Structural functionalism (SF)
1. Ensuring a quality of opportunity. Best of the most talented (regardless
of gender, race, etc.) they are the people who leave school with best
qualifications and get the best jobs.
Conflict theory suggests that they identify a close relationship between
qualifications in the education system and students status, power.
Conflict theories (CT)
Bowles and Gintis.
Disagree with SF.
Like SF they identify a close linkage between school and work.
School is an institution where cognitive skills are learned and acquired and
used in the workplace. Close relationship between both. Nature of this link
What they argue that what the schools teach and what students in school
learn are not cognitive as personality traits. School curriculum is all about
instilling of different personality traits into students.
Most jobs in the economy do not in fact require large amount of skills.
Most jobs are not particularly complex. It doesn’t take much to learn them
(from a few hours to a day or two-not weeks/years that SF would imagine
it to be). Skills applied quickly.
What most employers want from the school system is not for cognition but
Source of skill that most employer want are punctuality (show up on time),
reliable, loyal, obedient, following instructions).
Low status students are not taught cognitive skills, but personality traits.
What about the small number of more complex or skilled jobs out in the
market? Who’s going to fill those and what skills do we need for that?
Correspondence principle ends up explaining why it is that low status kids
get low status jobs and why high status kids end up getting high status
One issue is that despite emphasis on equality of opportunity, many
strong relationships between student’s social origin and level of
Concept and important of cultural capital. Middle class students have a lot
of advantages. The most obvious is that they have parents who have
money for income. They have computers. They have cultural resources
too. They are likely to have lots of books in the home. They are familiar
with a wide range of music (especially classical music), know great works
of English and maybe even French literature, more likely to have a
superior vocabulary, maybe know 1 or 2 foreign languages.
Students from high status, in addition to material wealth have cultural
resources. They bring that into schools and classrooms where they end up
being rewarded by the teacher. Teachers end up giving preferential
treatment and the kids end up doing better. Similar accent like teacher, talking to the teacher, similar sort of
vocabulary and use of words. These students feel more comfortable that
emphasizes verbal skills.
These students have some familiarity with subjects taught in school.
Children view schooling as an extension of their family life.
Focused upon respondents who had children between ages 6-18.
Person’s status is imperative. Those who own factories, large amounts of
land/wealth, were able to pass on assets to their children.
You cannot inherit education like you can attain factory/land/wealth.
o The fact that your mom has a medical degree doesn’t mean she
can pass that qualification and statement to you.
Status in society is determined by our performance and attainment in the
Strong correlation between status of parents and status of children.
o People who do well in school tend to have students who do well in
2) Streaming: what the Americans call tracking.
Language of sorting out and categorizing. Similar to that, streaming is
sorting children into different ability groups that is he