However, Marxists criticise this and argue that education in capitalist society only transmits the ideology of the ruling class and not the shared values of society. Furthermore, Durkheim argues that modern industry has a complex division of labour where production of a single product involves cooperation from many different specialists. But for this to be successful, each person must have the necessary specialist knowledge and skills to perform their role. So education teaches individuals specialist skills and knowledge that individuals need to play their part in the social division of labour. So the main function of education is to maintain a value consensus in society.
Who says society and social class has to define one’s education and identity? An article in the “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work” by Jean Anyon points out that students in certain social classes have schools which are tailored to prepare children from the social class which they come. “Changing American Families” by Judy Root Aulette examines how the stratification systems of class mold our society. Rick Santorum in “It Takes a Family: Conservation and the Common Good” states that one’s identity is based from their family and upbringing. Equally important “In The Achievement of Desire” by Richard Rodriguez, he expresses that he knew he was different, that his family life and his academic life was opposed and when he reads Hoggarts description of the scholarship boy he realized there where others like him whom did not fit the mold defined by society.
Althusser, sees education as an ideological state apparatus that reproduces and legitimates class inequality, ensuring working-class pupils end up in working-class jobs, and that they accept their exploited role. According to Bowles and Gintis, this is achieved through correspondence principle which refers to the tendency of schools to promote the values expected of individuals in each social class so as to prepare students for the types of jobs typically held by
Simmel was interested in revealing the universal characteristics present in all social relationships, whether in an office, a family or a bus queue. Similarly historical studies of the social structure of the Roman Empire may have little relevance to today’s social problems. On the other hand, may sociologists are interested in solving social problems through their research. For example, sociologists who feel strongly about poverty or about inequalities in educational achievement have conducted research aimed at discovering solutions to the social problems. Many are employed directly by the government departments such as the Home Office or the Department for Children,
The political orientation of the researchers was liberal, and the research method was the mapping of social inequalities in educational outcomes using quantitative techniques to measure social mobility. Such an approach was 'liberal' in that inequality was opposed but its source was not, unlike the Marxists, located in the social structure. Modern societies were seen as inherently progressive and it was only archaic elements, such as class, that inhibits progress. Modification of these difficulties would produce restructure. The difficulty with this approach, as it later became clear, was that the problems identified by liberal sociologists set many educators to work in opposition to working class cultural practices.
This is due to the fact that although we are a world power, we fall behind our diversified peers academically. I agree with Baldwin’s essay that every single student should have the opportunity to be in charge of their own success and be able to determine such decisions regarding their own education. His speech makes me feel inspired and determined because of how determined he is to urge teachers to extinguish the unhealthy state American education and transforming it into a forum of empowerment. Baldwin states several pieces of information regarding our society and those made me stop in my tracks for a minute and re-evaluate how our society can change and affect people. Students must be taught within themselves and not by society.
Functionalists view society based on consensus. They believe that education helps to bridge the gap between family and society. They also believe in the theory of meritocracy. Other theories such as Marxism often challenges their theory. Functionalists believe education is a key component in the construction of society, they also believe that it is one of the most important institutions and plays a major role during secondary socialisation.
Mansios and Anyon both agree that the higher ones social class is, the better education they receive. Mansios also provides evidence that the lower class will endure unfortunate consequences in the future because of this inequality in education. Anyon believes the students are being taught “hidden curriculum” that applies to their social class and, by assumption, their future relationships and social standings (Anyon 395). The classrooms of the executive elite may start by having control over the teachers and classroom activities in elementary school, but later on they develop control over their workplace when they are high-standing individuals (Anyon 408-410). In the classrooms of the working class, students are not welcome to share their opinions or ideas and they often resist the teacher’s continuous orders.
Edumacation Among Different Social Classes According to Anyon, writer of “From Social class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work”, economic status is strongly tied to educational development: “Scholars in political economy and the sociology of knowledge have recently argued that public schools in complex industrial societies like our own make available different types of educational experience and curriculum knowledge to students in different social classes” (Anyon 195). This would suggest that everyone does not have the same access to the benefits of a post-secondary education. Anyon used classroom observation, interviews of students, teachers, principals, and district administrative staff, and assessment of curriculum
2) Bridging the Gap between home and society’s values Parsons said at home we have an ascribed status and therefore children are treated individually and differently from adults. However at school everyone has an achieved status under the same universalistic values. Children aren’t treated differently but as a collective group, as they would be in would be in the workplace. This helps Durkheim’s “society in miniature” as school replicates and prepares children for the workplace and society. Criticism: Many of the most powerful people had an advantage getting the best jobs due to their higher social class.