Sociologists in Education


Sociologists in Education

Parsons - functionalism - school takes over from primary socialisation. Schools are meritocratic (rewards people on achievement not wealth)

Davis & Moore - functionalism - role allocation through testing and evaluating students, which jobs they're best suited to. Social stratification - mechanism for ensuring most talented members of society are allocated to positions that are functional for society

J W B Douglas - functionalism - middle class children are more likely to stay in school. Influences: parental attitudes, family size etc.

Kelly - feminism - science is seen as a masculine subject. Pupils turn it into a boys subject. Boys dominate the classroom

Becker - interactionism - labelling theory: stereotyping leads to labels being attached to pupils

Sugarman - middle class occupations have an advancement in income and status. Manual and non-manual occupations. Pupils from working class backgrounds place them at a disadvantage in school

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Sociologists in Education

Bourdieu - 'cultural capital'. Working class failure is the fault of the education system not the working class culture

Willis - neo-marxism - 'learning to labour'. Pupil subcultures within schools. Education prepares the workforce but denies education is a successful way of socialisation. Studied the lads' counter-culture

Plummer - feminism - preoccupation with 'failing boys' diverts attention from underachieving girls

Fuller - interactionism - black girls didn't accept negative teacher expectations and they fought labels to achieve success

Bernstein - restricted and elaborated codes. Attainment in schools may be related to differences in speech patterns

Rosenthal & Jacobson - pygmalion in the classroom provided evidence to support the concept of self fulfilling prophecy

Durkheim - functionalism - mechanical solidarity (everything working in harmony) - education is needed for society to function properly and effectively

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Sociologists in Education

Sharpe - feminism - improvement in achievement of girls due to changes in mabout market, changing attitudes and women sociologists encouraged teachers to be more aware of gender inequality

Mac an Ghail - ethnographic study - the way students perceived and responded to schooling was influenced by the ethnic group they belonged to

Gillborn & Youdell - teachers use stereotypical notions of 'ability' to stream pupils. Educational triage. Working class pupils are usually placed in bottom sets

Lacey - pupil subcultures. Pro-school subculture (those committed to the values of the school) and anti-school subculture (those places in low streams)

Sewell - lack of fatherly nurturing results in black boys finding it hard to overcome the emotional and behavioural difficulties of adolescence

Chubb & Moe - new right perspective - call for an introduction of a market system in state education that would put control in the hands of the consumers (parents and local communities). This would allow consumers to shape schools to meet their own needs and would improve quality and efficiency

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Sociologists in Education

Althusser - marxism - repressive state apparatuses and ideological state apparatuses. Education reproduces and legitimates class inequality

Bowles & Gintis - meritocracy does not exist, the main factor determining whether or not someone has a high income is their family and class background, not their ability or educational achievement

Bartlett - cream-skimming and silt-shifting. Parents are attracted to school with good league table rankings. 'Good' schools can be more selective with choosing their pupils and 'good' school can avoid taking less able pupils

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