Chapter 12_Education and American Minority Groups_Fall 2007

Chapter 12_Education and American Minority Groups_Fall 2007...

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Chapter 12: Education and American Minority Groups What Role does the Educational System Play in US Society Two distinct sociological perspectives on this: 1. The “traditionalist” view Aligns more with the functionalist perspective o The role of education in US society is: (A) To provide social mobility for every member of our society The mobility that one achieves is based upon: o His/her ability o His/her motivation These are ACHIEVED CHARACTERISTICS The mobility is NOT based upon: o His/her social demographic background (i.e. race, ethnicity, gender, social class, etc.) These are ASCRIBED CHARACTERISTICS o Is this reminiscent of anything we’ve recently discussed? MERITOCRACY (B) To serve as an efficient way of allocating people into adult occupations by providing them with the training necessary for those jobs 2. The “contrasting” view Aligns more with the conflict perspective o Education does NOT operate in a way that offers opportunity for social mobility to the working-class and poor member of our society Education cannot be expected to bring about equality when the larger social and economic systems are based on inequality Social system inequality = racial/ethnic inequality Economic inequality = social class inequality Christopher Jencks o Large proponent of this perspective His argument: Economic disadvantage is more important than mere ACCESS to education Making everyone either a HS or college grad would NOT necessarily change the fact that the United States as a society is plagued by economic inequality (social class inequality) from “A Note on Non-Cognitive Traits,” 1972: “We think of “equality of opportunity” as implying that everyone should get as much schooling as he [she] wants. Equal opportunity, in this sense, guarantees unequal results” (Jencks 109). SO…from this perspective, what DOES education in the US do?
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Chapter 12: Education and American Minority Groups o Education exists to serve the interests of the dominant or advantaged groups within our society What interests? (1) Ensures that dominant or advantaged group members ensure that their advantage will be passed on to their children (2) Provides employers with “appropriately socialized” workers o “Appropriately socialized” = socialized to the “norms” of middle class/mainstream society Why do workers care about the “socialization” of their employees? Several studies indicate that when seeking future employees, employers tend to:
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2008 for the course SOC 1376/1396 taught by Professor Rosenbaum during the Spring '08 term at Montgomery CC.

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Chapter 12_Education and American Minority Groups_Fall 2007...

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