A-Level Sociology- Class differences in educational achievement

  • Created by: ShonaB
  • Created on: 02-06-18 13:01
What are the main patterns of class differences in educational achievement?
-WC tend to underachieve or achieve less than their MC counterparts. -Children of professional parents are 3 times more likely to achieve 5 A*-C grades at GCSE and 5 times more likely to engage in higher education.
1 of 89
Which two types of factors are considered when observing the reasons for educational underachievement?
Internal Factors & External Factors
2 of 89
What is cultural deprivation theory?
According to cultural deprivation theorists socialisation aims to transmit educational norm, beliefs, values and skills. They claim WC parents FAIL to socialise their children adequately leaving them ILL-EQUIPPED for educational success.
3 of 89
Which 3 types of external cultural factors do cultural deprivation theorists believe MAY contribute to educational underachievement?
Language, Parents Education and the Working-class Subculture
4 of 89
Which two 'speech-codes' did Bernstein (1975) distinguish between?
Restricted (typical of the working-class) and Elaborate (typical of the middle-class)
5 of 89
What are the key features of the restricted speech code?
Less analytical, more descriptive, limited vocabulary, PARTICULARISTIC in that the speaker assumes the listener has shared the same experience and context bound.
6 of 89
What are the key features of the elaborate speech code?
Analytical, wide vocabulary, complex sentences, UNIVERSALISTIC in that the speaker makes the meanings explicit to the listener and context-free.
7 of 89
Describe a situation where a dog is stuck up a tree and a young bystander is upset using the RESTRICTED code
I saw this dog and it was stuck and there was this little boy and he was upset because he was stuck up a tree.
8 of 89
Describe a situation where a dog is stuck up a tree and a young bystander is upset using the ELABORATE code
This afternoon I was taking a walk in the park when I came across the most unusual thing, there was this little white dog stuck on one of the branches of a tree! Next to it stood a young boy, uncontrollably weeping, it was very emotional to watch.
9 of 89
How do the speech codes parents use effect educational achievement?
The education system features a middle-class habbitus, this means that when culturally deprived children attend school they do not posses the language skills required to immerse themselves into the education system.
10 of 89
Which 4 features of parental education give middle-class children an advantage in the education system?
Parenting Style, Parents Educational Behaviours, Language & Use of Income; Bernstein (1975) argued these to be the MOST INFLUENTIAL FACTORS.
11 of 89
How does the parenting style used by middle-class parents differ from that used by working-class parents?
MC parents are more likely to demonstrate consistent discipline, higher expectations and encouragement of active play and exploration- preparing children for education. WC parents are more likely to demonstrate inconsistent discipline.
12 of 89
How do the educational behaviours parents demonstrate give middle-class children an advantage?
MC parents are better aware of the requirements for educational success and better able to access such things. They are also more likely to attend parents evenings which indicates active interest
13 of 89
How does the language used by middle-class parents enhance cognitive ability? Can you give an example?
Cognitive development is enhanced by asking children questions which gives them a better understanding, for example "Should you be climbing on that table? Why not?" rather than "Get off that table! NOW!" Fienstien (2008) found MC parents most likely.
14 of 89
How does the way middle-class parents use their income give their children an advantage?
MC parents are more likely to use their (larger) income to buy resources such as books and trips to the theatre which enhance educational development. In contrast WC parents are more likely to spend it on leisure goods such as games consoles.
15 of 89
What are the key features of a working-class subculture? How might these restrict their educational achievement and how do they differ from MC values?
Immediate Gratification (mc more likely to make sacrifices), Fatalism (mc believehard-work can change a situation), Collectivism (mc individualistic) and Present-time Orientation (mc tend to see the future as more important).
16 of 89
Why does Keddie (1973) criticise cultural deprivation theory?
Cultural deprivation is a myth and a victim-blaming explanation; wc children are NOT culturally deprived but culturally DIFFERENT, therefore it is the education system which puts them at a disadvantage.
