Sociological explanations on the function/role of education

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 30-12-14 10:57
What are the five theorys and what type of theory they are?
-Functionalist, consensus -Marxist, conflict -New right, Conservative/consensus -Feminist, conflict -Postmodernism
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Describe functionalism and how they see society with eduction?
They see society as interrelated where every social institution performs an important function, even crime. Therefore, functionalist theories of education look for positive benefits and functions that education performs for society,
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What are the 3 key sociologists for functionalism?
-Durkheim, -Parsons, -Davies and Moore,
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How did Durkheim describe the socialisation of the education system and its role and what it creates for pupils?
Described it as an agent of secondary socialisation and its role is to transmit norms and value and unite individuals, creating a sense of belonging and creates social solidarity,
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How did Durkheim see schools and an example of why?
He sees schools as societies in miniature- The hidden curriculum teaches individuals how to interact with othrs and follow a fixed set of rules which prepares them to become 'good social citizens',
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What other three ways do school prepares pupils for society whivch Durkheim looked at?
-Through team teams and tutor groups, it integrates individuals, -Regulates behaviour by socialising students into 'socially agreed' norms (e.g. mourn the dead) and values, -Helps teach specific skills necessary in an industrial society,
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What were the values called that Parson believed education had and what are the three values?
-Universalisitic values, 1)It is a bridge between the familyn and wider society, 2)It socialises children into basic values for society, 3) It selects people for their future roles in society,
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How does Parson believe status is achieved?
By merit (e.g. people compete for jobs) and is therfore achieved,
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What term did Davies and Moore use to describe how education sifts and sorts people according to their ability and describe it in more detail?
Role Allocation0 Education sorts pople according to their ability so that the most able gain high quaifictions and secure the top jobs
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Therefore, if Davies and Moore believe in role allocation, what other term must they also believe in and describe its meaning?
They must believe the eduction system is meritocratic- where people are judged based on their ability and effort and not according to who they are,
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Do they believe in social mobility and why?
Yes- as all people can strive for the best qualifications and jobs as i is not about who you are,
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Describe a Marxist criticism of functionalist views on education?
They would argue norms and values learned are ruling class ideologies and education is divisive because of hierarchy, streaming and marketisation,
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Describe a New Right criticism of functionalist views on education?
New Right argue that the state education system fails to prepare young people adquately for work- This is because state control discourages competition and choice,
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What was Hargreaves criticism on functionalist views on eduction?
He believe euction promotes competition and individualism rather than shared values,
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Describe two other general criticisms of functionalist views on education?
-Functionalists too readily assume there is no consensus over the norms and values students are socialised into -questionable whether occupational selection is based on meritocratic principls as other factor such as social class are important
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Give the two groups of sociologists for marxism?
-Marx and Engles, -Bowles and Gintis
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What do Marx and Engles state about Marxism the theory?
They argue power in society is largley stemmed from wealth, those who owned the means of production formed a powerful ruling class. In capitalist society, the proletariat are exploited by the bourgeoisie as aren't paid full value of work,
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What does Bowles and Gintis argue about Capitalist Schooling?
They argue the educatioj system is controlled by capitalists and serves their interest,
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What is the meaning of the correspondence principal linking education with society?
It is the principle that school mirrors the workplace ij terms of structure, organisation and hierarchy to prepare children for working in a capitalist business,
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Describe three ways in which hidden curriculum prepares a hardworking and obedient workforce?
-Conformist pupils are awarded higher grades/rewards than those who challenge authorty, -Schools teach acceptance of hierarchy as teachers give orders, -Pupils are motivated by external rewards like workers motivated for wages,
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What term does hidden curriculum create where workers arent aware of exploitation and what does this stop?
False class consciousness, it stops revolutionary action,
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How do Bowles and Gintis argue against functionalist claims role allocation is based on meritoracy?
They argue it is based on social class which is the way in which the 'old school tie network' occurs to ensure the top jobs go to the upper middle class
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What does unequal role allocation ensure?
That there are few opportunites for social mobilty and the economic class structure is reproduced,
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How does the education sytem help to legitimate class inequalities?
By creating the belief that allocation is fair and meritocratic,
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How do Marxists view vocational courses?
As a form of cheap, exploitative labour,
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How would neo-marxists criticise Marxist views on education\?
They would argue that not all working class pupils passively accept everything they are taught and often resist discipine imposed on them by the school,
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What does Reynolds say to criticise Marxist views on education?
He suggests some education does encourage critical thinking,
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Give two other criticisms of Marxist views oj education.
-Research by Bowles and Gintis is dated, USA focused and may not apply today, -Marxists ignore the fact that education can benefit many as the education system has helped to create a more meritocratic and socially mobile society,
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Which political party are the New Right associated with and what is their theory on society?
-Conservative, -It is a central principle that believes the state can't meet the needs of the individual so they are best to meet their own needs through marketisation,
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Describe 3 similarities of the New Right with Functionalism?
