Explain how the four components of thinking sociologically assist in understanding this area or domain.
Traditionally Australians have believed in and conveyed the myth of Australia as a fair , egalitarian society without excess wealth or poverty, however we are definitely not a classless society. Australia's education system has been and remains one of the most unequally distributed social resources and could possibly be regarded as the main source of inequality in our society (Encel 1970; Anderson & Vervoorn 1983; as cited in Jamrozik, 2009). Now more than ever, Australia's education system is acting as a kind of 'sorting out' mechanism, allocating people to certain stations within society and determining one's access to society's resources (Jamrozik, 2009). This process within Australia takes upon various forms such as, the division between public and private schools, systems of streaming within schools and the determination of the dominant hegemony within society (Jamrozik, 2009). Within this paper the issues of educational policy and social inequality in Australia will be examined in relation to the four lenses; that of Historical, Cultural, Structural and the Critical sociological imagination.
Historical When considering the historical lens of the sociological imagination we pay attention to both continuity and change (Georgeou, 2010). In relation to education, Australia's change from a welfare state to a post-welfare state and key points in our educational history that have impacted on the country's social inequalities. Australia has moved from a welfare state to that of a post-welfare state (Jamrozik, 2009). The welfare state was built upon the acceptance of responsibilities of all citizens as a matter of deliberate policy, committed to pursuing equality. On the contrary, the post-welfare state supported and encouraged inequality as natural and desirable to achieve a higher... [continues]
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