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The Role and Purpose of Education
Functionalist view (consensus theory):
Functionalists emphasise positive aspects of schools. Durkheim noted the importance of education in
preventing `anomie' (a state of chaos, in which society lacks a shared set of norms and values to guide
behaviour). Durkheim argued that whilst family is…

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Marxists argue that education ensures the proletariats are filtered into jobs of low status and pay,
whilst rich children retain prestige. This is a Deterministic view as it assumes if you are in the working class
you will fail in education. Paul Willis's research with the `lads' suggests that far…

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Social class influences on achievement
Correlation between attainment and class is well recognized with poorer children achieving less well than the
richer children at every key stage and level of education. Poorer children are also significantly
underrepresented in postcompulsory education. As children progress through school the social class widens.

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Boys of AfricanCaribbean origin often have the label `unruly', `disrespectful' and `difficult to
control' applied to them. Gillbourn found that AfricanCaribbean pupils were more likely to be given
detentions than other pupils because teachers misinterpreted the dress and manner of speech of these children
as representing a challenge to their…

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There are increasing Job opportunities for women in the service sector of the economy, wile the
availability of male manual work has reduced considerably. 50% of all women in 1960 were in employment
compared to 75% of all women by 2006 with many more in higherstatus, relatively wellpaid positions.

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Male Peer Groups: also use verbal abuse to reinforce their definitions of masculinity. Studies by
Epstein and Willis show boys in antisubcultures often accuse boys who want to do well of being
gay or effeminate. (also refer to Mac an Ghaill studies)
Teachers and Discipline: male teachers tell off boys…

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subculture of failure. He argued that this was the impact of `differentiation' (ways of distinguishing
between social groups through variations in aspects of culture, language, wealth, power, and status).
It led to Polarisation' among the boys, where the top stream became more interested and the lower stream
less interested.

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longitudinal or cross sectional. These approaches tend to be quantitative, more practical approach when
dealing with large amounts of data in an objective way. These methods are used to provide a broad overview
of what is happening in education whilst other methods usually explain why.
Questionnaires can be administered and…


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