What is social stratification and to what extent does it impact on educational and professional achievement?
School has been created to educate people, teach them how to read and how to write which was necessary to the economic and political development, and also to reduce social inequalities. Despite the fact that people are considered being equal, there are still social differences generatedby social stratification. Social stratification is a hierarchical arrangement of individuals into divisions of power and wealth within a society. The most common term is social class, which are defined by inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions.
This essay will first discuss the two theories which oppose about the question of education, then how socialstratification influences educational and professional achievement by bringing different capitals, and finally, it will discuss the fact that educational and professional achievement is possible whatever the social class people belong to.
The functionalist and the conflict theories are opposite about the question of education.
They both agree about the fact that education is a beneficialcontribution to an ordered society and that we live in a society with inequalities, but they both have different interpretations of it.
The functionalist views claimed that schools are sorting students on a basis meritand that they networking by making interpersonal connection which may become personal or professional. They also think that the society is unfair but that it has to be like that. In theother side, the conflict theory completely disagrees. They think that education maintain the social inequality and preserves power of those who dominates society. They also believed that schools are sorting students along distinct and ethnic lines and that education train people of working class to accept their position as a lower class member of society.
Both theories are confirmed but things arechanging due to evolution in our society.
The knowledge of parents is necessary in the education of the children because for example, if a father is an executive, he could teach mathematic to his child whereas if a father is a mechanic, he will teach mechanical to his child, and in this case, the child of executive has an advantage.
The differences of social class bring different values tochildren. For example, a child of labourer will spend time watching TV instead of practicing sport or a cultural activity which will be a bonus to his education. Instead, manual labour and doing things by its own like repairing bike, is privileged in the labour class.
Contrary to a child of the working class, a child of the upper class has school and education values. Hobbies are their way tocomplete their education, to learn intellectual and physical effort and to develop competition. It makes them adopt behaviour which leads them to a best educational achievement.
The values learn by families to children during childhood also develop their personality. This is why some children have a better behaviour than others at school. If in a family a child use to practice intellectualactivity like visiting museum or playing instrument, he will more pay attention in class than a child who only has toys which make him move a lot or who use to work manually. The capacity of work is then influenced by the behaviour adopted in family.
It is in the family that children get the influence of doing long or short studies. If a child comes from an upper class family, he will be encouragedto do long studies in order to get a good job but if a child works well but comes from a working class family, he will be less encouraged and will be different from the rest of the family; because he will spend his weekends doing homework whereas his brothers and sisters will be working to chores or tinker.
The family also bring an economic capital.
Money also served in the way of work. A...
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