The Role of Education in Society

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Who is the founder of Functionalism?
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What did Durkheim identify as the two main functions of education?
Social solidarity and teaching specialist skills.
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What does 'social solidarity' mean?
It means that individuals must feel themselves to be part of a single body or community. Without social solidarity, individuals would only pursue their own selfish desires.
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What does 'teaching specialist skills' mean?
Dukheim argues that the education system teaches individuals the specialist knowledge and skills they need to play their part in the social division of labour.
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What does Parsons say about the role of education?
Parsons sees the school as a 'focal socialising agency' which bridges the gap between the home and wider society. The home= ascribed status and particularistic standards; school= achieved status and universalistic standards.
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What does 'meritocracy' mean?
It means that you 'get out what you put in'; hardwork and effort= high grades and a good job. Everyone is given equal opportunity to achieve this.
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What do Davis and Moore say about the role of education?
They say that schools act as a sieve which sort people off into different roles best suited to their ability.
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Why do Davis and Moore say that inequality is inevitable?
They argue that inequality is necessary to ensure that the most important roles are fulfilled by the most talented people and not everyone is equally talented.
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What do Marxists criticize functionalists for?
Marxists argue that education in capitalist society only transmits the ideology of the minority; the ruling class.
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What is Neoliberalism?
Neoliberalism is an economic doctrine which has had a major influence on education policy. The main aim of Neoliberalism is to reduce state control.
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What is the New Right?
The new right are a conservative political view that argue that the state cannot meet peoples needs and that people are best to meet their own needs in a free market.
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What are the similarities between the New Right and Functionalist views?
Both believe that; some people are naturally more talented; favor an meritocratic education system; the education system should socialise pupils into shared values.
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What approach do the New Right take towards the education system?
The New Right take a 'one size fits all' approach.
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What do Chubb and Moe's study find?
They found that pupils from low-income families consistently do about 5% better in private than in state schools.
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What is Chubb and Moe's solution?
To introduce a market state into state education by giving a voucher to parents. This voucher would be schools main source of income. Therefore, schools would have to compete to attract 'customers' by improving their 'product'
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Who was the founder of Marxism?
Karl Marx (Marxism is a conflict theory)
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What is the two-classed system used to describe capitalism?
The capitalist class (bourgeoisie) are the minority class- these are the employers who own the means of production. The working class (proletariat) are forced to accept exploitation from the bourgeoisie since they own no means of production.
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What does Louis Althusser suggest?
He suggests that the state consists of two main apparatuses which serve to keep the bourgeoisie in power. RSA's- maintain the rule of the bourgeoisie by force or the threat of it. ISA's- maintain the rule by controlling peoples ideas.
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What two functions does Louis Althusser suggest the education system performs?
Reproduces class inequaliy by transmitting it from generation (failing w/c successive pupils); Legitimates inequality by disguising its true cause (workers to accept that inequality is inevitable)
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What do Bowles and Gintis conclude from their study?
After studying 237 New York high school students, they concluded that schools reward the type of personality traits that make for a submissive, compliant worker.
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What is the correspondence principle and hidden curriculum?
Correspondence principle= schools parallel with the workplace (e.g. through hierachies); Hidden curriculum= the 'lessons' which are learnt at school without directly being taught (e.g. working for rewards)
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What is the myth of meritocracy?
It is argued that meritocracy is a way of disguising unfairness; it makes the education system seem fair so that people do not complain.
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Who is Paul Willis?
Paul Willis is a marxist sociologist who studied 12 boys and concluded that the CHOSE to fail. The rejection of school prepared them for low skilled, low status jobs.
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What were the results of Willis' study?
Some students choose to fail; they were more focused on 'having a laff' to cope with boredom; didn't challenge education, just rejected it.
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Card 2


What did Durkheim identify as the two main functions of education?


Social solidarity and teaching specialist skills.

Card 3


What does 'social solidarity' mean?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What does 'teaching specialist skills' mean?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What does Parsons say about the role of education?


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