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Functionalist see that society is made up of School teaches: Functionalists have a positive
independent parts which make the society to run Adaptation ­ adapt to work environment. view towards the education
smoothly and one of these institutions is education. Integration ­ encourage people to work together. system and they see it as shaping
the individuals from the age of 4
to the age of 16
Davis and Moore- role allocation (1945)
They argue that the key function of education Hidden curriculum-
is role allocation. Society needs most talented School uniform- ensure that
to do the most skilled jobs. Functionalists the students would always be
say that inequality is necessary to ensure that
the most important roles in society are filled In Education smart even in their jobs.
by the most talented people. E.g. ­ you don't
just want anyone as a surgeon
Not everyone is equally talented so society
has to offer higher rewards for these jobs.
This will encourage everyone to compete for
them- and society will select the most Parsons(1951)
talented. sees school as the `bridge' between the family and wider
society. This bridge is needed because family and society
operate on different principles, so children need to learn a
Emilie Durkheim (1903) new way of living if they are to cope in the outside world.
Social Solidarity-The education system helps to create social Equality of opportunity-Parsons sees school as preparing us
solidarity by transmitting society's culture from one generation for society as they are both based on meritocratic principles.
to the next. E.g.-teaching history gives children a sense of i.e., everyone is given an equal opportunity, and individuals
common identity. Education makes children cooperate with each achieve rewards through their own effort and ability.
other, members if society besides family and friends...its like a
mini society
For example, teaching history provides links between the FAMILY-Within the family, the child is judged and treated
individual and society. Children will come to see that they are largely in terms of particularistic standards (a child's social
part of something lager than themselves and they will develop a status is according by its parents and other family members).
sense of commitment to the social group. Without similar Parents know their child inside out and they would judge the
attitudes in people social life would be impossible child as a person (particular child) rather than judging her or
him in terms of standards. Within the family the child's status
is ascribed: it is fixed by birth.
Four functions of education:
Transmission of cultural values/ socialisation- equality of opportunity WIDER SOCIETY-However, in the wider society the individual
and social solidarity (Durkheim and parsons) is treated and judged in terms of universalistic standards (the
Economic training/ skills provision- school acts a mini society preparing individual is judged by criteria) which are applied to all
us for work .(parsons and Durkheim) members of society, regardless of their kinship ties. E.g. They
Social selection/ role allocation-education allocates students to the don't care about where they come from, situations They have
most suited jobs based on their ability and talent.(Davis and Moore
Aisha and
Dagali been, or going through, they would judge them the same
Parsons) way as they judge everyone else…read more

Slide 2

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In modern society the education Bowles and Gintis-There is close correspondence between the
system has replaced the church as Marxists believe that ways in which children are treated in school and the
the main agency for ideological education is based on workplace. The correspondence theory is done through the
control. class division and hidden curriculum as it shapes the workforce in the following
capitalist exploitation ways:
Subservient work force- education helps create passive
Louis Althusser-education, produces and workers and ensures that they will unquestionably adapt
legitimizes class inequality. The main to the needs of the system.
function of education is the ideological Marxists are Acceptance of Hierarchy- Teachers are like bosses who
state apparatus, which is to ensure that very NEGATIVE about the give orders and students are like workers who obey.
the ruling class dominance of economic, society we live in and always Teachers have control over learning and students have no
social and political power continues see the BAD in everything. control.
undisruptive, by convincing working class Marxists believe that society is Motivated by external reward- learners are motivated by
pupils that their educational failure is their dominated by the ruling class. external rewards rather than love of education. The
fault. learning is based on the `jug and mug ' principle. Teachers
pour into their heads that they will be rewarded just to
Ideological state apparatus-An keep them encouraged e.g. the qualification
institution, influenced by the State, that Fragmentation- school subject are fragmented in the
transmits ruling-class ideas in the guise same way that routine work is. Learners move from
of mainstream ideas in order to Marxists subject to subject in school and in the workplace workers
reproduce, legitimise and hide existing In Education carry out different tasks too.
patterns of class inequality
Education contains a Hidden Curriculum
which promotes Ruling class values and
Paul Willis-'The lads' formed their own friendship group Pierre Bourdieu- attitudes. This ensures that the working
which had a counter-school culture , where they made Middle class are class accept their own failure, whereas,
their own norms and values which was against the values most likely to in reality it's the capitalist education
of the school and doing well. Schools succeed, as they system which causes them to fail.
In Paul Willis's book: Learning to Labour he mentions: prepare have a cultural
Shop floor culture- boys feel superior to teachers pupils to capital
Penetrations- working class boys could see through the accept their Education reflects the
barrier how they are being exploited by the ruling class future needs of capitalism by
and how they benefit from education more than exploitation. Myth of meritocracy- providing the pupils with
working class pupils Meritocracy is wrong. It is not the appropriate skills and
Subculture-a culture within a culture, where they create true that the education system attitudes to make them
their own norms and values, which are against the Aisha Dagali rewards pupils on the basis of good and obedient
school rules ability and talent. workers…read more

