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Lecture 6

SOCA02- Lecture 6 (Education).docx

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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

Watson and Crick, The Double Helix / Steve Wozniak, Apple Computers / Saint-Simone; Comte; Spencer / Parsons / consensus / dissensus / “readin, ritin and rithamatic” / deferred gratification / Durkheim / Old Soviet Union / Yugoslavia / ancestral homeland / Latvia; Estonia; Lithuania (Baltic Republics) / meritocracy / latent / unintended / Christina Hoff Summers, The War Against Boys / Timothy Bates, Edinburgh University / Bowles and Gintis, Schooling in Capitalist America /credentialism / Randall Collins / Marx, Communist Manifesto / James Dean, “Rebel Without a Cause” / inhibitory mechanism / frontal lobes / Ojibwa / Huron / Gardner is to garden as _________ is to easel. Answers: (a) driver (b) painter (c) priest (d) carpenter (e) bricklayer  Mass education is reserved for wealthy countries  Literacy rate is 99%; it is the ability to read at a primitive level; people who can just get by  Provides uniform socialization; religion used to isolate people, but not so with education;  Curriculum in university is devised by course instructors- academic freedom; common law tradition  Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were part of the flower power generation; smoked a lot of dope and popped a lot of acid; Apple is now the largest corporation in the world and worth half a trillion dollars; they have changed education because many students use PCs/laptops; sociologists now look at how the economy influences education; education has become heavily computerized; Germany spent 150 billion dollars on solar power and it provides .04% of Germany’s energy  Education influences economy as well; Watson and Crick (The Double Helix), and DNA which was a huge discovery;  Does education promote equality or inequality?  Functionalism  Meritocracy means you are judged on merit; educational systems are meritocracies in that they evaluate people on merit/achievement; functionalism gives it most prominence; ascription is more to do with conflict theory  Functionalism goes back to early French sociologists of the 19 century- Spencer/Parsons- education is functional in that it integrates individuals into society  Conflict theory is the enemy of functionalism; economic barriers filter on basis of ability to pay; people used to be able to graduate from high school and start working straight away even in professions such as CAs; LSATs and MCATs are tests that lack validity; graduate programs in Canada used to require GRE, but no longer required because it is not valid; still required in the U.S.; tests like this are questionable; used to exclude people more than anything else; education produces class differences  Difference between conflict approach, according to Marx (Neo-Marxists), education perpetuates inequality and produces conflict; results in dissensus; functionalists say that education creates consensus;  Educational achievement can be hard to measure as opposed to educational attainment;  Functionalist approach- education socializes people; traditional societies sometimes called illiterate societies; culture is passed on from family to child, but as division of labour increases, the knowledge society; when you have a knowledge society, parents cannot socialize you (Dad is an engineer, you want to become an accountant); thus formal education develops as division of labour increases, and it becomes mandatory up to a certain age; high levels of literacy are required; education begins with the three Rs- reading, writing, arithmetic; literacy and numeracy; primary school lays the foundation, high school, university, etc. branches out into different directions; in schools, they socialize also by way of the informal curriculum (formal curriculum is literacy and numeracy) or the hidden curriculum; zero tolerance of violence aims at communicating good behaviour but sometimes this can go too far; school teaches discipline and punctuality which is all part of the informal curriculum; it also teacher motivation and achievement, and that everyone is treated equally; part of the hidden curriculum is that education teachers deferred gratification; instant gratification is something that infants and children are motivated by  Next function of education is creativity and discovery (inquiry) which is most apparent in university and least apparent in primary school (more about the basics); it is stimulated by research;  Third function is social integration (homogenization); Gellner said that mass education emphasizes nationalism; helps bind people together, unify people, forge new alliances into a smoothly functioning whole; less conflict and less antagonism in society; two models of integration; the old Soviet Union tried to integrate around uniformity by way of socialist man; after the Soviet Union fell, ethnic differences emerged; Baltic republics; it wasn’t successful, as demonstrated by the events that took place after the fall of the Soviet Union; in Canada, we integrate around diversity; that diversity is called multiculturalism, which allows people to retain their ethnic identity which leads to a stronger commitment to society; works better than the old Soviet Union; Canadian education system is based on diversity and multiculturalism; common curriculum is based on language, all must learn the three Rs, and all must become literate and numerate, learn job specific skills, learn the values of liberal democracy; education promotes diversity, and by promoting diversity, it is able to integrate more successfully; diversity is a powerful way of integrating people  Social standing; education gives people cultural capital; Bourdieu (French theorist) introduces the idea of cultural capital which means that education teaches you how to talk, gives you confidence; giving people social skills; cultural capital is scarce and valuable, expensive and difficult to acquire; pedagogic violence is used by teachers for students who don’t pick up cultural capital; don’t take this too seriously, more like a French thing; foreigners vs. immigrants; much less tolerance for cultural differences in Europe than in North America which can be attributed to a varying history (immigration is relatively recent); education helps people attain approved statuses; aptitude is ‘what are you good at’; education helps you identify your aptitudes; education gives people social capital by evaluating them by achievement; education is the most significant way of achieving upward mobility; education is closely (causally) related to income; when you go to university, you have to practice deferred gratification;  Functions of education- unintended (latent) consequences of education; help society run more smoothly; child care; teen
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