Textbook Notes (367,974)
Canada (161,538)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCB26H3 (17)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Stratification and Accommodation

11 Pages
Unlock Document

Julian Tanner

12/3/2012 6:25:00 AM Chapter 5  Introduction o Before WW2, not very many people were selected for advanced study because it was seen as a waste of time and resources. o Now advanced study is seen as necessary for large groups of people o Policy makers claim that the “knowledge economy” requires skills that can only be obtained through post-secondary education o Education plays a bigger role in job quality and income level than ever in the past  Thinking Structurally: Established Stratification o A fundamental role of schools is social selection, giving people badges of abilities o Schools channelled students into different programs and schools with a belief that not all students benefit from the same curriculum o Stratification: referring to structuring programs or schools as “lower” and “higher” than one another, linking that hierarchy to better or worse opportunities in education or job markets. o Links between school attainment and life chances are strengthening in Canada o Streaming:  Educational stratification in Canadian high schools.  Splitting students into ability groups, usually with a “higher” one going to university and a “lower” one going to college or the workforce  Called “tracking” in the USA  3 levels of streaming:  Academic or vocational – Level A  Subject or field – Level B  Placement or program – Level C  Curriculum differs between the streams  Upper level exposed to advanced maths, and great literary works  Lower level focus on the basic skills of literacy, numeracy, and practical workplace skills  Institutionalized social mechanism that shapes the student’s educational and labour market options o Stratification is a major issue  Some educators want to abandon it because it can stigmatize students and lower their expectations  Others think it is necessary to an extent because students have different abilities. Want a simple sorting of university or college that would occur as late as possible during high school  Still people who want it fully, thinking that school levels should follow the different abilities of students. Want it as early as possible in schooling. o Youth from less-advantaged backgrounds are over- represented in lower streams and under-represented in upper streams  These students tend to enter more vocational programs, which means “lower” education and less labour market options. o Students from rich families tend to enter more academic programs, which means better higher education and labour market options o Sociologists hate streaming because it limits the opportunities for students, especially those from working-class backgrounds. See the streams as dampening aspirations, managing their ambitions, and discouraging them from moving on by placing them with lesser badges of ability. o Differences between schools are minimal. Schools effects are small compared to streaming and individual backgrounds.  Most schools are structured in similar ways and teaching is done in a standard way  Schools are a function of their different student populations. Reflecting social class, or ethnic composition of local neighbourhoods, etc. o Streams impact student performance. They differ in materials experienced, and their individual abilities. o How do we compare internationally?  The World  Europe:  More closed. Have schools dedicated to each stream. Happens at a young age. Usually done with a nationwide test. o Britain: “11-plus” exam. Sent very few high scoring 11 year olds to grammar school to prepare for university. o Germany: Rigid, mobility was rare. 3 types of schools.  Schooling was oriented towards preparing elites and to preserving an aristocratic cultural heritage. This has given European schools a greater emphasis on traditional arts and science, classical literature and philosophy, and a norm of using hard exams to filter a small number as academic elites.  Different types of schools gave different credentials o Vocational schools meant one could never go to university, but they could have specific jobs.  If students in Britain, France or Japan failed an exam at age 15 or 16, they were kicked out  France and the UK have expanded their university- level programs while Germany has not  Canada  More Canadians attended university than Europeans. It didn’t have a strictly designated “gifted” level. Didn’t have separate schools.  Canadian schools don’t emphasis a high tradition, because we don’t have an aristocracy. Promote a practical curriculum. Our school tradition sees everyone as entitled to an education.  Most schools in Canada offer the same credentials. Shows that the curriculum isn’t directly job-related. Diploma doesn’t prove that someone has job skills.  Prepares students for the labour market, but not a specific job.  More people graduate with a university degree  Turner’s ideas  European model had “sponsored mobility” which means that a few students were chosen early to enter the elite stream leading to university. He said that the Canadian  North American model had “contest mobility” which meant that the majority were in the same school and exposed to the same curriculum, with more students moving on to higher education.  Linking National Traditions of Youth to School Structures o Brint argues that there are national traditions of youth that respond to different demands and opportunities across different school systems. o Canada’s lack of high-stakes tests and thinner streaming serves to delay career choices until later years. This lessens anxiety and creates an easy-going attitude, encouraging sizeable numbers of youth to believe that their future remains open. Gets rid of competition, but increases social life pressures. o Germany’s 3 divisions make students grow up faster. Their demanding high school exit test adds an element of risk for those pursuing post-secondary educations. o Japanese youth face demanding fact drills, and a great supplementary tutoring industry on nights and weekends. Creates more pressure. Test scores determine admission to universities. Fields of study also filter entrants based on test scores, being a social selection mechanism. Lots of Japanese students commit suicide related to their education. o Britain’s streaming creates a sense of entitled elitism, and superiority. For the rest, an anti-school subculture was created because it seemed pointless to even try and would leave school at the earliest age possible.  Stratification within Post-Secondary Education o Two main dimensions: selectivity of an institution, and field of study. o Higher educational institutions have differed in terms of prestige  Ancient universities like Oxford carry more prestige than newer ones  The USA has a distinct, elaborate hierarchy between the Ivy League, other major private universities, state universities, church-affiliated colleges, then the 2-year community colleges  Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. offer their graduates access to elite jobs, higher wages, contacts, and other advantages. BUT they are highly selective.  In Canada, it is known that universities are more selective than colleges. o Field of study  Fields vary in prestige, resources, payoffs for graduates and their ability to be selective.  Traditionally, prestige was linked to aristocratic culture but this has changed.  Greater status is linked to lucrative markets and commercial research, such as in the professions and applied sciences.  Medicine, law, engineering, and now business.  High in demand by students  More selective  Biotechnology, and computer science are gaining power for commercial potential. o Prominence of one dimension over the other differs internationally  Its steep prestige hierarchy disting
More Less

Related notes for SOCB26H3

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.