Assess sociological explanations of ethnic differences in educational achievement
Some sociologists argue that some ethnic groups maybe underachieving in the education system whereas some say that these ethnic groups differ in the education system.
Material factors may affect ethnic groups in the education system, material deprivation explanations see educational failure as results from factors such as substandard housing and low income. Ethnic minorities are more likely to face these problems according to Flaherty as unemployment is three times higher for African and Bangladeshi/Pakistani people than for whites, Pakistanis are nearly twice as likely to be in unskilled or semi-skilled jobs compared to whites. Ethnic minorities are more likely to be engaged in shift work. These inequalities parallel those in educational achievement e.g. indians and whites generally have higher social class position than Bangladeshis and Pakistanis who often high levels of poverty. The material deprivation explanation argues that such class differences. However Gillborn and Mirza argue that social class factors do not override the influence of ethnicity. When we compare pupils of the same social class but different ethnic origins, still find differences in achievement. This is particularly the case for black children, since even middle class black pupils do comparatively poorly at gsces.
Cultural factors may affect some ethnic groups in educational achievement. In some asian households, English in not the main language. In some west indian households creole or patois are spoken. However Driver and Ballard found that by the age of 16, asain children whose main home language was not English were at least competent as their classmates. In family life the west indian population has a high proportion of single parent families and working women who leave their children without close parental supervision in the early years of life, in contrast asian families are believed to be more...