Key sociologists

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Focuses on meritocracy. He "sees the school as the 'focal socialising agency' in modern society"


Learning to Labour: see education as reproducing and legitimating class inequality i.e. ensures that working-class pupils learn to accept jobs that are poorly paid and alienating.


Role of education in a capitalist society = to create a workforce with the kind of attitudes, behaviour and personality-type suited to their role as alienated and exploited workers willing to accept hard work, low pay and orders from above.

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Four key features that act as a barrier to educational achievement. 1) Fatalism: a belief in fate - that 'whatever will be, will be'. 2) Collectivism: valuing being part of a group more than succeeding as an individual. 3) Immediate gratification: seeking pleasure now rather that making sacrifices in order to get rewards in the future. (the opposite is deferred gratification) 4) Present-time orientation: seeing the present as more important than the future.


The variety of boys' responses. There are four ways in which boys respond to racist stereotyping;

1) The rebels: Most visible and influential group BUT only a small minority of black pupils. Often excluded. 2) The conformists: Largest group. These were boys who accepted the schools goals, made friends with other ethnicities and were keen to succeed. 3) The retreatists: A tiny minority of isolated individuals who were disconnected from school and subcultures. They were despised by the rebels. 4) The innovators: 2nd largest group. Pro-education but anti-school=they valued success but did not seek teachers approval.

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Two main functions of education; creating social solidarity and teaching specialist skills.


Two speech codes. Elaborate=middle-class, complex sentences, varied language. Restricted=working-class, limited vocab, decriptive not analytical, very predictable.

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