Assignment 1 Critical Review.docx - EDFX 140 Jack Harris Assignment 1 Literature Review Social class is the key to comprehending the inequality within

Assignment 1 Critical Review.docx - EDFX 140 Jack Harris...

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EDFX 140 Jack Harris Assignment 1 Literature Review Social class is the key to comprehending the inequality within our society, but it can often be overlooked or misinterpreted because of Australia’s ideologies. Some might think that it is due to socio-economic status as to why schools and universities held to blame for the inequality within our society. Some people in lower socio-economic classes believe that they are at a disadvantage with the education system of Australia. It is strange to think that a person’s socio-economic status is such a taboo topic, this may be because we all believe we have a ‘fair go’ or a ‘level playing field’. The ideology that Australia is maintained by meritocratic notions has made the nation view itself as a utopia where differences in wealth, power, and status are small. This ignorance and belief that Australia is a meritocratic and egalitarian society is absurd because some key theorists of conflict theory have found evidence to support otherwise. One of the main concepts of conflict theory is ‘class’, the most prominent theorist of this order is Marx. Henceforth, conflict theory is the prominent tool used to analyse class because conflict theorists view society as individuals who share common interests whereas “functionalists see a social reality that is above and separate from the individuals who compose it at the level of the whole society” (Hungerford, 2008). Marx believed that society is divided into two main classes, the capitalist class and the working class. He believed that if inequality continued the working class would and should rise up and overthrow the unjust capitalist system. From his observations in the 19 th century, Marx drew upon his observations of a recently industrialised northern England. Since that time the western world has evolved and moved into a knowledge economy, in which tangible goods as well as knowledge has increasing base value (Connell, 2015). The imbalances in power in society are preserved by the Marxist notion of the weighting of influence that education holds over inequality can be referred to as the concept of Marxist ‘ideology’. This ‘ideology’ is the idea of controlling the beliefs of society, which is utilised by those in power to sustain and augment their standing. Max Weber was another theorist who opposed the notion of there being only Marx’s two main divisions of class, the working class and the capitalist class. Weber deduced that an individual’s class isn’t determined solely by their wealth, he believed that class groups were formed through a combination of wealth, status and political power. Social stratification which is a social lens that places the members of society into class’s based upon their status, power and wealth (Connell, 2015). Weber used this term of ‘social stratification to create the concept of ‘life chances’ which are the opportunities individuals and social groups receive in order to advance socially which reflect the active aspects of their power, status and wealth. These ‘life chances’ play a significant role in
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