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SOC 3340 (8)
Chapter 3

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University of Guelph
SOC 3340
Victor Ujimoto

Week 3 readings Chapter 3: Contemporary sociological approaches to schooling Introduction: changing contexts for schooling - great societal changes linked to massive shifts in people’s work - late 20 century post-industrial revolution fully begun - built on human and professional services – communications, finance, government and sales - late 1800s: 1/3 of Canadians worked in service sector - by 2000: 9/10 jobs - 1% now work in agriculture, less than 15% in manufacturing - service sector continues to expand at its fastest rate - transition also impacts job quality - theoretical knowledge would be more central to people’s jobs - increasing importance of innovation, research and development, and smart technologies - the computer would emerge as the driving force in the contemporary period - since 1970’s information and communication technology has rapidly transformed our way of life - knowledge has become key source of economic growth – now defines contemporary society: the knowledge society - rising importance of science in the economy - modern innovations depend increasingly on the pure research of university scholars - politicians are among the strongest proponents of building bridges between education, knowledge, and economy - increasing global competition - number of knowledge-driven jobs has risen rapidly in last century - many new jobs require greater levels of education as the expansion of professional and scientific job demonstrates - shift to increase the requirements for people to think on the job - many modern jobs require a more skilled workforce - more jobs have required autonomy, cognitive complexity and dexterity - great cultural and demographic shifts - continual decline of religious authority - church had an important presence in the formation of public schools in all provinces – authoritative in educational matters in Quebec and Newfoundland - debate continues (today) regarding the proper role of church and state in guiding learning of young Canadians - new focus in Durkheim’s thinking - decline in religion has helped alter the cultural underpinnings of modern life - culture is about people’s taken-for-granted social conventions – principles of action, habits of speech and gesture and the recipes or scenarios about how to act - culture in terms of people’s ‘tool kit’ – a set of guidelines or social rules - continual erosion of religion has give rise to a new set of values, rising individualism and less deferential attitudes - ‘value shift’: puts greater emphasis on self-development, personal identity, and unlimited expression Week 3 readings - liberals: this individualism is a good thing, part of ‘greening’ of our culture, strengthening our values of liberty and equality - individualism produced self-help, self-actualization, self-rationalization, and self- identity movements socialization - core feature in modern schooling - contemporary socialization in schools is ‘hidden’, implicit - structural-functionalism: positive portrait of schools as passing in primary and necessary values of modern life structural functionalism: nurturing modern values - popular 50’s and 60’s - claimed a direct lineage from the thought of Emile Durkheim - logic of this theory survives in many forms - human capital theory, the new institutionalism and reflexive modernity - interest in how youth are socialized into a common culture despite a shrinking influence of organized religion and extended families - impressed with the way in which socialization reflected the process of ‘modernization’ – the progression of societies form an agricultural to an industrial basis - schools played key role of teaching modern values - as societies industrialize and become more urbanized, their cultures become less parochial and more cosmopolitan, and their politics less authoritarian and more democratic - role of schools was to provide a common culture for societies that were growing increasingly diverse and complex - schools would function as transmitters of modern values like universalism, democracy, meritocracy - taught a common culture - students learned by doing neo-Marxism: the capitalist hidden curriculum - schools socialize students into a capitalist hidden curriculum - different educational settings prepare students to the disciplines of different workplaces – each requiring distinct types of personal demeanours, modes of self- presentation, self-images, and job identities - different tracks/streams in school systems further reinforce this - evolving history of public education a reflected of the changing needs of the capitalist class - schools aiding the survival of capitalism by inculcating ‘ruling class ideology’ - ideology is typically understood in 2 ways: 1) refers to systems of ideas or cognitive frameworks that guide how we think and act 2) includes class bias or class self-interest Week 3 readings - capitalist ideology – justifying existing patterns of social inequality, serving interests of the ruling class - schools create and recreate forms of consciousness that enable social control to be maintained without the necessity of dominant groups having to revert to overt mechanisms of domination - schools help reinforce capitalist inequality through mechanisms that persuade people to accept it as natural and inevitable - organize student learning in a competitive manner – grades and rewards, badges of ability - mirrors competition and individualism in the wider capitalist society - capitalist schools teach only some forms of knowledge – scientific forms, while short shrift to non-technical forms (folk knowledge) - stratification of the curriculum makes it easier to stratify individuals because technical knowledge appears more objective focus on ascription: shaping identities of gender and race - classical approaches depict school socialization as a unitary process - differences in experiences of students from various economic classes, emphasized common impact of schools on all children - new focus: school experiences of non-class groupings - gender and race - beginning of public education – citizens encouraged to use taxes to finance compulsory schooling for boys and girls - co-ed schooling was valued as a socialization tool - male and female benefited from moral education and from basic literacy - grouped together at younger ages but often segregated at older ages - girls – domestic science, boys – trades, advanced studies - young women – housewifery or nurturing (nursing, elementary school teacher) - based on overt assumptions about gender – assumed to be self-evident - began to change post-World War II era - girls only encouraged to go further in school and enter non-traditional fields - soon surpassed boys - curriculum said to alienate females from non-traditional course material, dampen aspirations for non-traditional fields and send message they are inferior to men - schools didn’t socialize all students the same way - 20 century – 1970’s fed gov sent Aboriginal children to residential schools to “Canadianize” them – to socialize them into the dominant culture, requiring them to learn English or French, accept Christianity and learn industrial job skills a renewed individualism? Reflexive modernization - differential socialization - to speculate on new forms of individualism and their effects on contemporary society - now experiencing a radical break from trajectory - in advanced industrial societies lifestyles have begun to generate increasing amounts of uncertainty and risk Week 3 readings - people’s
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