One issue that is present in many different corpuses of our societies, especially in an educational setting, is the reality of social class. This reality is inseparable to the other present reality of power.
These two social issues are intimately linked and have been subjects to a variety of theories and researches.
Theissue of the social class is found in every school (primary, secondary, universities). The range of the population is represented in most schools, from the less to the most advantaged people.
Schools are institutions where pupils can exchange and discover a reality that is opposite to that which they would normally exposed to. Usually, students have a natural instinct to be attracted to the studentsthat have the same social background. Naturally pupils tend to divide themselves into different classes from an early age.
Those coming from privileged classes will have more ease to adapt to the philosophy of schooling according to the fact that school teaches how to speak properly, how to write decently and gives access to a certain general culture/knowledge. Coming from a privileged familyhelps to succeed in school. For instance, if a child curses at home, he might be punished or scolded by his parents; if he speaks when someone else is speaking, the parents will tell him that this is not polite. The child will have more or less incorporated the good manners when he will be starting school.
The priorities between the classes can be extremely different. The worry of the disadvantagedfamily can be that the bills won’t be paid at the end of the month where the advantaged people worry about what brand of car they are going to buy. This example is a caricature. But the child that doesn’t speak properly or behave correctly might not be the only problem a child will have to face when integrating into education.
These social differences before entering in school constitute adilemma in the society.
As P. Bourdieu says, school reproduces inequalities. Instead of giving the same chances to all the pupils, it tolerates and accepts that the kids from advantaged backgrounds will have better results than those from a disadvantaged background.
Offer a theoretical (sociological) understanding of this issue.
Marx, whose researches have been mostly done about the conflictbetween social classes (the dominant and the dominated), says that the upper-classes, the ones that have the knowledge, the culture and the money to produce, have the power to maintain their dominance over the lower-classes that only are considered as workforce. The division of society in classes is a phenomenon that enabled the capitalism to exist. Because the privileged classes rule the world, theycan decide to limit the chances of the poorest. The dominants use the dominated in one goal only, to work for them to make them richer.
According to P. Bourdieu, schools are the institutions that reproduce the inequalities. For him, schools are not as democratic as people might think; in the meaning that it might not offer an equality of chances. Schools don’t help the disadvantaged groups toclimb the socio-economical scale. They maintain people in the group they belong to originally.
Another theory comes to complete the one of Bourdieu. Naturally, people will be attracted by the things that are familiar to them. For instance, in France, the division of the social classes is such that someone from a low-class will have no interest going to the opera, the theatre or the museum. Thatwould be a loss of time. In the opposite, someone from an upper-class won’t be interested in spending his money in going to football game. This is reserved to the middle class. [It is obviously different in Ireland, where the social classes exist but are not so evident to prove interests-wide.] People from any background value the things that have always been part of their lives. That is the...