Sociology revision- Education and Methods


Willis- Learning to labour

·         Working class boys form subcultures as a response to their limited opportunities

·         Self-defeating strategies as they effectively lead to disengagement from education and underachievement

Becker- Ideal student

·         Class biased stereotypes of teachers

·         Interviewed 60 Chicago high-school teachers and asked to describe what they thought was an ideal student

·         Participants emphasised characteristics (appearance, language, attitude) before ability

·         Concluded it was easier for middle class students to match this ideal than it was for working class students

Rosenthal and Jacobson- Self-fulfilling prophecies

·         Self-fulfilling prophecies could occur

·         IQ tests given to Californian students

·         20% of population selected at random

·         Teaches informed these students could be expected to show rapid intellectual growth

·         1 year later IQ tests given again

·         Selected population showed greater gains in IQ

·         Other documents showed teachers believed students had made greater progress

Hargreaves, Hester and Mellor- Labels

·         Overt participant observations and unstructured interviews in 2 schools in Northern England (urban and suburban)

·         Teachers label students with 3 distinct stages

·         Speculation

·         Elaboration

·         Stabilisation

·         At the end teachers will feel they know what makes a student tick

Althusser- Ideological apparatus

·         Education is an ideological apparatus

·         Education controls people by brainwashing them

·         Hidden curriculum transmits values such as obedience and respect for authority

·         Free thought is met with punishment

·         Official curriculum portrays capitalism as sensible and natural

Bourdieu- Cultural capital theory

·         Curriculum draws on primarily middle class cultural capital- social networks and understandings

·         Working class children disadvantaged

·         Theoretical, not based on empirical research

Bowles and Gintis- Correspondence principle

·         Organisation of the school mirrors the workplace

·         ‘Correspondence principle’

·         Prepares children to fit easily into their future exploitation as part of the proletariat

·         School and workplace based on strict hierarchy, same patterns of obedience and power, shares same values, external rewards emphasised, fragmentation and alienation in both

·         Education transmits myth of meritocracy and presents illusion of social mobility, blaming working class for inevitable failure

Bernstein- Language codes

·         Interviews with children of different classes

·         2 language codes used

·         Restricted code- used casually

·         Elaborated code- used formally

·         Middle class children can switch between these codes

·         Working class children limited to restricted codes

·         Education uses elaborated codes therefore working class are at a disadvantage

Chubb and Moe

·         Disadvantaged groups served badly in state education

·         State education fails to produce pupils with the skills needed by the economy

·         Private schools deliver higher quality- support marketisation

·         2 roles for the state- framework on schools and transmission of culture

Durkheim- Anomie

·         Education prevents anomie

·         Subjects like history


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