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Sociology Unit 2 - Education
Perspectives and sociologists…read more

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· Functionalists focus on the way that parts of society all
positively impact each other.
· Education is seen as vital for secondary socialisation
· Durkheim : Education creates social solidarity by integrating
people into a shared culture
· Parsons : Education is essential for role allocation and social
selection. The system is a meritocracy
NOTE : the impact of education and the way it `filters' people into
wider society is seen as positive by functionalists. They believe
that pupils behaviour, accomplishments and performance in
school determines their standing in society further into their
life, for instance if you put loads of effort in and get good grades
then you'll go into higher education and a better career which
you deserve, no matter what background you have.…read more

Slide 3

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· I put Marxism next as you can remember that they have kind of the
same view as functionalism but a negative, pessimistic viewpoint.
· Marxists say that the educational system supports the workings of a
capitalist economy.
· Key concepts of Marxism are: The Correspondence Principle,
Hierarchical Division of Labour and the Myth of Meritocracy
· The Correspondence Principle basically says that your performance in
education will always reflect and is pre-determined by your social
standing or background.
· The Hierarchical Division of Labour is almost the same as the
Functionalist `role allocation'. Marxists say that education filters
people into their societal roles e.g. Working class pupils are more
likely go into manual, labouring jobs due to dismissing education at a
younger age.
· They believe in the `Myth of Meritocracy' saying that no matter how
hard a person works, their future is pre-determined by their
background due to factors such as material and cultural deprivation
which impacts their attitudes towards education.…read more

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New Right
· A more familiar perspective as it is the one we are in at the
minute. Look at the news and you will see some of these in
action at the minute!
· The New Right aim for: greater diversity of schools, freedom of
choice for parents as consumers, local control of schools and to
achieve higher through competition.
· The New Right mainly aim to improve, improve, improve. They
are constantly trying to enhance the quality of education
· The Education Reform Act of 1988 can be used as an example
of this as some of its policies included league tables and local
management of schools.
· Chubb and Moe - believes that if school can become self-
managing giving them more control on finance and policies etc.
they believe this will raise standards in education for more
competition.…read more

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· These perspectives can be applied to aspects of the education topics e.
g. Social class achievements or under achievement of boys. A strong
paragraph will counter balance and argue points.
· Imagine you have an angel and a devil on each shoulder and make
them argue on your essay.
· For example: Functionalists would say that he education system is
essential for role allocation and that being a meritocracy, people can
work their way through the social class system however marxists
would disagree and say that functionalists see through `rose tinted
glasses' and that there is in fact a Myth of Meritocracy and that the
correspondence principle is in play; pupils achievement is pre-
determined and limited to their social standing and background. This
is shown in Willis' study into sub-cultures as the working class boys he
observed and interviewed dismissed their education, and
consequently are more likely to end up in manual labouring jobs
compared to middle class boys who are likely to go into higher
education and into higher paid and status careers.…read more

Slide 6

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· Obviously I can't cover every single perspective and
sociologist in this power point, but these are the best
ones to think of as they counter each other and are
easy to remember.
· Simple terms: Functionalist are smiley people. They
say that everything is good and positive and society
runs like clockwork. Marxists are grumpy sods and
say that education is floored as it limits people to
doing certain jobs and keeps the social class system
alive. New Right are the ones in our government at
the minute in posh suits (funny enough from private
schools themselves just a point to think about) that
are making all the changed to improve education…read more

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