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SOC 101 (156)
Chapter 12

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SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

Chapter 12: Education 10/17/2012 3:04:00 PM 1. Canadian Education  institution responsible for the transmission of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes deemed desirable  formal education regulated and organized by the state  informal education stresses societal norms and values, working to socialize the next generation History  Residential schools o earliest forms of formal education o re-socialize aboriginal people to become „civilized‟  Mass education o industrialization and immigration o education viewed as essential to economic development o Ontario first to offer free, compulsory education o Girls and boys educated differently, males given vocational training in preparation for the labour market while girls were prepared to be housewives or to work in „nurturing‟ occupations 2. Sociological Approaches to Education  Functionalism o Parsons(1959)  Schools need to both serve and reflect the values and interests of the society in which they operate o Schools help maintain equilibrium of social system  Act as a sorting mechanism for future roles in society (through allocation of grades)  Teaches students how to function in the larger society (socialization)  Criticism: clings to idea of society as a meritocracy, ignoring one‟s socialization  Conflict Theory o Schooling serves the capitalist aims of profit and compliant workers o Bowles and Gintis (1976)  Correspondence principle prevails between schools and workplace  Similar means of motivating behaviour and authority structures  Students from privileged class backgrounds more likely to continue to higher levels of schooling  Schools work to prevent social class mobility  Symbolic Interactionism o Examine meanings attached to school practices o Howard Becker (1952)  Teacher-imposed labels can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy  Through interactive process one comes to embody a label  Contemporary studies show that self-fulfilling prophecy remains a concern especially in relation to gender, race and class  Feminist Theory o Early Feminist studies:  Focused on the sexism embedded in both school texts and classroom practices  Women represented as passive objects or altogether absent  Teachers engage more with boys than with girls o Contemporary feminist studies:  Continues to focus on gendered patterns of interaction  Boys continue to have more classroom interaction with teachers  Behaviour that is accepted from boys is corrected in girls  Sexism not as prevalent in course texts  Hegemonic masculinity and emphasized femininity  Cultural Theory o Bourdieu (1991)  How is inequality reproduced? How is privilege transferred?  Cultural capital refers to a set of usable resources (skills, habits, manners) that can translate into economic and social success  Schools reproduce existing power relations; they are not value neutral  Children from higher classes come to school with greater cultural capital  Post-structural Theory o Foucault: power/knowledge nexus o Cannot separate knowledge from the context in which it is produced o Discourse: systems o
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