Pupil Subcultures Essay

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Outline some of the reasons pupils form subcultures A subculture refers to a group of pupils who share the same values and behaviour. Pupil subcultures can be either pro or anti-school. It is argued that middle class pupils are generally part of pro-school subcultures and working class pupils and pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds are part of anti-school subcultures. Firstly, sociologists such as Becker argue it is a result of negative labelling He found that the teachers emphasized characteristics such as conduct and language before they got to ability. Becker concluded that it was much easier for middle class students to meet this ideal since they are better dressed and spoken than their working class counterparts. Thus, working class children are not going to be perceived as academic which will impact the opportunities available to them in school and therefore result in them having negative views of school influencing their attitudes and leading them to form anti-school subcultures. Paul Willis found that working class boys form sub cultures as a response to their limited opportunities. This leads to disengagement from education and underachievement. By contrast, many sociologists have found that the reason the effect of labelling is so great is due to the self-fulfilling prophecy this sociological explanation was examined by Ball he found that pupils who that pupils of similar ability were placed in different streams. Those with fathers who performed manual labour were more likely to be found in lower streams. He observed that most pupils were conformist and eager when they first entered the school, but gradually the behaviour of the children began to diverge. He allies with Keddie she came to the conclusion that from an interactionist point of view, pupils experience school in different ways. They are treated differently by their teachers, given
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