Sociology - cultural deprivation Essay

1620 Words Oct 3rd, 2013 7 Pages
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, asses the view that working-class children under-achieve because they are culturally deprived.
Cultural Deprivation Theory is an explanation of working-class (WC) underachievement in society. Cultural deprivation is WC families lacking the same values as the middle-class (MC) families. This reflects on the WC children, who, according to cultural deprivation theorist, are under stimulated compared to MC children. WC children are less likely to succeed, because they are less likely to be found in nursery schools, less likely to go to university and more likely to be poor readers when they start school, more likely to be in lower sets and streams in secondary school, more likely to leave school
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As a result, their children fail to develop the necessary language skills. Because of this they are not able to take advantage of the opportunities that school offers. Bernstein did a study on speech codes, and found two types of speech. What he called 'elaborated' and then 'restricted'. He said that only the MC had access to the elaborated speech, which is the one the teachers and educational institutions are using, whereas the WC was trapped in the use of restricted speech codes, even in written work. Furthermore Bernstein argues that the school – not just the home – influence children’s achievement, by not teaching the WC pupils how to use the elaborated code, which is needed for further education.
In my opinion the third aspect, attitudes and values are the most important. Cultural deprivation theorists argue that parents’ attitudes and values are a key factor affecting educational achievement. Douglas found that there was a big difference in how MC and WC parents valued, encouraged and took interest in their child’s education. Furthermore he found that WC parents visited school less often and were less likely to discuss their children’s progress with teachers. All this leads to the WC pupil having much lower levels of achievement motivation. Another theorist, Feinstein, agrees with Douglas and argues that MC children are more successful in school because their parents provide them with the necessary

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