Outline for Today’s Lecture: Sociology of Education. Introduction: What is the purpose of education? Theories of Sociology of Education Functionalist Conflict Bowles & Gintis Randall Collins Pierre Bourdieu Interpretive/Symbolic Interactionist Inequality and Schooling. Thought Question.
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“…by structuring social interactions and individual rewards to replicate the environment of the workplace”, schools are able to accomplish the goal of preparing “people for adult work rules by socializing people to function well and without complaint in the hierarchical structure of the modern corporation” (Bowles and Gintis 2002, see also 1976).
“One teacher remarked that she hated September, because during the first month, ‘everything has to be done rigidly, and repeatedly, until they know exactly what they’re supposed to do.’ However ‘by January’, she said, ‘they know exactly what to do [during the day] and I don’t have to be after them all the time.’”
Gracey concludes: “Once out of the school system, young adults will more than likely find themselves working in large-scale bureaucratic organizations, perhaps on the assembly line in the factory, perhaps in the paper routines of the white collar occupations, where they will be required to submit to rigid routines imposed by “the company” which may make little sense to them…
“…Those who can operate well in this situation will be successful bureaucratic functionaries. Kindergarten, therefore, can be seen as preparing children not only for the participation in the bureaucratic organization of large school systems, but also for the large-scale occupational bureaucracies of modern societies.”
Cultural capital is commonly defined as high-status cultural signals, such as attitudes, behaviours, preferences and credentials that are useful for distinguishing higher status from lower status individuals (Bourdieu 1977, DiMaggio 1982, Lamont and Lareau 1099, Eitle and Eitle 2002).
Kids in the U.S. that took classes in music, art, performance (dance), art history & appreciation, and music history & appreciation were:
3.2 times more likely to finish high school;
1.8 times more likely to begin university; and
1.4 times more likely to finish university compared to kids that did not take these classes (Aschaffenburg and Maas 1997).
Field of studyPercent
Business and commerce 12.4
Elem, second, pre-primary teaching 9.9
Financial management 5.8
Computer science/applied math 5.2
Medical related subjects 2.6