17 of 89
On what other grounds has cultural deprivation theory been criticised?
Accused of neglecting important MATERIAL factors (ie Poverty) and INTERNAL factors (ie student labelling). Some critics claim it is the longer/later shifts that prevent WC parents from attending parents evenings, not that they are disinterested.
18 of 89
What is proposed to resolve the disadvantage WC children are put at as a consequence of cultural deprivation?
Compensatory education aims to tackle cultural deprivation by providing extra resources to schools in deprived areas, intervening early to COMPENSATE children who are culturally deprived.
19 of 89
Can you give an example of compensatory education?
SureStart aims to develop key skills and instil motivation in children who are culturally deprived. Sesame Street transmitted shared norms required for educational success such as the importance of punctuality (Palestine)
20 of 89
Is there a language hierarchy within the education system?
MIDDLE-CLASS SPEECH>WORKING-CLASS SPEECH>BLACK SPEECH. Williams (1986) argues it is NOT the child's speech that puts them at a disadvantage but the schools response to it.
21 of 89
What is material deprivation and how does it impact educational achievement?
Poverty, overcrowding and poor living conditions are all examples of material deprivation.
22 of 89
What evidence did Flaherty (2004) find to support the role of material deprivation in educational underachievement?
"Money problems" were a significant factor for younger children's poor attendance and 90% of failing schools are located in deprived areas.
23 of 89
What are the two broad effects of inadequate housing?
24 of 89
How does poor housing have an DIRECT effect on children's educational achievement?
Overcrowding makes it hard to study and means there is less room for educational activities. It can also result in disturbed sleeping. Temporary housing often results in frequent moves which disrupt education.
25 of 89
How does poor housing have an INDIRECT effect on children's educational achievement?
Crowded homes result in more accidents, cold and damp homes result in illnesses; both result in absences from school. Such conditions can also cause psychological distress.
26 of 89
How does DIET & HEALTH have a negative effect on children's educational achievements?
Howard (2001) found poorer homes had lower intakes of vitamins and minerals affecting the immune system (=illnesses) and causing concentration issues
27 of 89
What evidence suggests nutrition results in emotional and behavioural issues?
Wilkinson (1966) amongst WC 10 year olds there were higher levels of hyper-activity, anxiety and conduct disorders (leads to conflict with teachers). The children were also more likely to engage in externalising behaviours (fighting, temper tantrums)
28 of 89
What are the costs of free education?
Books, uniform, stationary... Tanner (2003) found the costs of free education hit working-class families hard and so they had to use hand-me-downs or buy cheaper, less fashionable items. This led to bullying and isolation=RELUCTANCE to attend.
29 of 89
Jackson (2005) found WC children were more afraid of debt whilst MC children acknowledge that dept is sometimes necessary in order to be successful. Why might this be the case?
MC children are less likely to have to resort to debt as a result of their parents being able to support them. For the majority of WC children debt is the only option. As a consequence WC children are likely to go straight into a working-environment.
30 of 89
What does Bourdieu propose is responsible for educational achievement?
An interaction of both CULTURAL AND MATERIAL factors (cultural capital)
31 of 89
Which 3 types of capital did Bourdieu propose?
32 of 89
What is cultural capital?
Knowledge, attitudes, values, languages, preferences and abilities held by a class. Bourdieu claims the middle-class culture is superior as it advantages those who posses it.
33 of 89
What is educational capital?
Private education, private education, private tuition, qualifications...
34 of 89
What is economic capital?
35 of 89
How do cultural, educational and economic capital interplay?
Cultural capital leads to educational capital which leads to economic capital. Economic capital can be used to buy cultural and educational capital resulting in a cycle of capital.
36 of 89
What are the patterns in class differences of labelling?
MC children are more likely to be labelled positively (bright, hardworking, potential) than their WC counterparts who are often labelled negatively (hopeless, troublemaker, naughty)
37 of 89
What have studies found in relation to the basis of class labelling?
