Inequality among students: gender
Reasons for women to attend university more than before: feminism,
equality of opportunity between males and females.
What feminism might have done:
o 1) Ambitions of women and encouraged them to think of
professional, managerial jobs. Women are delaying starting a
o 2) Job market has been transforming and is transforming. Women
are now starting to enter other occupations. Need university degree
o 3) Historically, women entered a specific number of occupations.
For Example: teaching elementary school, social worker, nurse,
etc. These occupations have upped their entry-level requirements.
Changing labor market. More females in university is a reflection of
the fact that males are more likely to enter blue collar occupations
(which do not need a university degree).
Before, no more than 25% university undergrad population would have
comprised of females.
Women are oppressed in all these factors.
Women are not a majority in math, computer science, architecture and
One reason why when we get out of university we will quickly find people
who you studied (that are not stellar) with is the field of study women
choose. Women go to jobs in the labor market, which don’t pay particularly
well. If you got a BA in English, a degree in sociology, or even if you
become a teacher, the earnings are unlikely to match those by doing
engineering at UofT. Less pay has to do with picking fields of study in
How might these differences be explained?
Asian students tend to do well because they come from
cultures/backgrounds where education and education qualifications are
Their parents have a home life, which would support doing well in schools.
Reason why Asians are in Canada in the first place is the direct result of
government and immigration policies.
Succession of Canadian governments targeted for immigration the Asian
part of the world and deliberately targeted people of various Asian
countries where they have large amounts of education.
As a contrast, before the 1960s, most immigrants to Canada came from
Europe, especially UK and many of those European immigrants
themselves were not significantly educated and didn’t bring favorable
attitudes towards education. Things have changed though.
On the other hand, Aboriginal youth have low education levels (high
portion of drop outs). This has been explained as legacy of colonial policy directed towards first nations. Policies, which have seen them as subject
of prejudice and discrimination. On top of that, a chronic function of native
education. Real guarantee are not exactly adhered to education
(residential schools). Legacy of colonial experience.
Can schools make a difference?
The evidence that there are still significant inequalities associated with
social class and the question is can the schools do anything to reduce or
minimize the differences in educational attainment with regards to the
Functionalists would give a positive answer to that question saying yes,
schools can improve things and help students from low status or modest
backgrounds to do better. They can reduce some of the gaps that exist
between high status and low status students in terms of educational
Conflict theorists are more skeptical and would say that while schools
don’t create inequalities in the first place, they end up amplifying or
enlarging the gap between high status and low status kids.
If functional are correct, you’d find: When kids were in schools from
September - June, schools work to improve things (reduce inequality),
narrowing of gap of educational performance on standardized tests for
high and low status kids. When school was out, you would see a widening
of the test scores between high and low status backgrounds.
On the other hand, if the conflict theorists were correct you’d see the
opposite. During the school year as exposed to more schooling from