
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Internal factors-Pupils subcultures

Sewell; Variety of boys responses:

1)Rebels-most visible and influential group,only small minority of black,reject rules and goals of the school and conform to stereotype of anti-school subculture,believe in own superiority

2)Conformists-Largest group,boys are keen to succeed and accept school gaols,avoid being stereotyped by peers and teachers.

3)Retreatists-Tiny minority of isolated individuals who are disconnected from schools and subcultres,despised by rebels

4)Innovators-second largest group,pro education but anti school,value success but do not seek approval.

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Criticisms of labelling and pupil responses

  • Some argue that racism in the way that the education system operates has a bigger effect such as the A to C economy putting black pupils into lower streams so educationally underachieve.
  • Many assume that once labelled negatively pupils automatically become victims of the self fulfilling prophecy but Fuller's study proves otherwise
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Internal factors-institutional racism

  • Individual racism; from prejudice reviews of individual teachers/others.
  • Institutional racism; discrimination that is built into institutions.

Critical race theory:

  • Racism as an ingrained feature of society, involves intentional and insititutional racism.
  • Locked-in inequality- Scale of historical discrimination is so large there no longer needs to be any conscious intent to discriminate, inequality becomes self-perpetuating.

1)Marketisation and segregation:

  • Gives schools more sof a range to select pupils allowing negative stereotypes to influence decisions.Racism in school admissions procedures mean that ethnic minorities are more likely to end up in unpopular schools.
  • There have been:
  • Reports of primary school stereotype minority pupils
  • Racist bias interviews for school places 
  • Lack of info/application forms of minority languages 
  • Parents are often aunaware of how the system works and importance of deadlines
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Internal factors-institutional racism

The ethnocentric curriculum:

  • Gives priority to the culture and viewpoint of one particular ethnic group,builds a racial bias into the everyday workings of schools and colleges
  • Examples of the ethnocentric curriculum include the teaching of only European languages and art.In addition, Ball says the History curriculum promotes an attitude of little Englandism which teaches about the British empire and glory years while ignoring the history of blacks and asians.
  • This can lead to underachievement because the idea of British people bringing civilisation to the primitive people they colonised makes black children feel inferior so have low self esteem 
  • However, even though the curriculum may be ethnocentric Indian and Chinese pupils' achievement is still above the national average and far superior to White British children
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Internal factors-institutional racism


-Only to validate the dominant cultures superiority.

  • Foundation stage profile is based entirely teachers judgments where baseline assessments often use written tests as well.
  • A change in the timing, FSP is completed at end of reception year.

-Both factors increase teachers stereotyping affecting the results.

Assess to opportunities:

  • The gifted and talented programme- created to meet the needs of more able students in inner-city schools, whites are more likely to be identified compared to blacks.
  • Exam tiers- Blacks more likely to be entered into lower tiers as placed in lower tiers and expected less to gain a C at GCSE.
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Internal factors-institutional racism

The new IQism

  • Higher sets are gifted and talented programmes depend on teachers assessment so work heavily against black pupils.Placed in sets not only based on their ability but also disciplinary concerns.
  • Policymakers and teachers make false assumptions about the nature of pupils ability or potential.There is no enuine way to measure this.

Criticisms of New IQism

1) Black boys underachievement- Racism isn't powerful enough to prevent individuals from succeeding and rather more so external factors such as boys anti school subcultures, peer group and lack of father role.

2) Indian and chinese achievement- There is also over achievment by other model minorities-e.g. chinese students.EV- performs ideological function as makes system appear fair and meritocratic, justifies failure of other minorities, ignores model minorities also face racism.

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