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EDUC254 Family Resources, Culture, and Education

Explores the relationship between social class and family background and educational achievement/performance. Concentrates on the family in a cultural context and the link between family resources and education, focusing on the importance of social context for theories of student learning and educational achievement.

This paper explores how a family's cultural, economic, and social resources influence the educational achievement and engagement of children and young people. It highlights the complex ways that education both challenges and reproduces social inequality, whereby societal resources and opportunities are unequally distributed among different groups in society.

Drawing on the theoretical tools of Pierre Bourdieu and other critical thinkers in education, students will consider a range of interrelated issues and ideas, including social class, economic inequality, culture, intersectionality, privilege, and colonialism. Students will also reflect upon social processes that have influenced their own identity formation and educational experiences.

This paper will appeal to students with an interest in sociology, social justice, and education.

Paper title Family Resources, Culture, and Education
Paper code EDUC254
Subject Education
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,656.70

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EDUC 101 or EDUC 102 or 108 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
With approval, students who have passed EDUC 105 prior to 2017 may be admitted without the normal prerequisite.
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator: Dr Ruth Gasson
Other staff : Dr Catherine Hartung
Teaching Arrangements
Thirteen 2-hour workshop/laboratory sessions and thirteen 1-hour lectures
Required readings are available online.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • To be familiar with the educational sociology literature about education, achievement and post-school transitions
  • To recognise the importance of social context and family resources for education
  • To be familiar with New Zealand research on achievement in the sociology of education

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
T1 Wednesday 13:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41