Lecture 1_Introduction

Lecture 1_Introduction - Sociology 160 The Sociology of...

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Unformatted text preview: Sociology 160: The Sociology of Education of Instructor: Seth Abrutyn Course Logistics Course • Contact Information: – Email: [email protected] – Office Hours: MWF 210-3; And by Appt. • Readings: – Required Readings • • • • Steven Brint: Schools and Societies Steven Schools Arum-Beattie Reader: The Structure of Schooling Arum-Beattie The Cookson-Persell: Prepping for Power Cookson-Persell: Prepping Additional Readings On-Line – Avg. Reading…115 pp./wk • Grading: – 3 Exams…30% Each – 10% Section Attendance/Participation/Etc. • Note: You must keep up with the reading in this course. The Note: exams will cover my lectures and the readings, and you are responsible for both. In addition, there will be no makeup exams, so plan accordingly. Sociology and Education Sociology • The sociological perspective vis-à-vis other The perspectives perspectives • What is education? How is it different from What schooling? schooling? • Some Questions to consider: – Are schools/educational systems open or closed Are environments? – How does political or economic forces play out in How schools? schools? – How do families/communities effect schools? – How does inequality effect schooling? – How do schools effect other components of How Why Focus Primarily on Schools? Schools? Time in Schools High • Time in Schools High – 13,000 Hours spent from 6-18 – 17,000 After College (1/6 waking hours…not including homework) • $$$ – $400 Billion+ Spent in the US on schooling – 7% of the GDP • • • Twice as much as construction Four times as much as food products 10 times as much as the auto industry • # of people working in educ. Sector – 4.4 Million Schoolteachers – 750,000 Professors/Instructors • Schools are tightly interlinked with National Schools Institutional Analysis Institutional • We will look at theories of education, what it does, and We how it works in the next couple of days…but, we begin with education as an institution education • What are institutions? – Ingredients • People/Groups • Resources • Rules – Structures: • Channeling Actions, Goals, and Decisions • Constraining Actions, Goals, and Decisions – Arenas of: • • • Struggle for/over power, prestige, and wealth Struggle power, Mobility and opportunity Systems of Domination The Educational Institution The • What is an educational institution? – Actors? – Material Resources? Symbolic Resources? – Rules…? • What does an educational institution do? – Cultural Storage – Physical/Cognitive – Cultural Expansion/Change – Socialization • Manifest • Latent? (Hidden Curriculum) Latent? – Social Selection (or Placement) • Meritocracy • Reproduction? – Social Change Theoretical Themes Theoretical • • • • Functionalism vs. Conflict Perspectives Functionalism Conflict Political versus Economic Purposes Political versus Leveling Effect versus Cultural Reproduction Leveling Cultural Force of Subordination versus Force of Force versus Change Change • Goals? Education/Knowledge versus Diversity Goals? versus and Self-Esteem and Schools and Morality Schools • A Note on the word morality Note morality • Emile Durkheim: – His General Thinking – Thoughts On Schools/Education • “…the task of the school in the moral development of the child can and should the moral be of the greatest importance…[as it is] the agency so constituted…to train the child in terms of the demands of society” (A-B, 79) child • “…the function of morality is…to determine conduct, to fix it, to eliminate the the element of individual arbitrariness…[in order to] promote regularity of conduct element …[in among [people]” (A-B, 83) among • Internalization of Moral Authority Is The Goal Internalization Moral Authority • How do schools construct a moral order? – Organization of Space/Time – Rituals: • Differentiation • Integration – Encouragement of Status Hierarchies – Standardization of (Some) Membership Categories – Emergent Community Life • Waller and the Paradoxes of Morality Morality Schools: – Do convey the community’s sense of morality…but – They are “museums” of virtue • Transmit Ideals • Shield Students from Social Reality – If the goal is to prepare students for real life, yet the If schools are “forced” to keep the “young unsullied”, how do schools function? how • Schools are microcosms of the larger community Schools patterns: patterns: – Class Distinctions – Status Hierarchies – Clique Formation • Do schools really transmit and produce moral Do Sorokin and Mobility Sorokin • Societies are differentiated vertically… – Mechanisms “sorting” and channeling mobility Mechanisms are necessary are – Implicit Point: Sorting is never perfect… Implicit is • Schools, in modern societies, are Schools, mechanisms of: mechanisms – Testing – Selecting – Distributing Consequences of Sorokin’s School Functions Consequences • Bowles/Gintis: A Marxist Argument – Capitalism Capitalism • Motivation for Profit (Value of Goods on Market – Wages Motivation = Profit) Profit) • Precondition: Wage Labors who only have labor power – Central Problem: • Unfair Conditions based on ownership Conflict Unfair • How can we create organizations that diffuse this conflict, How while also creating wage labor? while • Profits when Wages are and Productivity/Intensity Profits of Labor is – Schools: • Provide Technical/Social Skills + Motivations, while… • Depoliticizing Class Relations Consequences of Sorokin’s School Functions Functions • Max Weber’s Argument: – His General Theoretical Thinking – Key: Legitimation of Social Order Key: Legitimation • Old Forms of Legitimation • Rationalization Bureaucracy…Unique Rationalization Needs Needs – Special Examinations – Educational Certificates • • • Construction of Status Group Legitimates New Elites (and their Claims) Monopolizes Privileged Positions • Inherent Tension Between: Democracy and Inherent Bureaucracy Bureaucracy Randall Collins’ Integrative Effort Randall • Functionalism Rests On: – – – – Technological Change leads to skill requirements Technological Formal Education Necessary Training Formal Educational Requirements causing time spent in school Educational True? • • • • People seem to be overeducated Aside from literacy, education and job productivity are not related directly…in fact Better educated people are sometimes less productive Aside from professionals (doctors, lawyers), pseudo-professionalization (MBAs) Aside are not about job training or skill acquisition, but about salary increases are • Conflict Theory – Schools are organized to reflect struggles over power/prestige/wealth • “The main activity of schools is to teach particular status cultures…[such as] The vocabulary and inflection, style of dress, aesthetic tastes, values and manners” (A-B 102) (A-B • Certificates = Objective Membership • Logical Conclusions? – Differentiation of Schools’ Prestige… ...
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This note was uploaded on 08/07/2011 for the course SOC 160 taught by Professor Abrutyn during the Spring '10 term at UC Riverside.

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