Educational Achievement

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Submitted By nikhil12
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Analyse the importance of poverty as an explanation of social class differences in educational achievement Introduction Sociologists have argued that social class differences in educational achievement can be explained in terms of 4 not necessarily mutually exclusive kinds of theory: IQ theory; theories emphasising social class differences in material circumstances; theories emphasising social class differences in subcultural attitudes and values; and theories emphasising the importance of within school labelling processes. Sociologists tend to be critical of IQ theory for several reasons and point out that there is good evidence to show that social class is a major determinant of educational success even independently of measured differences in IQ. I shall therefore concentrate upon the three more sociological approaches and in each case it may be argued that the factors which may disadvantage working class students in general are especially likely to disadvantage those working class students who experience poverty.
However before analysing the possible effects of poverty on educational achievement some preliminary investigation of the nature and extent of poverty in the UK is first necessary and for these purposes we must first distinguish between absolute and relative poverty. Absolute poverty is said to occur when individuals lack the money necessary to ensure their basis physical survival whereas relative poverty exists where individuals have insufficient money to participate fully in the life of their society. Absolute poverty is associated mainly with "Third World " countries although it is possible that pockets of absolute poverty still exist in the UK. Social theorists working with a relative definition of poverty nowadays usually define poverty to exist where individuals are receiving an income below 60% of the UK median income. On this definition…...

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