Cultural deprivation is a term referring to the absence of certain expected and acceptable cultural phenomena in the environment, which results in the failure of the individual to communicate and respond in the most appropriate manner. Language acquisition and language use are commonly used in assessing this concept.[better source needed]
Proponents of this term argue that the culture of people in the working class (regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or other factors) is inherently deficient and different from the culture of people in the middle class.
Cultural deprivation refers to the social class structure of society. The middle class gains cultural capital as the result of primary socialization, while the working class misses out on socialization and the associated gains in cultural capital. Cultural capital helps the middle class succeed in a capitalist society where the norms and values exposed to the middle class facilitate educational achievement and employability. Working class members of society that lack cultural capital do not pass it on to their children, reproducing the class system (Willis (1977) Learning to Labor). Morais Suggests that middle class children's culture capital allows them to communicate with their middle class teachers more effectively than the working class children which Morias et al. suggest is a contributor in the inequality between social classes.
With arguments from Bourdieu (understanding Bourdieu 2004 webb et al.) that state schools are set up to make everybody middle class, whereby only the middle class and some high achieving working class can achieve this. Continuing his argument that exams suit the middle class, academic work meets the strengths of the middle class leaving the working class trying to meet the expected standards of others strengths with their weaknesses. Cultural deprivation from a Marxist perspective suggests that the materials and resources available to the working class are limited, and that working class children are educated poorly before entering the first steps of education . Some pupils start school with the ability to read at a low level, some can't even write their name . This shows the difference in opportunity and values that create a culture deprivation for the working class at a very early age.
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- "Cultural deprivation". Biology online. 3 October 2005. Retrieved 15 March 2013.