According to the Marxist sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, middle class parents possess more cultural capital, than working class children.
Bourdieu argues that the skills and knowledge middle class parents possess, such as themselves having benefited from education, and the fact that they are more comfortable dealing with middle class institutions such as schools, is passed down to their children, which explains why they do better in school.
Hooks in the item:
- Skills – might be research skills
- Knowledge (might be linked to tastes)
- Better education
- More comfortable dealing with middle class institutions
Point 1 – More cultural capital means middle class parents are better educated than working class parents and they are more able to help children with homework and coursework.
Analysis 1 – This is especially likely to advantage children from high income earning families which can afford to have stay at home mums, so they have the time to advantage their children
Analysis 2 – This advantages middle class children early on in their school careers by boosting confidence. This early advantage accumulates over time and develops through school.
Analysis 3 – This takes place at home, not in school. It is unlikely that schools will have the resources available to close this gap
Point 2 – Cultural Capital also means middle class parents are skilled choosers – They are more able to research schools, take time filling in application forms, and networking with teachers to give their child more chance of getting into the best schools – Stephen Ball found this.
Analysis 1– The opposite of this is working class parents who are disconnected choosers, they don’t have the skills to complete large amounts of applications and so just send their children to the local school.
Analysis 2 – This aspect of cultural capital has become more significant since the introduction of the 1988 education act which introduced marketization and parentocracy and gave parents’ choice over schools.
Analysis 3 – This means that the system has changed recently to allow those with more cultural capital to have even more of an advantage.
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