The patterns of labelling emerge regardless of pupil ability and attitude. Becker (1971) interviews 60 high school teachers and found they labelled pupils based an appearance and conduct in relation to the 'ideal' pupil. MC=closest, WC=furthest away
38 of 89
How do notions of the 'ideal' pupil vary?
Jorgensen (2009) found it depended on the schools social class make-up. ie in mainly WC schools the 'ideal' pupil is quiet, passive and obedient, whereas in a predominately MC schools it is defined by ability (ie to achieve 5A*-C)
39 of 89
How does Gazeley (2008) believe WC children are disadvantaged by the education system?
Gazeley (2008) "SCHOOLS PERSISTENTLY PRODUCE WC UNDERACHIEVEMENT" by applying labels and making assumptions.
40 of 89
What did Gazeley (2008) find in relation to teacher labelling in secondary schools?
She interviewed state school teacher and found the had NORMALISED WC underachievement, were unconcerned by it and felt nothing could be done to resolve it. They blamed home backgrounds labelling parents; WC 'disinterested' MC 'supportive
41 of 89
What did the labels teachers applied to parents lead to in Gazeley's (2008) research?
Teachers dealt with pupils differently depending on the labels teachers had attached to their parents. This meant that WC children's potential was under-estimated or neglected- those doing well were labelled as 'over-achievers'
42 of 89
What did Rists (1970) find in relation to labelling in primary schools?
American kindergarten children were catergorised into groups based on social backgrounds and appearance; TIGERS, CLOWNS and the CARDINALS.
43 of 89
How did the treatment of the tigers, clowns and cardinals differ in Rists (1970) study?
Tigers (clean, neat MC children) were seated nearest to the teacher and received the most support and encouragement. The other groups were WC children who were seated furthest away and given less opportunities to develop and show potential.
44 of 89
Predictions that come true simply by virtue of having been made.
45 of 89
What steps do internationists argue are involved in the self-fulfilling prophecy?
1) The teacher makes a prediction based on the label she has given him. 2) The teacher treats the child according to the label she has given him. 3) The pupil INTERNALISES the label and acts accordingly.
46 of 89
Give an example of a positive self-fulfilling prophecy
1)Teacher labels student "This child is very intelligent, he will make outstanding progress" 2) The teacher gives the child extra encouragement and support. 3) The child INTERNALISES the label and works hard to fulfil it.
47 of 89
Give an example of a negative self-fulfilling prophecy
1)Teacher labels student "This child has no potential, he is hopless" 2) The teacher treats the child accordingly, punishing him more harshly and failing to encourage him. 3) The pupil internalises the label and does not try to achieve
48 of 89
How did Jacobson (1968) test the self-fulfilling prophecy?
Approached a school telling them he had produced a new test to identify pupils who would 'spurt' ahead (standard IQ test). 20% were RANDOMLY identified as 'spurters'
49 of 89
What did Jacobson's (1968) research into the self-fulfilling prophecy find?
Half of the 20% who had been identified as 'spurters' had made significant progress which indicates that teachers had interacted with them according to the label they had been applied. Importantly, in accepting the label the teachers influenced it.
50 of 89
What did Jacobson's (1968) research into the self-fulfilling prophecy highlight?
If teachers believe then they can create. Beliefs do have real effects. (Yet only HALF of the 'spurters' made significant improvement, could this simply be a coincidence?)
51 of 89
Is the self-fulfilling prophecy a one-way process?
No, they can produce UNDER-achievement and OVER-achievement; teachers can communicate their low expectations just as they can their high expectations
52 of 89
What is a criticism of the self-fulfilling prophecy?
It is too deterministic in neglects the choice students have to internalise a label; they may accept it, but equally they may work hard to disprove it.
53 of 89
What is streaming?
