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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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Outline for Today’s Lecture: Sociology of Education


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outline for today s lecture sociology of education
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
Thought Question
  • What is the purpose of education?
  • Why do we send kids to school? What do we expect and want them to learn?
  • Why would someone decide NOT to send their kid to school?
bowles and gintis correspondence principle
Bowles and Gintis: Correspondence Principle

“…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).

bowles and gintis how schools reproduce inequality
Bowles and Gintis: How Schools Reproduce Inequality
  • Channel students into different levels in the capitalist work hierarchy in a way that corresponds with their family background
  • Socialize students to have the skills and attitudes appropriate to those different levels
  • Legitimate or justify these processes of allocation and socialization as in the interest of all
kindergarten as academic boot camp
Kindergarten as Academic Boot Camp

“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.’”

kindergarten as academic boot camp6
Kindergarten as Academic Boot Camp

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…

kindergarten as academic boot camp7
Kindergarten as Academic Boot Camp

“…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.”

what is cultural capital
What is Cultural Capital?

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).

effect of cultural capital
Effect of “cultural capital”

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).

slide13
Postsecondary participation rates for Canadians aged 18-21 and no longer in high school by household income,1998
slide14
Postsecondary participation rates for Canadians aged 18-21 and no longer in high school by parents’ education 1998
slide15
Postsecondary participation rates for Canadians aged 18-21 and no longer in high school, by household income and parents’ education, 1998
predicted probability of university participation by distance to university canada1999
Predicted Probability of University Participation by Distance to University, Canada1999
predicted probability of university participation by income tier and distance to school canada1999
Predicted Probability of University Participation by Income Tier and Distance to School, Canada1999
slide18
Canadian Parents’ Postsecondary Aspirations for Children and Saving Behaviour by Household Income, 1999
increase in university undergraduates aged 25 to 64 by top ten fields of study 1991 2001
Increase in university undergraduates, aged 25 to 64, by top ten fields of study, 1991-2001

Field of studyPercent

Business and commerce 12.4

Engineering 10.7

Elem, second, pre-primary teaching 9.9

Financial management 5.8

Computer science/applied math 5.2

Psychology 3.8

Economics 2.9

Nursing 2.8

Medical related subjects 2.6

Sociology 2.6