Outline And Assess The View That The Role Of Education System Is To Reproduce And Transmit Culture

Topics: Sociology, Education, Social class Pages: 3 (1406 words) Published: March 30, 2015
Outline and assess the view that the role of education system is to reproduce and transmit culture (50 marks) According to Bourdieu, the major of the education system is cultural reproduction. This involves society as a whole, as Durkheim argued, but, instead, the reproduction of the culture of the dominant classes. These groups have the power to impose meanings and to impose them as legitimate. They are able to define their own culture as worthy of being sought and possessed, and to establish is as the basis for knowledge in the educational system. The high value placed on dominant culture in society as a whole simply stems from the ability of the powerful to impose their definition of reality in other. The possession of dominant culture is referred to as cultural capital by Bourdieu. This is because via the education it can be translated into wealth and power. Children of dominant classes gain skills and knowledge from pre-school which puts them in an advantage because they have the key to understanding what is being transmitted in the classroom. Working class students are at disadvantage in the competition for educational credentials, the results of this competition are seen as meritocratic and therefore as legitimate. In addition, Bourdieu claims that social inequalities are legitimated by the educational credentials held by those in dominant positions. According to Bourdieu the education system attaches the highest value to legitimate taste. Those who have legitimate find it easier succeed in education and are likely to stay on longer. Legitimate taste shapes the teachers perception of their pupils. Unconsciously, teachers recognise different tastes and the types of behaviour typical of different classes. Working class students are more likely to fail exams or will leave education of their own free will because they know that any real chance of success is slim. All these arguments lead Bourdieu to conclude that the main function of the education system is...
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