Questions and answers on the class differences in achievement topic of AQA AS Sociology. Includes material and cultural deprivation, cultural capital and school factors (inc. labelling, subcultures etc)
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Created by ashiana121 over 7 years ago

Resource summary

Question Answer
In the education system, who generally achieves more; middle class children or working class children? Middle class children
Middle class children are how many times more likely than working class children to achieve 5 A*-C's at GCSE? 2-3 times more likely
Middle class children are how many times more likely to go to University compared to working class children? 5 times more
What are the two types of factors that can be used to explain these difference? Internal and external factors
What is the difference between internal and external factors? Internal factors - within the school/within education system External factors - outside of the school
A pupils home background may play a part in causing differences in achievement. What 2 groups can home background be grouped into? Material and cultural factors
What is meant by 'culture'? Refers to all the norms, values, beliefs, skills and knowledge that a society or group regard as important
Through which process is this culture transmitted to the next generation? Through socialisation
Different social classes socialise their children different and this may affect their achievement. What name is given to the theory which states working class parents fail to socialise their children into the right culture needed for educational success? Cultural deprivation theory
According to cultural deprivation theorists, which three factors are responsible for working class underachievement? Restricted speech codes, working class subculture, a lack of intellectual stimulation
Regarding intellectual stimulation, what may working class parents fail to provide for their children? Educational toys and activities
What does this mean they fail to develop? Thinking and reasoning skills
What will this mean for them when they start school and why? They are at a disadvantage as they are not as intellectually developed as middle class children
Who uses the idea of 'speech codes'? Basil Bernstein
According to Bernstien, which class uses the restricted code? The working class
Which code is used by the middle class? The elaborate code
What are some characteristics of the restricted code? Less analytic; more descriptive; limited vocab; simple sentences; gestures; particularistic i.e assumes the listener has the same meanings so does not spell them out
What are some characteristics of the elaborate code? More analytic; wider vocabulary; complex sentences; universalistic i.e speakers spell out their meanings explicitly and don't assume the listener shares them
Why does the use of speech codes in the education system disadvantage working class pupils? Teachers, exams, university interviews and textbooks use elaborate code
What are the three aspects of working class subcultures that contribute to under-achievement, according to cultural deprivation theorists? Immediate gratification, fatalism, low value on education
What is meant by immediate gratification and what is the opposite? Wanting rewards now rather than being willing to make sacrifices and working hard for future rewards. Opposite = deferred gratification (which is working towards long-term, future rewards)
What is the belief of fatalism? "Whatever will be, will be"- working class pupils don't believe they can succeed through their own efforts
Who argues working class parents show less interest in their childrens education and give them less support? Give an example of how Douglas - working class parents less likely to attend parents evenings
Who argues the working class dont value education and don't believe they can benefit from at and what do they do as a result? Hyman - as a result they don't try
What are some criticisms of cultural deprivation theory? It ignores the importance of material factors (e.g poverty), it ignores the impact of internal factors (e.g labelling), it blames the victim for their failure (working class are not 'culturally deprived' but just have a different culture from that of the school and this puts them at a disadvantage
What factors are included in material deprivation? Poor housing; poor diet; low income
Why may poor housing affect someones achievement? Overcrowding/cramped/damp/cold conditions means pupils have nowhere quiet or comfortable to do homework or revise
How may being homeless or living in temporary accomodation affect someones achievement? Frequent moves and changes of school
How can a poor diet lead to underachievement? Increased risk of illness - increased absences due to illness - lack of concentration due to hunger
How may a low income affect achievement? (they cause poor housing and diet), lack of educational materials, lack of the right uniform, lack of fashionable items, not being able to afford university fees
What can not having the latest fashions lead to? Bullying
Who argues middle class pupils are more sucessful that working class pupils because they possess capital? Bourdieu
What type of theorist is Bourdieu? Marxist
What are the two types of capital the middle class possess, according to Bourdieu? Cultural capital and economic capital
What is meant by economic capital? The wealth owned by the middle class
What is meant by cultural capital? The knowledge, attitudes, skills, norms and values of the middle class
What 'capital' do middle class parents use their economic and cultural capital to obtain the advantage their children in the education system? Educational capital
What is meant by educational capital? Qualifications
How does this redproduce the advantages of the middle class? It allows middle class children to get middle class jobs and therefore more economic capital
What are the 5 school (internal) factors associated with educational achievement? Labelling, the self-fulfilling prophecy, streaming, pupil subcultures and educational policies
What type of sociologists focus on small scale interactions between teachers and pupils and are responsible for identifying these factors? Interactionalists
What are labels? Meanings or definitions attached to someone to make sense of them
In the education system, how are middle class pupils often labelled? Bright, high achieving, motivated etc
What does Becker argue? Teachers label middle class children as ideal pupils - and prefer to teach them than working class pupils
What is a self-fulfilling prophecy? A prediction that comes true simply because it has been made
Through which process can teachers create self-fulfilling prophecies for pupils? Labelling
Studies have of labelling show that "what teachers _______, pupils ________" What teachers believe, pupils achieve
How are working class pupils labelled and what does this means happens to them? Labelled negatively and fail as a result
What is streaming? An extreme and institutionalised form of labelling
How does it work? By putting pupils of similar abilities together in the same class or 'set' for all subject
Who describes streaming as 'differentiation' - separating the sheep from the goats and then educating them differenly? Lacey
Streaming can often create a self fulfilling prophecy. What evidence did Douglas find that supports this? He found that the IQ of pupils labelled as 'less able' and placed in lower streams actually fell over time whereas the IQ of pupils in high streams increased
How may pupils in lower streams be denied access to the same curriculum? They may be placed in foundation exam levels which might not enable them to achieve top grades
What is meant by a 'subculture'? A group who's beliefs, values and attitudes differ to some extent from the culture of wider society
Pupils may create their own subcultures in response to what? Labelling
What are the two main types of subculture? Pro-school and anti-school
Pupils in higher streams usually form which subculture? Pro-school
What are 5 characteristics of a typical pro-school subculture? Accept schools values and goals - regular attendance - respect teachers - enjoy school - participate enthusiastically
Anti-school subcultures are typically formed by those in lower streams. Give some characteristics of an anti-school subculture Dislike school - break the rules - disrespect teachers - dont do schoolwork - truant - sabotage their uniform
Lacey argues lower-stream pupils join or form their own antischool subcultures because school deprives them of a status by labelling them as failures. What does Lacey argue these pupils create of their own and what do they gain from it? They create their own hierarchy and gain status from their peers by rejecting the schools values and breaking its rules
Like labelling, what do pupil subcultures often lead to? Self-fulfilling prophecies
What do some sociologists argue marketisation (an education policy) has increased the amount of in school which can affect achievement? Streaming
Give some examples of educational policies that can have an impact on home background factors such as material & cultural deprivation Maintenance allowances, school leaving age, compensatory education, fees
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