Key Sociologists

  • Created by: nifetayo
  • Created on: 25-05-21 11:55


Durkheim - argues that society needs a sense of solidarity; without social cooperation it would be impossible to form a society as individuals would become selfish. School helps to transmit society's culture to the younger generation and prepares children for the wider society 

Parsons - sees school as the socia socializing agency; acts as a bridge between family and wider society. Within a family, the child is judged by particularistic standardsBy contrast in school judges us by universalistic standards, i.e. the same law applies to everyone. In society and school one’s status is achieved not ascribed i.e. you have to work hard to gain some status. Believe that everyone is given an equal opportunity

Schultzargues that another function of education is to teach specialist skills. These are skills that each person is good at. The production of a single item involves the cooperation of many specialists. This cooperation promotes social solidarity. Education teaches individuals the specialist knowledge and skills that they need to play their part in the social division of labour. Schultz refers to this as the development of Human Capital, which then benefits the wider economy and helps to maintain society.

Davis and MooreSee education as a device for selection and role allocation. They argue inequality is necessary to ensure that the most important roles of society are filled by the most talented people this encourages people to compete for the most talented jobs and improve the workforce.

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New Right

Chubb and MoeArgue that the American school system has failed miserably and make a case for marketisation. They argue that state education has failed to create equality between races, religious and lower class members of society, failed to develop pupils into effective workers and that private schools outperform state schools because they are answerable to a paying consumer

They suggest that instead of having guaranteed funding, parents should be given vouchers to spend on schools of their choice. Schools are thus forced to appeal to parents wishes as vouchers means funding for school.

New right argue that the state still has a role to play, namely by providing a framework in which schools compete. That is having Ofsted inspection, results published and exam boards.The state also ensures a shared set of values are instilled through national curriculum.

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Althusser - argued that the state consists of two apparatuses which keep the bourgeoisie in power: Repressive state apparatuses which maintain the rule of bourgeoisie by force such as police, army and courts. The ideological state apparatuses maintain the role of bourgeoisie by controlling people’s ideas, values and beliefs. Education reproduces class inequality by transmitting ideas from generation to generation and failing the working class deliberately.

Bowles and Gintissuggests capitalism requires a workforce with the behaviour and personality suited to their role as exploited hard workers who accept low pay.  The role of education is to produce an obedient workforce that accepts inequality as inevitable. They looked at 237 high school students and found that schools reward submissive, compliant workers and punished defiant behaviour. 

Willis - Myth of Meritocracy - education promotes the myth that everyone is equal and can achieve but really it simply reproduces class and racial inequalities.  Evidence suggests that income is determined by family class and background more so than educational achievement. Willis did research on a group of 12 working class boys and found that The lads had a anti school subculture when at school and found school boring and meaningless and rejected the idea of meritocracy

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Ethnicity and educational achievement (external)

Lawson and Garroddefined ethnic group as people who share common history, language, religion and customs. They often see themselves as a distinct unit within a wider society.

Driver and Ballard - argue that Asian family culture brings educational benefits as their parents have more positive attitudes towards education with higher aspirations for career options.

Geoffrey Driver - argued that cultural deprivation theory ignores the positive effects of ethnicity on educational achievement. For instance black family structure can show a strong independent woman as a role model explaining why black girls achieve better than black males. 

Keddie - argues that families are culturally different not deprived, they under achieve due to ethnocentric bias schools not their family.

Flaherty - found that Pakistanis and Bangladeshis were three times more likely to be amongst the poorest fifth of the population, they were more likely to engage in low paid word and twice as likely to be in low skilled low paid work

John Rex - argues that racial discrimination leads to social education and how it worsens poverty. In housing for instance minorities are more likely to be in poor accommodation.

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Ethnicity and educational attainment (internal)

Troyna and Williams - describe British schools as ethnocentric because it gives priority to English culture. Also believe that ethnic differences in achievement are more to do with institutional racism

Ball - argued that the national curriculum ignores cultural diversity and promotes the Englandism focusing on British Empire

Hatcher - found that school bodies failed to deal with pupils racist behaviour in schools and there were no channels of communication between school governors and ethnic minority parents.

Gillborn - argues that marketisation of schools gives schools more power to select pupils and this puts ethnic minorities at a disadvantage. Also found that teachers were quick to discipline black students over white students for the same behaviour. This is because teachers have racialised expectations in that they expect black students to present more behaviour problems

Fuller studied a group of black high achieving girls. Instead of accepting their negative stereotypes they channelled their anger into pursuit of educational success and did not seek teacher approval. 

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Social class and educational achievement - cultura

Bernstien and Douglas - found that middle class mothers are more likely to choose toys that encourage thinking and reasoning and this prepares them better for educational success.

