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Rist's Labeling Theory and Bourdieu's theory of Cultural/Social Capital - Essay Example

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“Labelling is a process by which people are identified in a particular way and then receive special attention as a result of that label being attached to them, so that they come to be regarded by others and see themselves in the way in which they are described by the label,” (O’Donnell, 235)…
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Rists Labeling Theory and Bourdieus theory of Cultural/Social Capital
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Download file to see previous pages This shows that the pupils were categorised according to the teacher’s own perceptions about class structure not by performance. As explained below, it can be seen that this labelling perspective has an impact on academic achievement of the learners. 1. Labelling theories often affect the pupils’ academic careers in different ways. Some pupils are treated differently by other pupils and they are given different labels which lead them to attach different meanings to their education (Haralambos & Holborn, 279). This can negatively impact on their academic performance since they tend to isolate themselves because they accept the ‘label’ that is attached to them. Once a person has been labelled a deviant, they are likely to be regarded as having a number of characteristics in common with the other people in the same category (O’Donnell, 230). For instance, pupils who fail to conform to the expected standards in the classroom are often labelled as miscreants and they are viewed from a negative perspective. In the end, they tend to accept this label and it can impact negatively on their academic career. 2. In a school setting, it can be seen that schools usually lat down a set of standards and indicate to their pupils how they are supposed to behave (Haralambos & Horlborn, 279). Thus, the behaviour of the pupils in school is determined by the environment in which they are living as well as the treatment they get from their peers. Kozol states that: “I have been criticized throughout the course of my career for placing too much faith in the reliability of children's narratives; but I have almost always found that children are a great deal more reliable in telling us what actually goes on in public school than many of the adult experts who develop policies that shape their destinies.” In other words, Kozol is stating that the processes at the school setting have a bearing on the behaviour of the pupils since they are in a position to narrate fully the experiences they encounter at school. The theory of cultural/social capital is particularly concerned with the aspect of how people are divided into groups or subcultures on the basis of their class structure in a given society (Haralambos & Hoborn, 280). People are categorised into different classes on the basis of their status in society. This status also impacts on the quality of education they will attain from school. People are expected to conform to certain cultural or social values that shape the expected behaviour in their respective societies. At school, there are also expected values that derive from the theory of cultural or social capital. People who fail to conform to certain societal standards often face problems in terms of their academic development as illustrated below. 1. This theory impacts on academic achievement of pupils in different ways. It can be seen that academic achievement is somehow impacted by the cultural group they belong to. In some cases, people minority classes are often looked down upon by other people. In schools especially in the US as noted by Kazol, black Americans and Hispanics were often treated as belonging to a lower class. This treatment also shaped the perceptions of the other students about these people who were often associated with negative things. As such, this treatment impacted negatively on their performance at school. 2. In a school setting, it can be seen that some people from minority groups can ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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