Assess The View That Working Class Children Under Achieve Because They Are Culturally Deprived

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Assess the view that working class children under-achieve because they are culturally deprived. (24 marks)

Cultural deprivation has many different aspects including lack of linguistic skills and lack of educational experience. Many suggest that due to working-class children are ‘culturally deprived’ compared to middle class children due to them having more access to things such as classical music, educational holidays or trips and literature.
Bourdieu (1984) uses the term cultural capital to refer to the knowledge, attitudes , values , language , tastes and abilities of the middle class. He sees middle-class culture as a type of wealth due to it giving an advantage to the people who possess it. He suggests that through this middle class children acquire the abilities to grasp and analyse abstract ideas which leads to more intellectual interests and a better understanding of what they need to do to succeed. This gives middle-class children an advantage in school where such abilities are and interests are highly valued and rewarded. In contrast, working class children find that their culture is devalued to be ‘rough’ and inferior compared to that of the middle-class. The lack of cultural development in the child leads to exam failure, truanting, early leaving and just generally not trying.
Alice Sullivan(2001) used questionnaires to conduct a survey of 465 pupils in 4 schools. To assess their cultural their cultural capital, she asked them about a range of activities, such as reading and TV viewing habits and whether or not they visit art galleries, museums or the theatre. She also tested their vocabulary and knowledge. She found that children who watched documentaries and read complex fiction developed a better vocabulary and greater knowledge, indicating greater cultural capital. These children were more likely to be successful at GCSE and were predominately middle class opposed to working class children who are more likely to fail at GCSE due to lack of a cultural capital.
Working class children are more likely to be labelled by teachers as being likely to fail, lazy and unco-operative, this is due to it being known to the teacher that they are from a working class family and may not have the resources that a middle class child would be able to afford. This leads to the child having a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure and thus become more likely to fail because they have less support from the people around them. Whereas middle-class pupils are labelled as being more able and more likely to succeed.
The restricted code is typically the speech code used by the working class, usually