Sociology - Education

Functionalist - solidarity (norms/values, society in miniature) and skills
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Evaluation of Durkheim- functionalist view on education
Marxists- schools transmit dominant culture. Feminists- schools teach patriarchal values. Willis- transmission of norms/values isn't always successful.
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Functionalist - meritocracy (equal opportunities, achieved status) and socialisation ( bridge between family and work)
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Evaluation of Parsons- functionalist view on education
Interactionists- people aren't merely puppets and pupils don't passively accept everything. Still inequality- private schools, ethnic minorities.
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Davis and Moore
Functionalist - role allocation (sorts people into careers based on ability)
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Evaluation of Davis and Moore- functionalist view on education
Marxist- achievement closely tied to social class, gender and ethnicity. Bowles and Gintis- myth of meritocracy.
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General Evaluation of Functionalist Views on Education
Tend to ignore negative aspects of education. Schools fail to prepare for work, discourage efficiency,competition and choice.Lack of detailed research in schools , assume hidden curriculum is accepted. Dated evidence-may be unrepresentative.
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Marxist - ideological state appartus ( RSAs= physical force eg. justice system and ISAs= control way we think eg. family, education)
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Bowles and Gintis
Marxist - correspondence theory (hidden curriculum shapes workforce- acceptance of hierarchy) and myth of meritocracy
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General Evaluation of Marxist Views on Education
Lack of detailed research in schools , assume hidden curriculum is accepted. Willis- norms and valuees not always accepted. Dated evidence-may be unrepresentative.
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Marxist - learning to labour - hidden curriculum isn't always accepted (12 boys - working class jobs)
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Evaluation of Willis- neo-marxist view on education
Small scale sample and date study - unrepresentative. Ignores full range of subcultures. Feminists-ignores females.
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Interactionist Perspective on Education
Internal factors/processes within schools- micro, verstehen, pupil experiences.
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Interactionist Perspective- Internal Factors
1. School ethos and hidden curriculum. 2. Teacher stereotyping, pupil identities and halo effect. 3. Teachers expectations- labelling and SFP. 4. Banding, Seting and Streaming. 5. Pupil subcultures. 6. Educational Triage (a to C economy)
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Evaluation of school ethos and hidden curriculum
Marxists-feminists and anti-racists- legitimatizes ruling class, male, white dominance. Ideological struggle- hidden curriculum doesn't always give single, unambiguous message.
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Interactionist- 8 subcultures- ingratiation-rebellion.
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Gillborn and Youdell
Interactionists- schools prioritise 3 pupil groups based on how much work is needed to produce A to C. High achievers, underachievers and hopeless cases.
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Labelling investigation- saw teachers have image of 'ideal pupil', usually m/c, white, which affects how they interact with the pupils (praise, sets, seating plans)
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Rosenthal and Jacobson
SFP experiment- randomly chose 'spurters/high achievers' - teachers' beliefs influenced way interacted with the pupils, lead to improved attainment for 'spurters'. Unethical.
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Evaluation of Rosenthal and Jacobson
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Setting investigation- banding abolished, subcultures largely removed.
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Setting investigation- sets affect knowledge learnt.
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Pupil subcultures theory- differentiation (teachers categorising) and polarisation cause subcultures.
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Pupil subcultures investigation- pupils labelled as troublemakers form anti-school subcultures to replace school values with own in order to succeed at something.
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Internal Factor - Pupil Class Identities
Schools have m/c habitus, excludes/limits w/c, symbolic capital and symbolic violence reproduce class structure, uni
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External Factor- Material Deprivation
Housing (overcrowdied,
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External Factor- Material Deprivation
Housing (overcrowded, disturbed, often move around, accidents), diet and health (poor nutrition= absences/ difficulties concentrating) financial support and fear of debt (equipment costs, job, avoid uni, dropout)
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External Factor- Cultural Deprivation
Class differences in norms/values reacquired through primary socialisation, culture clash. Includes language, working class culture, parents' education.....
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Language experiment with 5 year-old boys, asked them to describe a series of pictures. Restricted and elaborate code.
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Evaluation of Bernstein
Wide differences between higher and lower m/c- generalizations cant be made.Gives few examples.
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Working Class Culture
W/c value education less, less ambitious, less involved.
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W/c subculture has key features that are barriers to success. Fatalism, Collectivism, Immediate Gratification and Present-Time Orientation.
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Argued that parents' interest in education was most important factor in success, researched children of similar ability but different class backgrounds.
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Evaluation of Cultural Deprivation
Some reject idea that w/c parents are uninterested. Some question validity of research- some qualitative research has found that w/c parents encourage children to do well and place value on education.
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Cultural Capital
Norms/ values and attitudes necessary for educational success.
