Asses the importance of cultural factors in causing social class differences in educational achievement.

Topics: Social class, Middle class, Sociology Pages: 2 (587 words) Published: January 5, 2014
As shown in item A, some sociologists believe that the most important factors causing social class differences in education are class differences. They believe there are deep-rooted differences between the middle and the lower class. An example they give is the lower class’ need for fatalism and collectivism. Fatalism is the belief that all events are predetermined and ‘whatever happens will happen’. This can lead to them not trying as hard in education, as they have been brought up to believe their efforts wont effect the outcome. Collectivism is the idea that it is better to be part of a group then to succeed as an individual. Both these views contrast the middle class views, as the middle class try and teach their children that you should be trying to achieve all the time. Also, the middle class believe that you should be strong and individual to prepare you for later life. Sociologists such as Engelmann believe that the language the lower class families use at home directly affect the grades of their children. Engelmann’s studies the language used by low paid black Americans, and found it was a low standard. This restricted code used in the lower class households isn’t used at school as Bernstein tells us. At school and in middle class homes, they use the elaborate code. This is language that is more complex, longer sentences and is context free. This then disadvantages lower class children, resulting in them underachieving. From a young age, lower class children are disadvantaged as they are not likely to get to go to nursery. Nursery aids your learning and widens your vocabulary, meaning that middle class children will be more use to the education system and to using longer sentences, which would help in exams. Also, they are more use to the format of a school with the teacher in charge. This can result in the lower class become part of the anti-school subculture, and the middle class becoming part of the pro-school subculture. Although, there television...
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