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ERIC Number: ED338098
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Sociological Foundations Supporting the Study of Cultural Diversity. Research Report: 1.
Mehan, Hugh
Various aspects of the relationship between students' cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic background and their unequal access to educational opportunities are examined. The theme is that in order to understand the barriers to equality faced by low-income cultural and linguistic minority youth, ways in which social class and ethnicity interact with language and culture must be understood. Areas covered include cultural capital, classroom discourse, and school sorting practices. It is shown that: (1) the cultural capital of different status groups is related differently to the culture of the school and that language and socialization practices of middle-class and upper-class families are reinforced by classroom culture, although there is no match for low-income and linguistic minority families; (2) classroom discourse is a crucial component of the school culture, but an unfamiliar one to students from linguistic and ethnic minority backgrounds; (3) sorting practices such as ability grouping and tracking erect barriers to equal educational opportunity; and (4) the culture of the school must be taken into account when considering social change. Contains 56 references. (LB)
Dissemination Coordinator, National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning, Center for Applied Linguistics, 1118 22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning, Santa Cruz, CA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A