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Sociology 1A06 Lecture: Education .docx

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McMaster University
Sandra Colavecchia

Friday, October 25, 2013 Education o Structural Functionalism  Examines functions of education institutions  Selection: constantly sorting people based on abilities to make sure students make it to university and the workforce  The smartest/hardest working kids are channeled into university and lead to the elite professions  This can be seen in high school through the different streams of preparing for university or preparing for direct labour entry  “Contest mobility” and “Sponsored Mobility”  Contest mobility – high school prepares students for university (In Canada)  Other countries do “sponsored mobility” where students are given standardized tests that determine which high school they can go to, therefore your future is determined by the age of 14.  Socialization: Schools communicate values towards students  Emilie Durkheim says as society becomes increasingly secular, schools increasingly took on the function of moral education  Values that schools teach are equality, everyone has rights  Meritocracy: awards are given to kids who are hard working  Teach us values: Civil liberty, social justice, and tolerance for diversity  As education rises, students are more likely to have these values o Conflict Theorists  Educational institutions reproduce class-based inequalities  Conflict theorists say that the hidden curriculum puts your place in society‟s hierarchy, teaches you to be good workers, discipline workers, respectful of authorities  School‟s support capitalism to become obedient workers  Currently more people are going to university  Bad news: socioeconomic background determines your educational success  Parental educational attainment is linked to the child‟s educational attainment (if your parents had an educational degree, then you are more likely earn an educational degree)  Pierre Bourdeux – social and cultural capital: middle to upper class families can provide their children with different opportunities to grow  Contemporary conflict theorists: looking at race and inequalities.  Race and education attainment: some visible minority groups such as aboriginals and blacks have lower educational attainment than others and Asians have higher educational attainment than blacks and aboriginals  Inclusion: including people of minority groups into places of higher educations.  “Othering”: Making someone feel like they don‟t belong; feeling different o Racism in the Canadian University  Henry and Tator (2009)  Systemic/structural racism: ingrained in the policies of institutions such as universities  Henry and Tator argue: racism is a matter of impact and not intent: even university administrators by implementing virtues that produce outcomes that is where racism lies  Ex. Representation of faculty: most faculty members are white.  Visible minority university professors are shown to earn less than white university professors because they are put into those “bad jobs.”  “Tenor” – Job security  “Fit” – is this person a good fit for us? Applies to all fields of work.  In most lines of work informal mentoring is key; informal mentoring: someone more experienced and senior provides you informal advice of how to succeed at work.  Faculties of colour have less access to informal mentoring because they experience a “chilly climate” – unfriendly workplace and makes them want to leave.  Faculties of color are being disrespected by their students, by their colleagues and by staff  Camillie Hernadez-Ramdwar: experiences of Caribbean students  Interviewed graduate and undergraduate students  Faculty, student body and senior administration did not reflect diversity  Students feeling “otherilized”  Example from the book: a black graduate student at an academic conference was complimented with “that was very articulate.” The black graduate woman saw that as a negative comment because at academic conferences it is already known that the speaker is “articulate.” o Symbolic Interactionism  How do language, symbols, and interactions shape the educational experience, and the subjective interpretations of the learning environment?  In 1977, Paul Willis wrote, “Learning to Labor how working class kids get working class jobs.” - He observed students - He wanted to know what values and beliefs and how they translated to educational success and failures - Focusing on males and why they did not pursue education - Working class boys rejected school and as a consequence produce their own working class status - Boys are known as “lads” were critical and antagonistic to teachers - The lads did not value into getting A‟s and rejected education - The lads formed a „counter-culture‟; rejecting the larger values on society o Feminist Theory  Gender-based inequalities get reproduced through:  Curriculum  Ex. Gender neutral language: such as describing occupations such as firefighters and officers  How males and females are portrayed in textbooks  Student-teacher interactions  How teachers treat male and females differently  Teachers show that m
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