Slide 3

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Functionalism Critiques
· Althusser- disagrees that the main function of education is the · Not everyone is equally talented so society has to offer
transmission of cultural values. He says its rather an ideological higher rewards for these jobs. This will encourage
state apparatus. everyone to compete for them- and society will select the
· Marxists- Education functions tend to transmit dominate most talented.
· Davis and Moore- say that inequality is necessary to
culture which serves the needs of ruling class rather than ensure that the most important roles in society are filled
society by the most talented people. E.g. ­ you don't just want
· Myth of meritocracy anyone as a surgeon.
· Schools prepare children to accept their future exploitation. · Giroux- Bowles and Gintis don't mention the fact that
students may resist the legitimacy of school and the
· Hidden curriculum to ensure they unquestionably adapt to the hidden curriculum.
capitalist system. · Althusser's view lacks empirical evidence.
· Functionalists say that the student passively accept all that · Don't take into account gender or ethnicity inequalities ­
they are taught and never reject the school values. ONLY CLASS!
· Reynolds- its hard for capitalist society to have complete
· Transmission of norms and values is not always successful, control. There is a lack of correspondence between school
some students reject the values of school and perform a and the economy in terms of the formal curriculum.
subculture, which are opposite the norms and values of school. · Brown- changes do occur but exams continue to reinforce
(Paul Willis) inequality. The exam system in which people are judged
and compete with one another as individuals encourages
· Ability have a limited effect in educational achievement. the development of these skills
Research shows that achievement is closely tied with issues
like social class, ethnicity and gender. (Bourdieu- middle class
have more cultural capital)
· Bowles and Gintis- the children from middle class who are
wealthy and rich obtain high qualifications and well rewarded
jobs, irrespective (not based) of their abilities.
· Not everyone has the same chance in education.
Both focus on external factors and fail and fail to take into account internal factors such as the teachers'
expectations and labelling.
Both approaches are either education system seen as good or bad. Interactionists recognise that there is a mix
Both Functionalist and Marxist views of the working class underachievement, may reinforce and reproduce the
negative labelling schools and teachers have of working class students, and encourage them to blame the family
and/or society rather than addressing the organisation
Aishaof the school and teachers' expectations and labelling.
Dagali…read more

