Sociology Education

Sociology as level education

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  • Created by: abi
  • Created on: 22-03-12 10:59

Education Reform Act



  • greater choice
  • competetion
  • meeting equal opportunities
  • raising standards
  • schools and teachers are more accountable
  • greater control and standardisation of biritish education
  • support student
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  • reduces choice
  • unfair advantage in some schools
  • school become exam factories
  • greater pressure on students
  • to much parent power - interference
  • creating "sink schools" - labelling
  • school budget
  • limited subject choice
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tripartite system

aim : to raise standards

11+ exam

3/4 failed
grammar schools if you do well
secondry schools if you do not do well
technal school if you fail - 5%

based on IQ not mixed intelligence ( logical not creative)

more middle class are doing better
major social class deivision

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1960 compulsary education


free education

less divion than tripartie system

divsion - lower sets

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1970 looking at non academic children

YTS - youth training scheme

negative is that it causes labelling

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new labour and policy change

middle class have more acess to better education

fee paying

 aim higher - motivate working class

reduce inequality
-education action zones in run down areas
-2015 everyone stays in school until 18
- EMA encourage working class to stay in school

promote diversity and chouce
- academy status
- specialist school status 2007 - 85%

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New Right view on education

favour the marketisation of education

-should try to be the best

shared values
-motivation to suceed

instill a sense of national diversity

create an educational market
2 roles for the state
tramsmit a shared culture
national cirriculum

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some people are better than others

conservative political perspective


ritocratic priniciple of open competition
-do better if you work harder

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Functionalists view on education
macro structural

education helps mentain social solidarity

education is vital when transmitting norms and values in society

unifying effects - history lessons

education is like a mini society

learn speciallist skills that are not learnt at home

arm chair pilospehy , never reaserched more an opinion
overplays positives apects ( bullying , socioeconomic factors)
Davis and Moore - ascribed particularistic standard and role allocation
Chubb and Moe - failure of American education system , private schools do better, failure to produce skill workers

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Funtionalists - Talcott Parsons

focal socialising agency

from of secondry socialisation

bridge between family and later life

education - achieved status

metitocracy - you do well becasue they have achieved success and worked hard ( not ascribed)

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reproduced next generation of workers, schooled to accept their place in a capitalists society

legitimuses inequality and desquises explotationj

rewards conformity and obedience

education is widening the gap of class inneuqualities

transmits ruling  class ideology

prepare pupils for their role in the workplace

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Marxusts  - Paul Willis

individual sub cultures


working class lads

to do well is seen negatively

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marxists - louis althusser


ideological state appartus

school prepares pupils to accpet their future explotation

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marxists - Bowles and Gintis

failing working class students

corrispondance principle

hidden ciriculm

legitimates patriarchay inequalities

hidden cirriculm , subseruuient workforce acceptance of heirarchy

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Social Class - socio economic factors

cultural deprivation

lack skills and knowlage to succeed
home background has an enourmous effect on the success of children
working class are more likley to suffer

Cultural Capital

middle class do well becasue they have more opportunities
more money to spend on education
leisure time is most likely to be spent on education persuits eg museums.
have the money and attitude/apreciation

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language code
working class have a restricted code
middle class have an elaborated code  and use language alot better . this means that they can express in detail

JWB Douglas

working class is less likely to stay in education
working class will be in jobs that do not need qualifications
tend to have larger families and therfore family attention is stretched
lower parental interest

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Barry Sugarman

somebody doesnt do well becasue of home background

middle class know they wont achieve withough effort
enter school knowing they need to work
defred gratification

working class want immediate gratification
no desire for school

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Internal Factors Interactionism

Self Fuffiling prophecy
labelled in a particular way then you will mentally act to fufill it
never inspired tp try

Rosenthal and Jacobsen
pak community school
lied by saying they had created a new test which would dertermine who was the best in the class
randomly picked 20% and said that they had done better
teachers attitude had changed towards this 20%
1 year later47% had signigicantly done better than those who were not picked

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it is setting within class that creates sub cultures

beachside comprehensive
banned setting
formation of sub cultures were declined

if labelled "rubbish" then they will make friends with others that have been labelled the same

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Primary school and labelling

teachers would use your home background to set you
parents occupations
where you live
tiger - seated closer to the teacher
cloud - lower level of books , back of the room , ususally the working cla**

Circourel and Kitsuse
should be judged on your ability but you arent
you are based on background
if middle cla** and working cla** got same grades , middle cla ** would be favoured


high and low knowlagei
teachers modifty the content depending on abiltity

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Key themes of Internal Factors of Interactionism

we all seek status - legitimates status

the self is a socail process

active model of human beings
micro interprative approach
we have a looking glass self - daily interactions shape how we view ourself

micro theory - looking at individual experiences

active model of human beings

the self is a social

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Self Perception

attribute the result to their own lack of ability

resign themself to contine failure in education system

result may be caused by them failing to work suficiently hard. result to work with renued effort

might attach little or no importnace to the result, or deny vaildity of the test, continue to belive that they have considerable ability despire the result
" school effort"

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interactionist accounts

streamings and bading can reinforce and reproduce labelling

organisation of school
school can have a profound influence on the progress of students

teachers expectations
teachers judge their students
compare to the "ideal student"

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how they view theories

macro theories are determinestic

assume patterns are predictable

seeing things in a fixed way

over emphasie external factor

blame the family and society

removes responsibility
schools and teachers "off the hook"

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Ethinicity and Educational Attainment

2004  5+ GCSE grades a* - c in england

79% chinease girls
70% chinease boys
72% indian girls
66% indian boys
44% black carribean girls
27% black carribean boys

