Social Structural Theories
The next factors that influence the decision to cheat or not to cheat are a part of students' early socialization. Social structural theories explain some of the ways society itself may contribute to a student’s socialization. Marxist theory proposes that behavior is a result of class struggle. If lower class students feel upper class students are getting good grades because of their class status, they may choose to take the cheating (more convenient) path to good grades.
Lower class students may have different focal concerns (as proposed by Miller) than the college has. Lower class students may judge their success not on just getting good grades but on getting them by outsmarting their professors and taking the convenient, cheating path to good grades. Students in a lower socioeconomic status may be more inclined to cheat because they have to spend so much of their time working to pay their college expenses and their living expenses. Students that are more mobile and transfer between colleges more often than other students do may be more susceptible to cheating since they do not develop any loyalty to any one college or student body. Students from single-parent homes, homes with disruptive family relations, or homes with marital instability may cheat more than may students that come from more traditional family homes.