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Cultural Capital And Social Reproduction Essay

1475 words - 6 pages

Class is something that is often defined by ones income, job, and family background, the area in which they live or indeed the schools or universities they have chosen to attended. This criteria is used to label people as a certain class and is something that can be seen in education through the likes of theories such as cultural capital. In this essay I am going to compare and contrast differences between middle and working class experiences of education focusing on two main theories; Cultural capital and social reproduction. I am going to concentrate upon the primary sector in oppose to secondary or higher education due to the fact I believe that primary school is where most children develop their personalities which they carry with them in further life and it is their first academic experience; therefore it is where social class first becomes clearly noticeable. In relation to these theories I am going to research into the argument that parents have a strong influence on their child’s education from this young age.
The first difference you see between the middle and working class in education is the selection of primary schools as for some it is the first time they are going to enter into the academic world. At this point the family as a whole are entering into “unfamiliar worlds” (Jackson and Marsden, 1966, page 99) in the process of selecting and applying for schools. The middle class aim is to have their children go to a successful school with a good Ofsted report just like the working class. However it is harder for the working class to get into these schools due to a range of factors. Some of these restricting factors are their knowledge of the system and economic status or wealth; they may not have the facilities for travelling each day or to pay expensive tuition fees. These barriers to the start of educational life mean social mobility doesn’t improve as there isn’t much means of improving their wealth. The knowledge of the schooling system is indeed lesser than the middle class but both do have a problem in the form of the pace of educational reform (Ball, 2003, page 171). This limits parent’s involvement in their child’s education as they cannot keep up with changes the government are making which Blanden and Gibbsons (2006) believe to be an important factor if you are going to tackle inequality between classes. If parents cannot understand education themselves then it is difficult for them to choose what form of education is best for their children and to help them achieve their academic potential. At primary school level parents are of importance due to age as children alone cannot make the life affecting decisions needed.
There is a reiteration in class division through economic status and the knowledge of education which is the reason for the long lasting problem of differences in experience in education. Bartlett and Burton (2007) suggests the working class experience of education as far back as Victorian England was limited;...

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