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Trial Essay

763 words - 4 pages

Asses the view that education in modern industrial societies is meritocratic

Not all theorists agree that in modern industrial societies education is meritocratic. Although functionalists argue that education is meritocratic and allows person earn what they work for, the Marxists present another argument; that meritocracy is a myth. This essay will show how meritocracy is true to a certain point however it is not always seen.
Functionalist argues that modern industrial societies have to perform a range of functions ad as a result a sophisticated mechanism is necessary to select individuals according to their talents and train them for jobs best suited to their talents. Parsons agrees ...view middle of the document...

This allows the middle and upper class students to excel in school without any real effort and therefore allowing them to gain the top positions in society, however the opposite happens for the working class students. The working class students are locked into their lower ranks in society. Bowles and Gintis state that rewards in education and occupation is not based on ability but rather on social background or status. The higher the person background is (that is upper or middle class) the more likely they are to obtain top positions in society. Through this way the “status quo” is maintained, that is the exploitation of the working class continues and those of the middle and middle class retain their privileged position.
Furthermore Bowles and Gintis (1976) argue that there is a relationship correspondence between the nature of work in the capitalist theory and the nature of schooling. This argument brought about theory of the “correspondence theory”. The correspondence theory states that that new generations of workers are appropriately schooled to accept their roles and positions within the capitalist society. Hence the educational system is one of the reproduction mechanisms through which students are divided. By providing skills, legitimating inequalities in economic positions, and facilitating certain types of social intercourse among individuals, education patterns personal development...

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