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EDUCATION AND THE

PROCESS OF STRATIFICATON
THE PROCESS OF STRATIFICATION: IS INEQUALITY
INEVITABLE?
What is stratification?
Def: position in society
From on “open class” system perspective, stratification is
perceived as in interwoven part of the whole societal
system.
We cannot isolate one institution (for eg, education) from
the whole system to understand the concept of
stratification. (refer to page 3.1 pg 77)
Determinants of social class:
Wealth - refers to one’s property, capital and
income.
Power – implies the ability to make major decisions
or to influence others toact on behalf of one’s
benefit
Prestige – occupation is main factor in one’s
prestige. Why?

Qn: Can an individual have an equal opportunity


to experience upward mobility with good
education and hard work?
The status attainment model: 6 major variables
that influence educational and occupational
position.

1. Father’s and mother educ. , father’s occupation,


family income
2. Ability, measured by achievement or IQ test
3. Academic performance
4. Significant others encouragement
5. Educational/occupational aspirations
6. Educational attainment’s direct influence on
occupational attainment.
TASKS

•Divide yourself into 6 groups


•Each group will explain one of the major
variables that influences educational and
occupational position.
•Your explanation must include examples from the
Malaysian context.
•Write your points on the board.
•You have 15 minutes to discuss and 5 minutes to
explain.
THEORIES ON STRATIFICATION

1. Functional Theory
• The inevitability of inequality and the role education
plays in the process stratification because of
maintaining a working balance between parts.
• School function to select individuals by ability levels to
fill hierarchical positions, based on the individuals
merits than group differences (race and gender)
• Inequality is unavoidable in motivating members of
society to work hard, and filling the positions in the
society to keep smooth running of the society.
Functional Theory (cont.)
Davis and Moore (1945) summarise the role of education in the
stratification process into 3 major points:
1. People are induced to do what society needs done, motivated to
fulfill roles by extrinsic rewards (for eg, money and prestige)
2. The importance to the survival of society of a particular role and
scarcity of qualified persons to fill the role determine the prestige
ranking positions.
3. Those positions that are most complex and important and require
the most talent and training are the most highly rewarded.
2. CONFLICT THEORY
Problems in the educational system arise from the
conflicts in the society as a whole.
The “haves” and “have-nots” in education system.
Educational systems perpetuate the existing class
structure (power, income and social status)
Preparing the children roles in capitalistic and
dominant society.
According to the conflict theorists, education, in
fact, serves to reproduce inequalities based on
power, income, and social status (Carnoy, 1974)
Empirical evidence:
Colclough and Beck (1986) : male students
reproduces their class status when looking at
three determinants of reproduction:
Public vs private schooling
Socioeconomic community of the schools
Curriculum tracking within the schools
(important determinant)
Refer to pg. 85
TASKS
How can the teacher’s expectations listed below affect
classroom interactions and student self-perceptions?
1) Gender
2) Socioeconomic status level
3) Race and ethnic identifiers
4) Negative comments about students
5) The status of the school
6) Appearance and neatness
7) Tracking and grouping