Assess the View That Factors Within a School Are the Main Cause for Social Class Differences in Educational Achievement (20 Marks)

1610 Words Oct 31st, 2014 7 Pages
Over the board, middle class students generally do better than working class students in educational achievement. Some sociologists argue that this is due to three key factors. Labelling, subcultures and marketisation. This focuses on things that occur internally.

One of these key factors is labelling. To label someone is to attach a meaning or definition to someone. An example of this would be that teachers often apply labels to students on the basis of their behaviour or appearance. Becker found some evidence behind this after he did some research on high school teachers. He found they would label students according to how closely they fitted the image of the, “ideal pupil.” Pupils work conduct and appearance were the key factors in
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Some sociologists argue that the factor of labelling doesn’t hold full responsibility for the difference in educational achievement as this point doesn’t take into account external factors that could cause this labelling. Material deprivation could cause labelling due to the child not being able to afford the trending clothes, having a poor diet which results to being tired due to lack of energy or hyper due to lots of sweets. Cultural deprivation could also have effect on labelling due to not having the same attitudes and values as teachers, therefore they tend to judge a lot more. An example of this would be that middle class students have elaborated codes (wider vocabulary) whereas working class students have restricted codes (limited vocabulary). This also leads on to cultural capital. Working class students will feel left out for not sharing this dominant culture and furthermore will begin to fall into different subcultures.

This leads us on to the next key internal factor, which is subcultures. A subcultures forms from a group of pupils who share similar values and behaviour patterns. Pupil subcultures often emerge as a response to the way pupils have been labelled, and in particular as a reaction to streaming. Lacey identified two key reasons for the emergence of pupil subcultures. Differentiation and polarisation. Differentiation is about how pupils are separated on the basis of ability in school. It’s how they are perceived to be and streaming is

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