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Sociological Theories of Truancy

Uploaded by cutee2 on Nov 03, 2011

This essay will discuss some of the current sociological theories on the causes of truancy and school drop-outs among teenagers, as well as present a case study of one such dropout.

Throughout history, education was considered to be one of the criteria of social upgrading. Males tended to be the ones sent to school, and then mainly the males from the upper classes. Education has always been something desirable, and therefore, it is almost inconceivable that in a time when free quality education is available to one and all, that there would be those who would not only not avail themselves of the opportunity, but actually drop out of school. As these rates significantly continue to rise, it is important that the causes of truancy and dropout be understood so that steps may be implemented to prevent such occurrences in the future.
Causes of Truancy/Dropout:
For the past quarter century, there have been numerous longitudinal and cross-sectional studies that have repeatedly demonstrated that family background, school experience, antisocial behavior, and personal traits are reliable predictors of school drop-out (Bachman et al. 1971; Cairns et al. 1989; Ekstrom et al. 1986; Elliot and Voss, 1974; Ensminger and Slusarcik, 1992; Fagan and Opabon 1990; Rumberger 1983; Wehlage and Rutter 1986).
According to the majority of these studies, dropouts are more likely to come from families of low socioeconomic status (SES), with structural disadvantage (for example, single parent family, parents with low level of education, large family size, other dropouts in the family, etc; Astone and Mclanahan 1991; Bachman et al. 1971; Cairns et al. 1989; Ekstrom et al. 1986; Elliot and Voss 1974; Fagan and Pabon 1990; Rumberger 1983; Steinberg et al. 1984).
Boys drop out more frequently than do girls, and tend to be ethnic minorities (Rumberger 1987). However, data based on ethnicity are not entirely consistent. For instance, some researchers found that African or Hispanic Americans are more likely to drop out of school (Chavez et al. 1989; Ensminger and Sluarcik 1992) while other studies have indicated that there is no particular tendency for any ethnic minority to drop-out when socioeconomic variables are controlled (Cairns et al. 1989; Rumberger 1983).
There have also been studies which have focused on family processes that have indicated that dropouts come more frequently from families characterized by a lack of supervision, a permissive parenting style, poor aspirations regarding the schooling of the children, and negative reactions to...

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Uploaded by:   cutee2

Date:   11/03/2011

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   7 pages (1,638 words)

Views:   5221

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