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December 28, 2008 / C H Thompson

Criticisms of material, cultural and interactionist explanations

From material, cultural to interactionist perspectives we have examined the reasons for social-class differences in educational attainment.

However each one of these areas has their criticisms which are displayed in their respective presentation windows below:


Irrespective of the criticisms aimed at each theory, there’s one thing they all have in common, they all identify middle-class children as tending do better at school. This links back to the nature verses nurture argument as middle-class children are not born with a greater intellect, but the environment they learn in has greater expectations of them, and this ultimately bears fruit in their achievement at school.

However attainment at school is not just a social-class issue, but a gender issue as well. The next page examines the relationship between gender and attainment in detail.

Before you move onto the next page there is a presentations below which provide a useful overview of the Interactionist approach.

Return to education overview


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