Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ethnic Differences In 5 Year Olds.

This is interesting; a study has found that there are significant differences between British 5 year olds depending on their ethnic group. The results largely reflect the outcomes that are observed in older children in terms of GCSE results and other indicators.

Much of the conventional wisdom attributes ethnic differences in life outcomes to racism or institutional racism. I have never believed that and having read up on the subject (particularly the works of Thomas Sowell) I have long been convinced that the differences aren't imposed by society as a whole but rather generated internally. The fact that the differences are already present in 5 year olds pretty much torpedoes the racism argument and the policies that follow from making those assumptions.

The only viable causes are either innate differences or the idea of cultural capital. I favour the latter theory so it isn't a surprise to see that different groups treat their children in different ways.

The one real criticism of the study is that it fails to break down the "white" group into separate categories for the natives, for want of a better term, and the children of Eastern European migrants. I don't understand why the much smaller black and asian categories are divided into sub groups but whites are all lumped together. The absence of a Chinese category is also a pity.

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