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Sociology Unit 2
Topic 1: the role of education in society.
There are a number of reasons for the introduction of State Education towards the end of
the 19th century:

Attitudes began to change; belief that education is right and that children should not
be working dangerous jobs.
Concerns about…

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1. Believe schools transmit norms and values that create social stability in society.
However, they believe it is based on the internalisation of the values and ideologies
of the ruling class.

2. Reproducing the inequalities and social relations of production of capitalist society.

3. Serves to legitimate these inequalities through…

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The Government has tried to reduce the material deprivation faced by working class
pupils, such as:

EMA is used to support parents and is given to older children making less need for
them to have a part time job.

Positive discrimination, putting money into poorer areas, to improve the

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Restricted code: a kind of short hand speech which uses short, simple, unfinished
sentences as the speaker takes for granted that the listener knows what they are talking

Research suggests that most middle class children have been taught in both the
restricted and elaborated code whereas working class children…

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Pupils in schools are constantly being assessed and classified; they are defined as being able
or less able. Teachers are more likely to define middle rather than working class pupils as
able, a good student and well behaved.

Self-fulfilling prophecy: if a child is labelled as bright, others will tend…

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Interactionalist Evaluation:
What is taught in schools disadvantages the working class. Working class experience
is almost invisible in the curriculum.
Neo-Marxist Ramsey (1983) claimed knowledge is being used as a farm of social
control, and behind the facade of Maths/English there is a hidden curriculum to keep
working class/ethnic minority…

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One argument concerning outside school factors is that differential educational achievement
of ethnic groups reflects the social class backgrounds of these groups. A higher proportion
of Indian and Chinese children are middle class than other ethnic groups and this is why they
do well at school. Whereas African-Caribbean, Bangladeshi and…

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Archer found Chinese students and parents placed high value on education. For both middle
and working class families, university was `a must'. Parents invested considerable time,
energy and money in their children's education. A family's status is partly due to the
educational performance of the children.

Inside school factors

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Although gender gap is significant it is important to note that class has over 5 times the
effect than gender and ethnicity has twice the effects.

Why has girls achievement improved?
The job market

Men have traditionally gone into semi-skilled and unskilled work but there has been a decline

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them to underestimate the amount of preparation they need to do for exams. They are
often surprised when they fail exams and tend to put it down to bad luck rather than lack of

Laddish behaviour/peer group status

Some working class boys attempts to deal with the identity problems…




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