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Re: Cultural deficit in new clothes

Posted By: Allen Lambert on June 1, 2009
Cultural deficit theory is not without merit, as well as problems. Like all theories attempting to explain human behavior, it has some truth and sometimes gets abused.

It is clear that not all cultures are equal, either morally (e.g., Nazi, Stalinist, etc.) or educationally or occupationally. Some subcultures in the U.S., especially some urban poverty subsystems, do not do well in transmitting and reinforcing the kinds of skills, attitudes, and knowledge that enhance effectiveness in the modern world of work.

We can quibble over how much variation, but there is no doubt about variation and that consequences are significant.

So some folks are trying to improve instruction and learning in schools in ways which take into account such "deficits". Just like other approaches focus on social structural or biological (e.g., neurological) and other kinds of variables.

Critiques of weaknesses can be useful, but so can credit for practical efforts to improve.
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 Cultural deficit in new clothes by Adrienne Dixson on May 25, 2009
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