sim_deprivationCultural deprivation, as an explanation for differences in educational achievement (particularly those of class and ethnicity), is something of a Vampire Theory in the sense that no matter how many times sociologists have tried to kill it off it refuses to die. It is, for example, an explanation that continues to have currency among UK political parties, particularly in terms of ideas about the “differential aspirations” of middle and working class children.

This sim is one I’ve successfully used in the classroom many times – it always promotes a lot of discussion between students and brings the concept of cultural deprivation to life in a way that simply talking about the idea rarely does.

I’ve included quite a bit of background information in the Cultural Deprivation package that:

  • looks at ideas about class, ethnic and gender deprivation as an explanation for differential achievement
  • suggests how contemporary variants of the theory have become embedded in debates about “the underclass”
  • provides a range of information about language codes (from Bernstein to Bourdiau) – the sim focuses on the idea of “language differences” and can be used to illustrate this particular area if it happens to be a part of your Sociology Specification (CIE, for example).


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