Everyone knows about the various stereotypes and social stigmas that come with socioeconomic status whether they will choose to admit it or not. Society has come to assume that a child who comes from a family of low socioeconomic status, that they will not do as well as a child who comes from a family of a greater socioeconomic status. Unfortunately these assumptions are so ingrained in our brains that we start to follow the self-fulfilling prophecy. When a child from a noticeably low socioeconomic status walks into a classroom, it is not uncommon for the teacher to automatically assume that the child will not perform well in class, and in turn either grades the child more harshly or does not give the child as much attention as the other children from high socioeconomic status families. Do these children not perform well in class because of the self-fulfilling prophecy or is there something that happens during the critical period that causes the child to fall behind?
These assumptions are not ingrained in us when we are born, rather they are developed over our lives. When children first start preschool, they tend to pick their friends based on their physical appearance (Baydik, Berrin, Bakkaloğlu, Hatice, 2002, p. 436). It is not surprising that children from low or even middle socioeconomic environments are not able to afford the high end clothing that publicly displays their status. As much as society preaches against stereotyping, we often categorize someone the first time we meet them simply by how they are dressed. This causes children from low socioeconomic status to be friends with other children
from the same class, and the same goes for middle and high socioeconomic status. This period in a child’s life is critical in language and emotional development, but one could also argue that it is critical in developing friendships. When preschoolers only are friends with other children in the same socioeconomic status range, it is not likely that this will change throughout their future friendships. Even adults with a low socioeconomic status feel uncomfortable being around other adults from a significantly higher socioeconomic status, and this is because of the stereotypes that are enforced from the first years of their life.
As mentioned earlier there are stereotypes that come with socioeconomic status, including that children from low socioeconomic status families tend to not perform as well in school as children from higher socioeconomic status families. This is not because the children from low socioeconomic status have a deficiency that causes them to underperform, but rather it is because there is an expectation that the children will not do as well and so the children walk into the classroom facing a losing battle (Schmitt-Wilson, 2013, p 228). The education that a child receives in the earliest years of their life sets up a framework for the education through the rest of their lifetime (Stull, 2013, p 54). That being...