SY2 Education

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Functionalist - Talcott Parsons

  • Bridge between family and wider society
  • schools prepare and instil an ehos of 'getting on' and seeking achievement
  • preparing students for the work place
  • Reduce the problem of moving from an instituation where status is ascribed to the workplace where status is acheived.
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Functionalist - Basil Bernstein

  • Influenced by Durkheim
  • recognised that as a secondary socialising agency education has the difficult and contradictory task of reconciling individualism
  • function of education is to discriminate in favor of middle class
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Functionalist - Durkheim

  • Observed that education could exert an important Moral Face as children internalised the values and beliefs in society to become a 'SOCIAL BEING'
  • Education is contributing towards a 'COLLECTIVE CONSCIENCE'
  • Education plays a central role in fostering SOCIAL INTERGRATION


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Critique of the Functionalists

Strengths -

  • Highlights links between eduction and the economy
  • interrelationships between the educational system and the aspects of the wider social society

Weaknesses -

  • assumed value consensus within school can be questioned
  • underestimates the extent of comflict in society
  • meritocratic arguments of DAVIS AND MOORE have been severly challenged
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Marxist perspective

Hidden Curriculum

Ideology that promotes working class failiure

Bowles and Gintis

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Education mirroring the work place

  • Hierarchical authority
  • Extrinsic rewards
  • Alienation
  • Fragmentation/compartmentalisation
  • competition and division
  • autonomy/supervision
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Marxist - Pierre Bourdieu

  • Looks at the ways in which education reporduces social and economic enequalities through the concept of HABITUS, CULTERAL CAPITAL and SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE
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Symbolic Violence

Term used by Bourdieu for the systematic undermining of working class choices, knowledge, accent and general confidence

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Critique of the Marxist Perspective

Strengths -

  • Power Relations
  • the ethnopgraphic work of people like Willis has focused on the active modes of challenge and resistance of pupils to educational processes
  • there are many conflicting agendas being fought out, but perhaps RIKOWSKI makes a valid point that some of these simply add to the alienation of both pupils and teachers

Weaknesses -

  • Over-deterministic
  • structural marxists like Bowles and Gintis treat the pupils like culteral dupes who passivly accept failiure
  • peroccupied with class inequality
  • ignores the complexities and contradictions of real classrooms
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Class and educational achievement

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Class and educational achievement

  • Postcode linked to Achievement

Bynner and Joshi (1999) - Found that class differences had persisted with little change from the 1950's to the 1990's.

Jefferis et al (2002) - Found the gap between higher and lower class pupils had actually widened between 1958 and today

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Basil Bernstein - Language

He claims that elaborate lingusitic code of the middle class is the same as the language of textbooks and the classroom. Working class children, who use what he calls restricted code are clearly disadvantaged.

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