-They believe some people are more talented than others, -They favour an education with meritocracy, competition and serves need of economy by preparing young people for work, -Education should socialise pupils into shared values+national identity,
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Which sociologist of the New Right believe in Consumer choice? What is it and why should it be implemented?
Chubb and Moe, Meaning: That parents should shape the education system -as they believe the states's role should be limited and schools should have more autonomy to meet the needs of their locals intake
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what three ways have Chubb and Moe criticised the education system?
-State education has failed to create equal opportunity, -State education is inefficient as it fails to produce pupils with skills needed by the economy, -Private schools have a higher quality education due to paying consumers,
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What did Chubb and moe base their arguments on and what dd they find?
They based their arguments on comparison of achievements of 60,000 pupils from low income families, -they found chiildren from low income families do 5% better at private schools suggesting a choice in the market system would improve standards,
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What do the New Right argue are the three main roles of the state for education?
1) Ensure schools transmit a shared culture e.g.National Curriculum, 2)Education should affirm national identity e.g. teaching British History, 3)Establish a framework for competition that gives parents informtion to make informed choices,
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What is the Marxist criticism of the New Right's view on education?
They argue education doesnt impose shared culture but that of a dominant ruling class,
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What are 3 more general criticisms of the New Right's view on education?
-Competition between schools benefits the middle class who ue their economic nd cultural capital, -critics argue the real cause of low standards is social inequality and inadequate funding, -Critcised for being contradictory about the role of state,
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Why are feminists crtical of Marxist views on education? What is their view?
As marxists focus on the reproduction of class inequalities in th eduction system whereas feminists srgue schools serve to reproduce patriarchy and gender inequalites,
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Despite some gain in education through changes to policy, what do feminists believe about some processes in schools?
That they prevent females from achieving their full potential by supressing them,
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What term is used to describe how schools socialise students into masculine and feminine identities and how does it?
Socialisation Role, -Through the male gaze, verbal abuse, double standards and the way teachers discipline students as well as gender stereotyped courses,
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What aspect of school do feminists agree with marxists that it doesnt benefit society as a whole?
The Hidden Curriculum
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What values does the Hidden Curriculum promote in the view of feminism?
Patriarchal values ensuring the dominance of men,
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Which sociologist found what 4 messages were given to women through education?
Stanworth, 1)Males are more important, 2) boys careers are more important (teachers encourge boys more), 3)Boys are cleverer, 4)Senior positions in education are disproportionately held by men
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What do these 4 messages reinforce?
Gender stereotypes that males are and should be dominant,
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What do feminists argue role allocation is based on and two examples: 1)the work place, 2)Education
Based on gender. E.g. thy point to the 'glass ceiling' that prevents women from occupying occupational positions 2)Boys and girls subject choices at schools lead males and females to be allocated into gender stereotypes jobs,
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What is one criticisms of feminists views on education?
1)Many feminists disregard the way the eduction system disadvantages male,
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Why is there little support for Radical feminists?
As there is clear evidence females do better than males due to the many educational policies favouring females e.g. GIST and WISE
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Which type of feminists gain some support and why?
Liberal feminists, -As they argue that mles still do better in some of the 'prestigious subjects' and are still more likely to gain entry into the top universities,
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What does postmodernism argue is the school's function?
To meet the needs of a more diverse of fragmented society, offering choice to a range of indivuduals and social groups.
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What parties have been influences by postmodernism and how have they adapted their policies?
-Conservative, -Labour, by 1)Creating more diversity e.g types of schools 2)creating flexible education and life long learning (the New Deal-retraining adults)
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What do postmodernists argue are the three main roles of eduation and training?
-Socialisation Role, -Allocation Role, -Vocational training role
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What is the meaning/function of the socialisation role?
It socialises individuals into a diverse multicultural society e.g. through citizen education
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What is the meaning/function of the allocation role?
It allocates individuals into jobs, although not always based on merit,
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What is the meaning/ function of the vocational training role?
It equips individuals to work in a postmodern economy which needs highly skilled and flexible workers,
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How do marxists criticise postmodernist's views on education?
They claim Postermodernists underplay the significance of social class and argue the education system still serves to reproduce and legitimate class inequality,
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What is the conclusion for sociologist explanations on the function of education and training?
Functionalist/Marxist explanations highlight the links between education system and economy,-However, postmodernism argues no single approach can offer a total understanding on the role of education and all of the theories should contribute,
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Describe functionalism and how they see society with eduction?


They see society as interrelated where every social institution performs an important function, even crime. Therefore, functionalist theories of education look for positive benefits and functions that education performs for society,

Card 3


What are the 3 key sociologists for functionalism?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


How did Durkheim describe the socialisation of the education system and its role and what it creates for pupils?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How did Durkheim see schools and an example of why?


Preview of the front of card 5
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