The process of separating pupils into groups based on their ability making a self-fulfilling prophecy more likely to occur
54 of 89
How is streaming to the detriment of the working-class?
WC students are more likely to be placed in lower streams whereby it is hard to move up. This restricts them from reaching their full potential as they are LOCKED into a stream. They are likely to internalise the labels associated with the stream.
55 of 89
How does the process of streaming benefit the middle-class?
MC students are more likely to be placed in higher streams instilling high-self concept, motivation and ambition
56 of 89
How did Douglas (1964) support the idea that streaming is detrimental to one class (WC) and beneficial to another (MC)?
He found MC students placed in high streams BY AGE 8 had improved IQ scores by age 11. Those who had been placed in low streams (WC students) had experienced DECLINED improvement in terms of IQ scores. (Are IQ scores a fair representation??)
57 of 89
What did Youdell's (2001) research into two secondary schools find in relation to streaming?
Teachers streams pupils based on stereotypes; wc children were less likely to be seen as having ability and so were placed in lower streams. As a consequence they were deprived of opportunities to improve.
58 of 89
What effect did Youdell (2001) believe the A-C ECONOMY has on streaming?
Schools must obtain a secure position in the league tables in order to attract pupils and funding. As a cpnsquence, time, effort and money are rewarded to pupils who are believed to BOOST the schools position in the A-C economy (educational triage)
59 of 89
What is educational triage?
Students are 'sorted' according to priority. THE WALKING WOUNDED (will pass anyway), THOSE WHO WILL DIE ANYWAY (no hopers), THOSE WITH A CHANCE OF SURVIVAL (have hope, require encouragement) -MARKETISATION
60 of 89
Which category are working-class most likely to find themselves in, in relation to educational triage?
'No hopers'; this often leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy and underachievement.
61 of 89
Why is Youdell's (2001) explanation highly valued?
It explains how labelling and streaming (micro-level processes) fit into a broader context of the education system such as marketisation
62 of 89
What is a subculture?
A group who share similar values and behaviour patterns
63 of 89
Why do subcultures typically form?
They are often formed in relation to labelling or streaming or social exclusion. For example, Cohen (1955) proposes they form due to status frustration as a result of being placed at the lowest position in the heirarchy.
64 of 89
Why does Lacey (1970) distinguish between DIFFERENTIATION and POLARISATION?
Differentiation: Teachers stream pupils based on perceived ability, attitude and behaviour resulting in HIGH STATUS and LOW STATUS. Pupils often respond by moving to one of two 'poles'
65 of 89
Which two 'poles' did Lacey's (1970) participants move to?
Pro-school and Anti-school
66 of 89
What were the key features of the pro-school subculture is Lacey's (1970) study?
Pupils placed in high streams adopted a pro-school subculture, this entailed remaining committed to the values of the school and gaining status in approved ways (ie academic success)
67 of 89
What were the key features of the anti-school subculture is Lacey's (1970) study?
Pupils placed in low streams lacked self-esteem and self-worth due to their inferior status and so sought ALTERNATIVE status. This involved inverting school values. Hargreaves (1967) argued its members were "triple-failures"
68 of 89
What did Ball (1981) find happened why streaming was abolished?
Teachers mixed abilities resulted in students become less likely to polarise, yet differentiation continued. This was reflected in exam results.
69 of 89
Which 4 responses does Woods (1979) propose as retaliation to streaming and labelling?
INGRATION (teachers pet), RITUALISM (staying out of trouble), RETREATISM (daydreaming and 'messing around') & REBELLION (rejecting all values)
70 of 89
Do pupils commit to one response?
According to Furlong (1984) pupils do not commit to one response but move depending on the teacher and the lesson.
71 of 89
Why have labelling theories been criticised?
They are deterministic in that they assume labels must be fulfilled; Fuller's (1984) research demonstrates this is not always the case. Marxists claim the wider power structures are ignored- blames teachers but does not point they are acting on state
72 of 89
How do class identities formed OUTSIDE of the education system interact with the schools?
