Sociology - Education

Keywords, theories fro AS unit 2 sociology AQA.

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  • Created on: 17-05-11 19:48

Sociology - Education - Functionalism (ROLE OF ED

What do functionalist say are the functions of education?

- Socialisation: Maintains society by socialising young people into key cultural values e.g. achievement, competition, equality of opportunity. 

- Skills provision: Teaches the skills required by modern industry in society e.g. literacy, numeracy or specific occupational roles. 

- Role allocation: Allocates people to the most appropriate job based on their talents by using examinations and qualifications. (Most talented - allocated to jobs that are most functionally important for society)

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Sociology - Education - Functionalism

Criticisms of the Functionalist views on education.

- Fail to recognise the diversity of values in modern society.

- Failt to recognise how some groups (e.g. most powerful) promote their beliefs through the education system.

- They assume the norms and values promoted in school are those of society as a whole rather than those of powerful groups. 

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Sociology - Education - Marxism

What are the three main functions of education according to marxists.

- Education serves the needs of the economic base e.g. means of production and relations of production.

- Education reproduces the inequalities and social relations of production of capitalism.

- Education serves to justify these inequalities through the myth of meritocracy.

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Sociology - Education - Marxism

Criticisms of the Marxist views on education.

- Marxists assume people are passive victims. They exaggerate how much the working class students are socialised into obedience - Willis showed how students actually resist authority. 

- Most people are aware of the inequality in education, most people don't believe that society is fair.

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Sociology - Education Key words

Key words. 

- Ideological State Apparatus: Marxist concept that sees the role of education in a capitalist society as maintaining the status quo. 

- Hidden Curriculum: The informal learning of particular values and attitudes in schools

- Meritocracy: System where people are rewarded on the basis of talent and ability.

- Ethnocentric: Emphasizing White middle-class culture at the expense of other cultures

- Institutional racism: Racism that is built into the normal day-to-day practices of an organization

- Material deprivation: Lack of money leading to disadvantages such as unsatisfactory housing.

- Self-fulfilling prophecy: A prediction that causes the outcome it predicts 

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Sociology - Education Key words

- Positive discrimination: Treating certain groups more favourably than others, usually to help overcome disadvantages.

- Compensatory education: Making more resources available to schools in poorer areas to compensate for deprivation

- Correspondance theory: Bowles and Gintis' theory that various aspects of work have corresponding features in education.

- Cultural capital: Cultural skills such as knowing how to behave, speak and learn, passed on by middle-class parents to their children.

- 11+: IQ test taken at age 11, to determine what sort of school you would attend under the tripartite system.

- Marketization: The move towards education provision being determined by market forces.

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Sociology - Education theories.

Bowles and Gintis - The Correspondence Principle

Bowles and Gintis argue that the main function of education is to reproduce directly the existing capitalist social relations of production - i.e. the relationship between bosses and their workiers. 
Basically, they argue that much of what we learn at school is preparation for our future roles as workiers in Capitalist society. Capitalist society needs a docile, motivated workforce and it is the education system that prepares us for this.

Criticisms of Bowles and Gintis

- Reynolds (1984) - Curriculum is not designed to teach the skills that make workers easy to exploit. The survival of liberal humanities based subjects suggests a lack of correspondence.

- Brown (1997) - Points out that modern businesses require shared creativity and teamwork. However, the exam system discourages these skills by encouraging individualism. 

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Sociology - Education theories

Paul Willis' - 'Learning to Labour' 

Willis claims structural approaches ,such as those supplied by Bowles and Gintis, tend to view pupils as 'passive' and accepting. However Willis says this is not the case as many pupils actively resisting the school processes in a variety of ways. 

Willis studied 12 working class boys (known as 'the lads'). These 'lads' knew how to achieve in school, they knew how to get qualifications but they actively chose to reject school ans form their own 'counter-school culture'. This culture was based on a feeling of superiority over teachers and other pupils. They did not value academic work. 

Unlike Bowles and Gintis, Willis argues that the lads weren't forced, but rather chose to fail at school. They knew they wouldn't achieve much so they reject school. 

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