Schooling by Numbers 03-25-09 - Half empty: formal...

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Schooling by Numbers (Mitchell L. Stevens) 03/25/09 - Art is a collective activity o Raw materials, conventions of representation, audience response o America’s most wanted - Blau and Duncan o Father’s education, father’s occupation, respondent’s education, first job, all have consequences on occupation in adulthood - Sociology = Inequality o The intellectual puzzles Inequality is a human universal, no social system that is not characterized by some kind of inequality Who wins, who loses, and in what ways? How is inequality legitimated? How do systems of inequality vary? - An American quandary o US is constitutionally defined as democratic and egalitarian, but also characterized by inequality of wealth, status, and political influence o Elites historically have tried to manage this quandary through formal schooling - The American story: educational meritocracy o Half empty, half full
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Unformatted text preview: Half empty: formal education is a primary means through which families pass on their own advantage to their children Half full: formal education has independent effects of individual life outcomes The half-full part is essential to educations legitimation function-Bottom line o 1) (Elite) schools are central players in the production, reproduction, and legitimation of social inequality. Thats what they are designed to be Trying to coalesce elites of various sorts and make them more likely to do well in their adult lives o 2) However, the favored raw materials of social scienceindividual level dataand favored causal imagery, do not accommodate elite schools very well-How is this inequality legitimated? o Logic of merit o Mantra of excellence in all things o Plurality of elites partake of the goodies few elites left out of the enterprise...
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This note was uploaded on 11/06/2009 for the course GOVT 2225 taught by Professor Morgan during the Spring '09 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Schooling by Numbers 03-25-09 - Half empty: formal...

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