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Argued that m/c families have an advantage because of their skills and knowledge.
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Strengths of Bourdieu's Idea
Doesn’t assume that w/c culture is inferior (like cultural deprivation) and also identifies ways in which education system may be biased against w/c culture. Links internal and external.
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Limitations of Bourdieu's Ideas
Ignores internal factors. Ignores/underestimates direct influence of material factors.
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Ethnicity- External Factors
Material deprivation, Cultural deprivation, Racism in wider society.
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Cultural Deprivation for Ethnic Minorities
Language, Attitudes and values, Family structure and parental support.
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Fictitious applicants each with ethnic group associated names, ethnic minority were offered fewer jobs.
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Ethnicity- Internal Factors
Labelling and teacher racism, Setting and streaming, Pupil identities, Pupil responses and subcultures of resistance to negative labels, Institutional racism,
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Gillborn and Youdell
Teachers quicker to discipline black pupils due to racialized expectations- higher exclusion rates (seen as confrontational challenging authority when displaying same behaviour as white peers).
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Black girls rejected negative labels and pursued educational success but didn’t seek teachers’ approval as regarded them as racist.
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Mac an Ghaill
Longitudinal study, Asian A level students observed and interviewed, found those labelled as failures weren’t necessarily those who had negative attitude towards education (refused label).
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Institutional Racism Factors
Critical race theory (ngrained racism).Marketisation and segregation (selection procedures based on primary school reports). Ethnocentric curriculum.. Acccess to opportunites (exam tiers and sets, gifted and talented).
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Ethnicity- Evaluation of Internal Factors
Individual racism often based on external factors/ wider society's views. Some reject idea that racism alone prevents success. Some ethnic minorities experience racism but succeed- Chinese pupils.
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Why do females do better than males? Internal Factors
Equal opportunities policies (GIST- Girls In Science Technology). Positive role models (female authorty). GCSEs and coursework. Teacher attention (girls=cooperative, boys=disruptive). Challenging stereotypes in curriculum. Selection and league tables
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Why do females do better than males? External Factors
Impact of feminism (challenged stereotypes). Changes in the family (female lone parents). Women's employment (women in power= hard work incentive). Changing ambitions - Sue Sharpe. Mature earlier- repsonsible - view exams as important.
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Sue Sharpe
Girls prioritise career over marriage now. Growing trend of individualism
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Why do boys underachieve? Internal Factors
Feminization of education (emphasize feminine traits eg methodical). Shortage of male primary teachers (women unable to control behaviour and lack of male role models at young age). Laddish subcultures (peer pressure-identity). Lower expectations.
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Why do boys underachieve? Ezternal Factors
Boys poorer literacy skills (don't read fiction). Gloablisation/ decline in male jobs (crisis of masculinity- unmotivated as no hope for job). Moral panic about boys (girls succeeded at expense of boys). Different leisure activities (girls read/talk)
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Schooling and Gender Identity
Double standards (patriarchal ideology about sexual morality eg. ****). Verbal abuse- eg. gay, lesbian. Male gaze- sexual objects. Male peer groups- macho lads dismiss hard workers. Female peer groups- hyper heterosexual. Teachers and discipline.
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Mac an Ghaill
Male gaze- look girls up and down, see them as sexual objects. Hegemonic masculinity- dominance of heterosexuality/ masculinity. Subordination of girls and gays.
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Why do males and females tend to study different subjects?
Gender role socialisation- clothes, toys, activities. Gendered subject images- textbook examples... Gender identity- labelled with image that contrasts with stereotypes. Career advice (teachers). Gendered career opportunities (sex-typed jobs).
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Exceptions to studying different subjects:
Single sex schools- less gendered subject images. Absence of peer pressure from opposite sex.
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Tripartite System (1944 Butler Education Act)
Aim to open secondary education to all classes, abolish class based inequalities, suitable education for each type of learner. Selection by 11+ exam- grammar schools, technical schools, secondary modern.
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Positives of Tripartite System
Not held back by lower abilities. Serves middle class well. Some opportunities for social mobility for working class.
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Criticisms of Tripartite System
Reproduced class inequality=unequal opportunities (exams were biased- elaborate code, cultural capital). Justified inequality- ideology that ability inborn when in fact affected by class and upbringing. Discriminated against girls- required higher.
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Social Democratic Perspective
Government needs to intervene to achieve equality.
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Comprehensive System
Abolish selection and educate all in same school. Mixed ability teaching. School admissions code forbids discrimination in admitting pupils on ability/ socio-economic status.
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Functionalist Perspective on Comprehensive System
Agree with comprehensive system as promotes social integration by bringing social classes together. Believe it's meritocratic as gives longer period to develop/show abilities instead of being judged at 11.
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Marxist Perspective on Comprehensive System
Disagree with comprehensive system as reproduces class inequalities due to setting/streaming/labelling. Myth of meritocracy- legitimises inequality- unequal chances seems fair as failure appears to be fault of individual.