Slide 4

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Hargreaves- he found that teachers Looks at the interactions between This is The only theory which is not
initially categorized students by several students and teachers. deterministic.
things for example: Deterministic- a persons behaviour is
Appearance, a pupil who achieves a poor test result not controlled by external force or
Ethnicity might interpret the result in different ways forces.
Social class and attach different meanings to it.
Gender Functionalists, Marxists and
Ability and enthusiasm for work Rosenthal and Jacobson- when Feminists believe that
teachers gave a positive label to behaviour is determined or
prophecy- when a
students, they would act in a controlled. However,
Hargreaves- Elaboration and Stabilisation label is given to a
positive way, however, when they Interactionists believe that it's
Theory: person and the label
are given a negative label they the individuals who choose how
Elaboration-Teachers test their becomes true. They
would act in a negative way and the they want to behave (Like a
evaluation of a student from the first act upon their label.
original production is fulfilled a self- puppet controlled by strings)
impression over a longer time span. e.g. if a student was
fulfilling prophecy. because of the way they
Stabilisation-Teacher would know the labelled as stupid, he
preserve themselves from the
child with a slight difficulty in would act stupid and
interaction with other people.
interpreting the actions of a particular also feel stupid.
student, from the information gained
in previous stages. Some people accept their
Interactionists label and act upon it but
Some students rebel against
Hargreaves- found that teachers (Labelling Theory) their label
categorized, however he noted that these
categories are non academic (Not part of As a result of negative labels, pupil may start to
the school system) . This is known as the develop new patterns of behaviour. They may
Halo effect, where pupils are stereotyped form subcultures in which the pupil role becomes
on non-academic impressions. modified and types of behaviour which are
punished by their teachers are rewarded by their
Some students may Becker-Teachers perceive middle class students
believe the labelling has behaviour as evidence of commitment to study, and Ball- found that there is a close correlation
been caused by them working class cultural behaviour as evidence of between Streaming (aka, Banding) ( being
failing to work
sufficiently hard, and indiscipline, and lower ability. Teachers may hold placed in a particular group for all lessons)
they might resolve to different expectations of eventual achievement, /setting (being placed by ability for some
work with renewed which in turn can affect pupils' progress according lessons) and social class. He extended the
effort. to the ways in which they are labelled
Aisha and sorted
Dagali self-Fulfilling prophecy and argues that the
out in groups whole group can be treated in different ways…read more

Slide 5

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Labelling critique
Marxists- labelling theory ignores the wider
structures of power within which labelling
takes place. They argue that labels are not
merely the result of teachers' individual
prejudices, but stem from the fact that
teachers work in a system that reproduces
class division
Interactionists focus on the interaction within
the school and ignore the importance of other
in educational success.
Interactionists have been accused of
determinism in their approach to education.
They say that once a label is given to students,
a self-fulfilling prophecy will follow.
Aisha Dagali…read more

Slide 6

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Barry Sugarman -Children are often socialised into the values of: Working class people are suffering from:
deferred gratification- Middle class parents have usually Material Deprivation-Working class kids are more likely to
waited for qualifications, therefore, their children would have suffer from material deprivation which means that they lack the
the attitude that they can wait for reward. This instils a kind of money to provide recourses succeeding in education because
patience into middle class children which helps them maintain they cannot afford the extras.
their focus and commitment at school Cultural Deprivation- Some underachievers lack cultural
immediate gratification -working class students can not wait equipment needed to do well. They lack factors like intellectual
for many years to gain a qualification. The are used to the development, language, self discipline, skills, attitudes and
aspect of `I want it know'. They prefer going out looking for a values because of their parents educational background. This
part time job than stay into further education. means that they are suffering from cultural deprivation.
Teachers are mainly Middle class,
Basil Bernstein -talks about language codes and therefore, they would use the elaborated
argues that Middle class and Working class code. Middle class students would benefit
people tended to speak in different codes: from this, while working class students
Elaborated Code- Middle class use the would disadvantage from the Working class
elaborated code, where they spoke in a good students would also find some difficulty to
Manor and a very clear meaning with high Social Class and express themselves or explain their point
usage of vocabulary and grammar. Educational properly.
Restricted code- Working class use the
restricted code, where they spoke in an achievement
inappropriate manor, they had limited usage of
vocabulary and many grammatical errors JBW Douglas -says that the students health,
family size and quality of the school are three
main factors which can effect the educational
achievement if it was not Good. Poor people
Pierre Bourdieu-working class failure is the fault of the tended to have big families, in this case they
education system and not working class culture. middle class would have to provide for all members so
culture is the dominant in education and the system ignore they would get the cheapest products.
working class by not providing them with the skills and the
knowledge needed to become successful. Middle class are
most likely to succeed, as they have a cultural capital JBW Douglas-parental interest in the child's progress is
Cultural capital- the knowledge, attitudes, values, language important. Middle class parents tended to take more
and abilities that middle class parents transmit to their interest than the Working class parents.
Aisha Dagali…read more

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