Assess the View That Social Class Differences in Educational Achievement Are the Result of School Processes Such as Labeling.

1743 Words May 13th, 2013 7 Pages
Assess the view that social class differences in educational achievement are the result of school processes such as labeling. (20 marks)
Labelling refers to meanings or definitions we attach to someone or something to make sense of them and these could be negative or positive labels. For example, in schools teachers are likely to label middle-class pupils as bright and more able to achieve in education whereas, they would see working class pupils as less able. Teacher labels can affect a pupil’s educational achievement as it will influence how they perform educationally. However, there are other school factors which cause underachievement and these are, the self-fulfilling prophecy, streaming and pupil subculture.
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This is by gaining status among their peers, for example by, truanting, smoking, drinking and behaving badly towards teachers.
These factors create social class differences because schools have middle-class values which are a disadvantage for the working-class pupils. Therefore, middle-class pupils are more likely to be labelled as intelligent, smart and more able which leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy where they accept the label thus, helping them achieve in education. However, it is the opposite for working-class pupils because they are more likely to be labelled according to their social background and not their actual ability. Furthermore, pupils accept the negative label as a result, working class pupils are likely to fail than middle-class pupils.
On the other hand, some sociologists would argue that the social class differences in educational achievement are a result of external factors so outside the school such as, cultural and material deprivation. Cultural deprivation refers to how working-class families fail to socialise their children adequately therefore, they lack basic ‘cultural equipment’ such as, language, self-discipline and reasoning skills. This leads to working-class children under-achieving in education also, cultural deprivation theorists identify three factors that are responsible for working

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