Testing Hargreaves' and Lacey's differentiation-polarisation theory in a setted comprehensive

Abraham, John (1989) Testing Hargreaves' and Lacey's differentiation-polarisation theory in a setted comprehensive. British Journal of Sociology, 40 (1). pp. 46-81. ISSN 0007-1315

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This article explores the extent to which Hargeaves' and Lacey's differentiation-polarisation theory is applicable to setted comprehensive schools bearing in mind certain objections to the theory made by Quine. The research is based on an ethnographic study of a comprehensive school, located in the south of England, in which the pupils are streamed by sets after the first year. The sample of pupils studied are fourth years in the top, middle and bottom streams of the school. By using a variety of research methods to study the historical and current academic and behavioural values of the pupils, this paper suggests that the differentiation-polarisation theory holds fairly well, particularly in the second year. The research does not substantiate Quine's objections to the theory. The paper concludes by considering the implications of the theory for social class differentiation and other contemporary theories in the sociology of education.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: John Abraham
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:30
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2012 14:11
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26244
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