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Positives of Comprehensive System
Stretches lower abilities - benefits of mixed-ability teaching- no negative impact on more able. Reduced risk of labelling/ SFP. More social mixing/fewer social divisions.
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Criticisms of Comprehensive System
Slower pace of mixed ability- more able held back (many argue). Inadequate comprehensives- lack brightest pupils. 'Creaming off'- grammar schools cream off most able students. Overlooked talents- don't know students personally. Discipline problems.
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Admissions Policies
Open enrolment- apply for any state school in any area. If undersubscribed, must accept. Oversubscription criteria- prioritise care, siblings, catchment area, religious faith, pupil premium. Backdoor social selection- pick brightest covertly.
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Neoliberal/ New Right Approach to Education Policies
Favour privatisation/ marketisation- meritocratic/ competitive, social solidarity. Initiative, responsible, individual choice, economic growth. Business policies applied to education.
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Chubb and Moe
Neoliberals. Compared private and state schools. Found private did better with disadvantaged pupils because they had to raise their standards due to being answerable to parents. Believed marketisation would improve quality and efficiency.
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1988 Baker Education Reform Act
League tables, Ofsted, encourage schools to opt out of local educational authority control (manage own finances), National Curriculum, formula funding.
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Parents have more rights/ choice- encourages diversity, drives up standards.
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Parental choice. Privileged skilled choosers- middle class, cultural capital. Disconnected local choosers- working class, lack of economic/cultural capital.
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Criticisms of Baker Education Reform Act/ Marketisation
Cream skimming and silt shifting= inequality. Funding formula- popular schools= more selective, attract middle class, widens gap. Myth of parentocracy- working class don't have same freedom of choice- inequality appears fair. Educational triage (A-C)
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New Labour
'Third way politics'- combined old labour state intervention and new right marketisation. Reducing inequality- compensatory education eg. aim high. Increased privatisation- specialist schools. Choice and diversity- meets community's needs.
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Evaulation of New Labour
Contradictory policies. Ineffective policies- illusion of equality. Parentocracy is unfair. Exaggerate diversity- schools still select covertly.
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Services transferred to private companies. Endogenous (in schools)- techniques for business-like functioning. Exogenous privatisation (of education)- businness design and manage. Cola-isation- promoting brand loyalty. +Efficient. - Inequality.
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Coalition Government
Conservatives influences- new style academies, free schools, reforms of curriculum eg Ebacc. LibDem influences- pupil premium, maintenance grants for uni. Controversial policies- tuition fees increased, EMA cut.
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Criticisms of Coalition Government
Academies attract best teachers and funding. Pupil premium is hard to track. Myth of parentocracy.
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More competitive, worldwide trend towards privatisation and marketisation. Managers and consultants valued more than teachers. Heavier focus on other cultures. Universities marketed to global audience. Increased involvement of private companies.
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Similar systems become less relevant to needs of individual nations.
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Effects of Globalisation
Shifts policies towards neoliberal/ new right perspective. Multicultural curriculum. Increased emphasis on equality of opportunity. Foster talents of individuals= competitive.
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Private Schools
+ Smaller class sizes, better facilities and teaching, route to universities and elite jobs, parents can choose to spend their money however they like. - Unequal and unfair, most can't afford it and public students often bypass state students for job
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Functionalism and Educatrional Policies
Policies benefit individuals and society, create meritocratic system. - Persistent inequalities in achievement between different groups and policies don't result in meritocracy.
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New Right and Educational Policies
Marketisation- selective schooling, increased parentocracy and focus on traditional subjects. - Create greater inequalities and benefit middle class.
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Marxism and Educational Policies
Mainstream political parties support capitalist economy and ideology. People creating policies are ruling class so policies benefit ruling class and mainstream working class underachievment. + Policies specifically target working class.
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Liberal- greater educational outcomes for girls. Radical- need more substantial change to eradicate patriarchy. - Gender inequalities remain.
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Explore meanings attached to policies eg. marketisation--> labelling and subcultures. - Micro- overlook structural causes of inequality.
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Policies reflect greater choices of individualism and explore how learning takes place as part of lifelong process. - Don't explain inequalities caused by policies or provide alternative suggestions.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Marxists- schools transmit dominant culture. Feminists- schools teach patriarchal values. Willis- transmission of norms/values isn't always successful.


Evaluation of Durkheim- functionalist view on education

Card 3


Functionalist - meritocracy (equal opportunities, achieved status) and socialisation ( bridge between family and work)


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


Interactionists- people aren't merely puppets and pupils don't passively accept everything. Still inequality- private schools, ethnic minorities.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


Functionalist - role allocation (sorts people into careers based on ability)


Preview of the back of card 5
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