The Role of education: Sociologists

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  • The role of education: sociologists.
    • Functionalist
      • Durkheim: suggested that the education system has two main functions... To teach social solidarity and specialist skills.
        • specialist skills: The workplace has a complex division of labor where individuals need specialist skills to differentiate jobs.
        • social solidarity: individuals need to feel a part of society, and that they belong in order to prevent people from rebelling against societies norms and values
      • Parsons: schools are the bridge between the family and wider society. Schools are meritocratic.
        • The bridge between the family and wider society: schools provide norms and values that are essential in the workplace.
        • meritocracy: means that schools are equal and each student has the same opportunity to succeed and high achievement is based on effort... achieved status.
      • Davis and Moore: Schools are in place for role allocation.
        • role allocation: Where schools allocate future roles based on qualities they show in school such as creativity and imagination, over obedience and focus.
    • Marxist
      • Althusser: The RSA & ISA, as well as the education system reproduces and legitimates class inequality.
        • RSA & ISA: the representative state apparatus in which maintaining the rule of the bourgeoisie by force or the threat of it, and ideological state apparatus,in which maintaining the rules of the bourgeoisie by controlling peoples ideas.
        • legitimates class inequality: meaning it makes class inequality the norm.
        • Reproduces class inequality: it recreates class inequality through, failed students to be the working class and successful students become middle class.
      • Bowles and Gintis: schooling in a capitalist society.
        • The education system is in place to serve the means of a capitalist society in which the bourgeoisie maintain control and are top of the hierarchy. The school system recreates an obedient workforce  with the accurate qualities such as discipline and punctuality.
      • Willis: looked at the education system from a Marxist and Internationalistperspective and suggested that the education system insures that working class pupils are slotted into the poorly paid jobs and are alienated from society..
        • alienation: Meaning that an individual or group feels socially isolated and estranged because they lack the control in their lives and realize their true potential
    • New right:
      • conservative political view that incorporates neoliberal economic ideas. They are similar to functionalists because they both believe that people are naturally more talented. both favor a  meritocratic system. both believe that pupils should share values such as competition.
      • Chubb & Moe: The state run education system fails to create equal opportunities, fails to produce pupils with skills needed for the economy, and private schools deliver higher quality education. (base their arguments on a study of 60,000 pupils from 1015 state and private schools)
        • private schools are giving a higher quality of education because they increase competition and pressure to succeed.
        • league tables: A list of the competitors (in this case schools, both private and state) in a league, showing their ranking according to performance in a particular season/ academic year
        • suggested that schools shouldn't automatically be funded by the government and instead vouchers are given by parents to the chosen school and so the best schools and quality of teaching have the most funding because parents choose to provide their voucher to the best school.
  • By Amelia Jones :)


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