This leads to social class reproduction, extensively studied by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. He studied cultural capital, the accumulation of cultural knowledge that helps navigate a culture. This changes the experiences and opportunities available to students from different social classes. Like economic capital, cultural capital (cultural taste, fall cat names knowledge, patterns of speech, clothing, proper etiquette, etc.) is difficult and time consuming to acquire. Critical sociologists do not believe that public schools reduce social inequality. Rather, they believe that the educational system reinforces and perpetuates social inequalities arising from differences in class, gender, race, and ethnicity.
A dog chases any squirrel it sees because of instinct, and a cat chases a mouse for the same reason. Different breeds of dogs do have different personalities, but even these stem from the biological differences among breeds passed down from one generation to another. Instinct prompts many dogs to turn around before they lie down, and it prompts most dogs to defend their territory. When the doorbell rings and a dog begins barking, it is responding to ancient biological instinct.
At the CLA we assume that Ofsted has introduced this new duty because it believes that it will level the playing field; ensuring that background plays less of a role in determining social mobility and educational success. Functionalists also contend that school, particularly in recent years, is taking over some of the functions that were traditionally undertaken by family. Society relies on schools to teach about human sexuality as well as basic skills such as budgeting and job applications — topics that at one time were addressed by the family. The educational system, especially university, traditionally allows students to learn about social issues through social and political advocacy. University also helps develop tolerance to the many views represented on campus. In 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement swept across university campuses all over Canada, leading to demonstrations in which diverse students united to try to change the Canadian political climate.
In Canada, one way in which universal education is supported is through provincial governments covering the cost of free public education. Of course, the way this plays out in terms of school budgets and taxes makes this an often-contested topic on the national, provincial, and community levels. This paper examines the creation of social capital between tourists and the residents of a remote outstation in western Arnhem Land and the role of casual leisure in breaking down barriers.
In the same vein, feminist theory focuses specifically on the mechanisms and roots of gender inequality in education. The theory of symbolic interactionism focuses on education as a means for labelling individuals. Conflict theorists see schools as a means for perpetuating class, racial-ethnic, and gender inequalities.
Discuss to what extent this is an important factor affecting their education and job opportunities. If your cultural capital matches the dominant cultural capital in your society, you will be able to find a school for your child that matches your values. But if you have a specific religious background or belief system that’s different to the majority of society, you might struggle.