WC Habius and pupil subcultures often result in conflict with the MC education system which is detrimental to WC educational achievement.
73 of 89
What is a habitus?
Ways of thinking and behaving including preferences, outlook on life and what is realistic for them in response to the class structure.
74 of 89
Is any one habitus better than another?
Realistically no, but theoretically the WC are put at a disadvantage due to the fact the education system places higher value on the middle-class habitus; this is encapsulated by Bourdieu's concept of capital.
75 of 89
How does the middle-class benefit those who possess it?
They are awarded SYMBOLIC capital from the education system in that they are deemed to have worth and value
76 of 89
How does the working-class habitus disadvantage those who posses it?
The school DEVALUES the wc habitus, deeming it to be tasteless and worthless. They therfore WITHHOLD symbolic capital, which Bourdieu describes as SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE.
77 of 89
What impact does the clash between the working-class habitus and the education systems middle-class habitus have on working-class pupils?
The conflict of this alienates working-class pupils. Archer (2000) found this resulted in WC children feeling they must change themselves in order to gain educational success (loosing themselves)
78 of 89
What impact does symbolic violence have on working-class pupils?
Coerced them into finding alternative ways to construct their identities in an attempt to obtain self-worth.
79 of 89
In what ways do pupils often try to obtain alternative symbolic captial
Consumption of branded clothing (ie Nike) allowed WC pupils to express themselves and feel authentic. Identities were STRONGLY gendered with girls adopting hyper feminine identities which were then policed by peers.
80 of 89
What was not conforming to NIKE IDENTITIES considered as?
Social suicide
81 of 89
How did NIKE IDENTITIES cause conflict with the school?
Nike identities conflicted the schools dress code and led to further stigmatisation.
82 of 89
Archer (2000) found working-class pupils rejected higher education, why?
They saw it as unrealistic as it was for 'posher', 'cleverer' people ("not for the likes of us") and undesirable as it would not suit their habitus; they wouldn't be able to afford the branded clothing which defined them. (self-elimination)
83 of 89
What did Ingram's (2009) research into a working-class area in Belfast find?
One group (of wc pupils) attended a grammar school (mc habitus) and the other a comprehensive (wc habitus). The boys who attended the grammar school experienced great amounts of stress as they were expected to conform to both habitus' (clash)
84 of 89
What was one of the working-class grammar school boys ridiculed for in Ingram's (2009) study?
Wearing a tracksuit to school; this matched his home wc habitus but conflicted the schools mc habitus.
85 of 89
How did Maguire (1997) describe her experience of attending a middle-class school as a working-class pupil?
"The working-class culture of my childhood accounted for nothing in this new setting"
86 of 89
What did Evans (2009) find when he studied 21 working-class A-Level pupils?
They were reluctant to apply for any 'elite' universities (Warwick, Oxford, Cambridge) as they saw it as "not for the likes of us."Bourdieu claims this was a result of their habitus which involves beliefs about what is realistic.
87 of 89
Why were the girls reluctant to apply for universities that were not local in Evans' (2009) study?
Because they had strong attachments to loaclity. Reay (2009) claimed such self-exclusion narrows opportunities and limits the market-value of a degree.
88 of 89
Why can INTERNAL and EXTERNAL factors not be observed in isolation?
There is an interplay of internal and external factors; Identities formed outside of the education system may result to conflict within it, restricted codes may lead to labelling and SFP, poverty may lead to bullying
89 of 89

Other cards in this set

Card 2


Which two types of factors are considered when observing the reasons for educational underachievement?


Internal Factors & External Factors

Card 3


What is cultural deprivation theory?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Which 3 types of external cultural factors do cultural deprivation theorists believe MAY contribute to educational underachievement?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Which two 'speech-codes' did Bernstein (1975) distinguish between?


Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Education resources »