Bernstein - identified two type of languages used by working and middle class, restricted and elaborated code, which he claims is responsible for underachievement among working class. Schools prefer students who use elaborated 

Hyman - argues that the values of lower class reflect a self imposed barrier to educational success, they believe they have less chance of achieving individual success and so see no point of education 

Keddie - argues schools should recognise and build upon working class values and reduce anti working class prejudices

Blackstone and Mortimore - argue that working class parents are not necessarily less involved in child’s education. Instead their long working hours makes things for difficult 

Troyna and Williams - argue that teachers have a speech hierarchy and label middle class speech as the highest and working class speech as uneducated, this bias leads to under performance of working class students.

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Social Class and Educational Achievement - materia

Marilyn Howard - notes that young people from poorer homes have lower intakes of energy, vitamins and minerals. 

Tanner et al - found that costs of items such as transport, uniforms, books, computers etc place heavy burdens on poor families . As a result poor children have 

Ridge - found that children in poverty take on jobs such as baby sitting and paper rounds which have negative impact on their schoolwork. 

EMA - No longer in action. this aimed to provide financial support for materially deprived students hoping to stay in further education. This was introduced so they can afford to concentrate on their education and not pursue a full time job.

Children centres - deprived children have access to. These centres provide education, care, family support and health services. 

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Social Class and Educational Achievement - interna

Becker - carried out a study to find the ideal pupil type. Interviewed 60 high school teachers and found that The teachers often saw middle class students as the closest to ideal and working class children as furthest away.

rist - did a study on primary school teachers. Found teachers used students backgrounds to place them into groups eg. The middle class fast learners being labeled as tigers and the less able were labelled as clowns. 

rosenthal - did a standard IQ test which labeled 20% of students as 'spurters'.they returned a year later and saw that 47% of the spurters saw significant progress 

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Gender and Educational Achievement - internal

Haywood and Ghaill - found that male teachers told boys off for behaving like girls and ignored boys verbal abuse of girls and even blamed girls for attracting it

Sue Lees found a double standard in sexual morality in which boys brag about their sexual exploits whereas girls are labelled as “slags” 

Oakleygender role socialisation is the process of learning the behaviour expected of males and females in society. 

Browne and Rose - argue that children beliefs about gender domains are shaped by expectations of adults. 

Kelly - argued science is seen as a boys subject as teachers tend to be men, the examples in textbooks tend to draw on male experiences 

leanonard - did a study on 13,000 pupils and found that girls in all girl schools are more likely to take maths and science a levels compared to mixed school 

Paetcher - found that girls who chose sports tend to be subject to taunts such as being called butch or lesbian.

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Gender and education achievement - internal/extern

Gorard - found that the gender gap was quite constant until 1988 when GCSE and coursework was introduced

Browne - found that girls are more successful at coursework as they are more conscientious and better organised. 

Jackson - notes that introduction of exam league tables places higher value on academic achievement, and has improved opportunities for girls as high achieving girls are sought after by top schools 

Mcrobbie - looked at magazine covers throughout the years and found a shift from the promotion of women being married and cooks to nowadays where women are seen as powerful and achievement orientated. 

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Labeling and class subcultures

Howard Becker - found that teachers tend to classify sand evaluate students in terms of a standard ‘ideal pupil’

Gillborn - argues that labelling is likely to result in a self-fulfilling prophecy in which students become disruptive and low-achieving.

Margaret Fuller - found that the black girls in her study resisted the attempt to label them as failures by devoting themselves to school work in order to be successful.

Willis - learning to labour - studied 12 working class 'lads'. They formed a counter school subculture. Concludes that this is because they know that school work will not prepare them for the types of occupations they are likely to get 

Martian Mac an ghaill- identified groups of students: the macho lads (hostile to school authority and learning), the academic achievers (from working class backgrounds but adopted a more traditional academic route) and the new enterprisers (a new pro-school subculture which imbraced the new vocationalism of the 1980's and 1900's)


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Gender and ethnic sub cultures

Scott Davies - girls’ resistance to schooling is less aggressive and confrontational than male anti-school behaviour. 

John Abraham - research on an English comprehensive school. Girls pushed the school rules to the limit and responded to discipline by suggesting that it prevented them from getting on with their work

Tony Sewell - range of identites among african-Caribbean students: conformists (accept the value of education and behave well for academic success), innovators (accept the value of education but rejected the school system), retreatists (made themselves as invisible as possible) and rebels (rejected school and projected an image of aggressive masculinity)

Mirza and Gillborn - African-Caribbean girls are ambitious, determined to succeed and have high status aspirations. Tend not to identify with their teachers or school.

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