Cultural Deprivation Theory: An Explanation of Working-Class Underachievement in Society

Topics: Working class, Education, Social class Pages: 4 (1612 words) Published: October 17, 2013
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 early, more likely to underachieve at GCSEs and a level, more likely to be excluded and suspended. This is because the MC culture children are more prepared for school. Cultural deprivation theorists argue that parents pass on the values and attitudes of their class to their children, especially during primary socialization. The MC is taught the values of education far more. This, according to the theorists, happens through three main aspects: intellectual development, language and attitudes and values. Intellectual development refers to the development of thinking and reasoning skills, such as the ability to solve problems and use ideas and concepts. Cultural deprivation theorists argue that many WC homes would lack the books, educational toys and activities that would stimulate a child’s intellectual development. J.W.B. Douglas’ study, the home and the school, explained WC failure as the result of a lack of parental interest and stimulation in the home. He found that WC pupils scored lower on tests of ability than MC pupils. He argues that this is because of the intellectual development difference, which can be as basic as MC parents reading with their child and WC parents not. Language is another aspect, cultural deprivation...
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