Bangladeshi , Black Caribbean , Pakistani groups are less likely than white british people to have a degree of equivilant

chinease 81%
Indian 25%
White british 17%

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Family Structure

poor care due to lack of money

absense of father lacks a male role model

failure to socialise children adequatley is the result of disfunctional family structure

moynihan 1965 - many black families headed by lone mothers

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Sub Cultures

attitude that does not value education and deosnt motivate sucess

black children are socialised into subculture which instils fatalistic " live for today"

Cultural deprivation

language spoken by low income black american families as inadequate for educational sucess
poorly equipped for school
Intellectual linguistic skills
children from low income black families lack intellectual stimulation and enriching experiences
ungramaticially disjointed

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Black Caribbean

below adverage reading ability

fewer gcse results than whites and indians

males - over represented in special educational needs

3-6x more likely to be permantely excluded from schools

least likely to stay in post 16 education if they do , take vocational qualkifications

over represented in lower streams

cycle of poverty

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asian - come above racism
black - more likley to be argumentative towards racism

Parental Support
Khan 1979 found asian famileies to be stress ridden , controlling
pressure on kids to do well
asian parents have high aspirations

Lupton 2004
adult authoriuty is similar to model that opperates in school
repspect towards elders

Drive and Ballard 1981
higher aspirations towards education and future
asian families bring educational beinfits
more positive towards eduction

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lower level of aspiration and achievemnt may be a result of lack of parental support

68% OF 11-16 year old white pupils apsire to go to university
80% of other ethinic minority pupils apsired to go to university

Swann Report
social class accounts for a t lkeast 50% of the diffrence in achievemnt between ethinic groups

black children are at a disadvnatge not nu the education but by their home background

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Material Depreciation

Flaherty 2004
ethinic minority are more likely to face material depreivation

unemployment is 3x higher in african , blangladeshi , pakistani people that white

pakistani are 2x likley to be unskillled / semi skilled jobs compared to whites

pakistani , bangladeshi over 3x more liley than whites to be in the poorest 5th of population

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Gender and educational attainment 

starting school

national survey of qualification and ciriculm - 6953 students . already shows a gender gap

children who can concentrate for 10 minuetes maybe more 
62% girls
49% boys

children who can spell their name correctly
56% girls
42% boys 

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Key stages 1 - 3 

girls tend to do better 

even in science and maths which are seen as boy subjects

GCSE and A levels 

girls tend to do better and have at least 10 points more than boyds

274 points boys
295 points girls

Vocational courses
girls more likely to get distinctions even in engineering and construction  

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External Factors and gender differences

movement of feminism 1960

helped challenge traditional views

Angele McRobbie

Jackie magazines ( ideal girl) 

1970s onwards magazine have change

Changes in the family

changed aspirations

lone families 
new role models 

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Working Woman 

changed aspirations 

1970 equal pay act 

encouraging women to wokr 

1959 - 47% in full time work
2007 - 70% in full time work

1975 use to be a 37% difference in gender pay
now there is a 17% difference in gender pay

ambitions have changed

Sue Sharpe
unstructured longitudinal interviews 

1970 get married and have kids , 1990 - go to university 

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Early socialistion 

Ann Oakley 1973

sex refers to inborn physical differences between males and females


gender refers to the learned cultural diffrenreces between them

Fiona Normal 1988 

early socialisation shapes children gender identity at an early stage treated differently 

Eileen Byrne 1979

school plays an important part , teachers encourage boys to be tough and show initiative and not to be be weak or behave like " sissies". girls are expected to be neat and tidy ,quiet and helpful 

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Gender Domain 

Naima Browne and Carol Ross 1991

argue that childrens beliefs about gender domain are shaped by their early experiences and the expectations of adults

tasks that boys and girls see as male or female territory 

children are more confident when engaging in tasks that they see as part of their own gender fomain 

boys and girls interpret tasks diffrently 
Patricia Murphy 1991

set primary and secondary school pupils open ended tasks where they were asked to design boats and veicheles and to write a newspaper advert for a house

shows that boys and girl pay attention to different details even when tackling the same task 

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Gender and subject images

science teachers are more likely to be men

examples teachers use are those found in textbooks and often draw on boys rather than girls interests

in science lessons males seem to dominate

Anne Colley 1998

computer studies is seen as masuline becasue it involves working with machines - part of the gender domain 

the way it is taught is off putting to females - tasks tend to be abstract and teaching styles fomral , with few opportunties for group work 

however less likely to happen in single sex schools

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Peer Pressure

Carrie Paetcher 1998 

becasue pupils see sport as mainly within gender domain , girls who are sporty have to cope with an image that contradicts the conventional female sterotype

Alison Dewar 1990 

male students would call girls a lesbian or butch is they appeared to be more interested in sport than boys


an absence of peer pressure from the opposite sex may explain why girls in single sec schools are more likely to choose traditional boy subjects because there is less pressure

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girls are still sexually harassed in school

limited subject choice

men still get senior positions

under-represent of female figures in subject such as history. male historical features are favoured more

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Boys and literacy 

gender gap is mainly the result of boys and poorer literacy and language skills

parents spend less time reading with their sons

mothers normally do the readings

boys hobbies - eg sports do little to help develop their language and communication skills

social policies to raise literacy in boys

readings champions uses male role models celebrating their own reading interests 

national literacy strategy , focuses on improving boys literacy

dad and son campaign - getting dad more involved in sons education 

playing for success - using sports to boost learning skills and motivate amongst boys

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this is really good

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