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March 14, Sociology of Education.docx

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SOCI 1002
Christian Carron

Sociology of Education Mass Education: An Overview - Education system has displaced organized religion as main purveyor of formal knowledge - Education system also is second in importance only to the family as agent of socialization - Universal mass education is recent phenomenon and is limited to relatively wealthy countries History of Mass Education - 300 yrs ago: Most were illiterate - 100 yrs ago: Majority never attended school - 1950: Only 10% of world’s countries had system of compulsory mass education - Today: Half of citizens in developing countries are illiterate, while in Canada, education is nearly universal Uniform Socialization - Creating systems of education that had sufficient resources to include all children was social change of breathtaking scope - Religious training was never widely available and tended to set people apart from surrounding community - Replacing these forms of instruction with centralized and rationalized system created strong pressures toward uniformity and standardization - Diversity among families, regions, and religious traditions gradually gave way to homogenized indoctrination into common culture Rising Levels of Education - Amount of education that people receive has risen steadily, and trend expected to continue - Sociologists distinguish educational attainment from educational achievement: - Educational achievement ð Is learning or skill that an individual acquires and at least in principle it is what grades reflect • Educational achievement: Educational achievement is the actual learning of valuable skills and knowledge - Educational attainment ð Is number of years of schooling completed or, for higher levels, certificates and degrees earned • Educational attainment: Educational attainment is the number of years of schooling successfully completed or, for higher learning, the degrees or certificates earned IndividualAdvantages and Disadvantages - Higher educational attainment is effective for securing more employment and higher earnings - Education attainment is linked with earnings prospects - While pattern is far from rigid, more education attainment and better earnings tend to go together Rise of mass schooling - Factor in rise of mass schooling: i. Development of the printing press enabled literacy to spread beyond elite circles ii. Protestant reformation protestants encouraged to read scriptures regularly iii. Spread of democracy led to free education for all children iv. Industrialization mass education widely recognized as absolute necessity for creating industrial economy Mass schooling and national wealth - Today is widely acknowledged that investment in education is important step in achieving great national wealth - But connection between education and wealth is by no means automatic - Education is not only source of wealth; it is also product of wealth The functions of education - Manifest (intended functions): i. Homogenize future citizens by indoctrination into common culture • Gellner (1983) proposed mass education was emphasizing view that humanity is divided into limited number of populations defined by common culture, territory, and continuity within kin group • Partaking of common culture allows for imagined communities- sentiments of solidarity and identification with those who share cultural capacities  Imagined communities: Imagined communities are sentiments of solidarity and identification with people who share particular cultural attributes ii. Sort and steer students to different class positions as adults The functions of education - Latent (or unintended) functions: i. Create youth culture ii. Create marriage market facilitates assortative mating- choosing a mate who is similar to oneself on various ranking criteria • Assortative mating:Assortative mating occurs when marriage partners are selected so that spouses are similar on various criteria of social rank. iii. Create custodial and surveillance system for children iv. Create means of maintaining wage levels by keeping postsecondary students temporarily out of job market - Occasionally create “school of dissent” that opposes authorities Sorting into classes and hierarchies: conflict perspectives - Conflict perspectives challenge functionalist view and claim the following: i. Economic barriers filter on bases of ability to pay ii. Many jobs require academic credentials that are questionable as job skills but are effective at excluding the less advantaged from privileged professions iii. Schooling reproduces differences in “cultural capital” and thus preserves class di
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