lec030110 - Soc 101: Introduction to Sociology (Carr)...

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Soc 101: Introduction to Sociology (Carr) Monday March 1, 2010 The central question of today’s lecture is: Is education the “great equalizer” that minimizes social inequalities? Or are social inequalities perpetuated by the educational system? I. Education as strategy for minimizing social inequality (discussed at last class) II. The Educational System Perpetuates Inequality A. Theoretical perspective (conflict theory) 1. Adherents to conflict theory argue that the formal educational system perpetuates social inequality and benefits the dominant class at the expense of all others. a. Bowles and Gintiss’ correspondence theory. Bowles and Gintiss (1976) offer one of the most widely cited arguments that schooling has the main outcome of maintaining the existing hierarchy . They argue that the main outcomes of the current educational system are social control in an unequal and rapidly changing economic order. b. Elaboration of their theory: Modern education is a response to the short-term economic needs of industrial capitalism. Schools help to provide the technical and social skills required by industrial enterprise. The things taught in the classroom (and especially social class disparities in what is taught) correspond to conditions in the labor market. For example, teachers instill discipline and respect for authority. These authority relations in school, which are hierarchical and place strong emphasis on obedience, directly parallel those dominating the workplace. The rewards and punishments held out in school also replicate those found in the world of work. Schools try to motivate some individuals towards “achievement” and “success” while
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 920:101 taught by Professor Carr during the Spring '10 term at Rutgers.

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lec030110 - Soc 101: Introduction to Sociology (Carr)...

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