Functionalism, New Right and Marxism perspectives on education

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  • Created by: Lauren
  • Created on: 28-01-14 18:29
What type of approach is functionalism?
A consensus approach.
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Functionalists believe that each part of society works together...?
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What did Durkheim say the two functions of education were?
Creating social solidarity and teaching specialist skills.
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What is social solidarity?
The individual members of society feel that they are a part of a single 'body' or community.
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How does the education system help to create social solidarity?
By transmitting society's shared beliefs and values from one generation to the next, through subjects such as history and RS.
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How does school act as a 'society in miniature'?
It prepares us for life in wider society, for example, we have to interact and cooperate with people who are neither family nor friends.
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Why does Durkheim argue school teaches specialist skills?
So that when the students eventually go out to work, they have the necessary knowledge and skills in order to play their role in the social division of labour.
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What does Parsons see school as?
A bridge between the family and wider society.
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Why is this 'bridge' necessary?
Because the family and society operate on different principles, so children need to learn a new way of living if they are to cope with the wider world.
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What standards is a child judged by within the family? What does this mean?
Particularistic standards. These are rules that apply only to that particular child.
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In the family, what type of status does a child have? What does this mean?
Ascribed status. This means it's fixed by birth.
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What standards are we judged by in school and wider society? What does this mean?
Universalistic standards. This means that the same laws apply to everyone.
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In school and wider society, what type of status do you have?
Achieved status.
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What type of principles are both school and society based on?
Meritocratic principles.
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What is a meritocracy?
Everyone is given equal opportunities, and individuals achieve rewards through their own effort and ability.
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What does Parsons say the second role of education is?
Selecting and allocating pupils to their future work roles.
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What do Davis and Moore argue about inequality? Why is this?
They argue that inequality is necessary, because the most important roles in society should be filled by the most talented people.
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What do Davis and Moore argue education does?
It 'sifts and sorts' pupils according to their ability.
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What are some criticisms of the functionalist perspective on education?
Equal opps in ed. don't exist, marxists -education transmits values of only the ruling class, people have free will + don't always passively accept values they're taught, + New Right -education system doesn't prepare young people adequately for work.
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What type of approach is the New Right?
A conservative approach.
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What do the New Right argue about the education system? What is the reason for this?
They argue that the education system does not achieve its goals, because it is run by the state.
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What kind of approach, according to the New Right, do the state take in regards to education?
A 'one size fits all' approach, imposing uniformity and disregarding local needs.
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What is the result of consumers (pupils and parents) having no say in schools? What does this mean?
State education systems are unresponsive and breed inefficiency. This means lower standards of achievement for pupils, a less qualified workforce and a less prosperous economy.
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Chubb and Moe claim that state education has failed - in what ways?
It has failed to create equal opportunities and it fails to produce pupils with the skills needed by the economy
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What do Chubb and Moe think should be introduced into state education? Why?
A market system, so that control of the education system is put into the hands of the consumers, allowing them to shape schools to meet their own needs and improving quality and efficiency
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How do Chubb and Moe think a market should be introduced into state education?
Through a system in which each family would be given a voucher to spend on buying education from a school of their choice.
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In the New Right view, there remain two important roles for the state. What are they?
1) The state imposes a framework on schools within they have to compete, e.g. league tables. 2) The state ensures that schools transmit a shared culture, e.g. National Curriculum.
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What are some criticisms of the New Right perspective?
Gewirtz+Ball-competition between schools benefits m.c, cause of low educational standards is soc. inequality + inadequate school funding, NR support parental choice + national curric. (contradiction), marxists-education imposes views of ruling class
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What type of theory is marxism?
A conflict theory.
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What do marxists see society as based on?
Class division and capitalist exploitation.
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According to Karl Marx, what are the two classes?
1) The capitalists/bourgeoisie/ruling class, who own the means of production and make profits by exploiting the working class. 2) The working class/proletariat, who are forced to sell their labour to the capitalists
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What do marxists argue the aim of the education system is?
To fail the working class.
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According to Althusser, what are the two apparatuses that serve to keep the bourgeoisie in power?
Repressive state apparatuses, e.g. the police, courts, army, and ideological state apparatuses, e.g. religion, media and education system.
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What two functions does Althusser argue the education system performs?
1) Reproduction of class inequality by transmitting it from generation to generation, failing each generation of the working class. 2) Legitimating class inequality by producing ideologies that disguise its true cause.
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What do Bowles and Gintis argue the role of the education system in a capitalist society is?
To reproduce an obedient workforce that will accept inequality as inevitable.
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What is the correspondence principle?
Parallels between school and the workplace - both have hierarchies with head teachers or bosses at the top making decisions and giving orders, and pupils or workers at the bottom obeying.
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How does the correspondence principle operate?
Through the hidden curriculum.
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What is the hidden curriculum?
Lesson that are taught in school without being directly taught, e.g. meeting deadline and obeying superiors.
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How does the education system help to prevent the poor from rebelling?
By legitimating class inequality through ideologies that explain and justify why inequality is fair, natural and inevitable.
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Why do Bowles and Gintis argue meritocracy is a myth?
Not everyone has equal opportunities, and the main factor determining whether someone has a high income is their family and class background, not their ability or educational achievement.
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What does marxist Willis' study show?
That working-class pupils can resist attempts to indoctrinate them.
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What are some criticism of marxism?
Willis' study is too small to generalise from (12 boys), marxists only focus on class inequality, and marxists ignore the fact that schools reproduce patriarchy too.
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