Academies are self-governing schools that are free from local authority control and are funded
directly by the government. Those in charge of the school have more freedom to control how
that school is run.
This is the idea that school teaches us our place in the social order. Teachers follow orders from
their head and students from their teachers. It mirrors the hierarchy in the work place.
Achieved Status This is the idea that you earn your role in society in terms of your merits.
Anomie This is an absence of social norms or chaos.
A subculture is a culture within a culture with its own set of norms and values. Laddish sub
cultures that reject education rather than embrace it. Anti-school sub cultures consist of not
accepting teachers authority or acting up in lessons as a sign of rebellion
Ascribed Status This is the idea your role in society is given to you or is fixed in the society to which you are born
Banding This is where students are put into ability streams(bands) for all of their subjects.
Bedroom Culture This is the idea that girl’s leisure time is based around reading, talking and being creative it may
give them an advantage in education.
Bourgeoisie These are the ruling classes, the capitalists
Capitalism This is a system of society based upon free market principles, the pursuit of profit and the
accumulation of wealth. Although Marxists view it as a system where the bourgeoisie exploit the
Class This is a way of dividing society into groups based upon socio-economic status.
This is Durkheim’s term for everyone in society having agreed norms and values in society.
Collectivism Where you put your friends before your own individual achievement e.g. messing about inside
and outside of class with your mates is more important than doing well for yourself
Communism This is a society everyone where is equal as long as they contribute to society.
These are government policies that are aimed at combating the negative effects of deprivation.
For example, EMA or Surestart.
Comprehensivisation This replaced the tri-parte system, it is where secondary schools taught all students the same
material, regardless of their ability. The school you went to is based upon catchment area.
Education mirroring the workplace.
Cream Skim This is where schools choose the best academic students to be at their school instead of
choosing the less academic students. These tend to be middle class students.
Crisis in masculinity This is where males are having identity crisis there are no clear cut male gender roles in western
society as there are fewer traditional male jobs and women have made their way onto the job
Cultural Capital This is the knowledge, attitudes, values, language and tastes of the middle classes. The
socialisation if these give m/c children an advantage as it is what the education system is based
Cultural Deprivation a lack or deficit of values or of norms, attitudes, skills or knowledge that would allow you to do
well in education
Culture Culture refers to the language, knowledge, skills, norms and values of a particular society.
Curriculum These are the things that we are explicitly taught in schools.
Cycle of Deprivation An explanation of how one aspect of poverty e.g. poor diet can lead to further poverty e.g.
absence at school or work. This builds up into a cycle which individuals will find it hard to
escape and may be transmitted from one generation to the next.
This is where you can put off a small immediate reward and wait for a larger reward in future it is
the opposite of immediate gratification.
Dependency Culture This is the idea that people assume that the state will support them, rather than them having to
be responsible and work themselves.
Deschooling This is Illich’s liberal idea that all forms or compulsory education should be abolished.
Differentiation This is creating differences between individuals or groups. This may be done in class by teacher
splitting students into different groups, or by setting and streaming.
Double Standard Males sexual conquest is approved off and gains status for males, but promiscuity in girls is
labelled as negative
Areas of deprivation were designated Educational Action Zones. These were given additional
money for education to counter this deprivation
2004 the government introduced the Educational Maintenance Award nationwide to try and
encourage students to stay on in post-16 education. This is a means tested system whereby
students with fewer material advantages actually receives payment for staying on in education
after the age of 16.
Educational triage This is where students are classified into three different types. -Students who are certain to be
successful regardless if help offered- Students who with help could be successful -
Students who are the failures no matter what help is given.
Elaborated Codes The dialect spoken by the middle class, this is where a wide vocabulary is used, full and complex
sentences, and is context free
Ethnic group This is where individuals share a similar cultural heritage, such as language or norms and values
or religion. They may form an ethnic majority or minority in any given society.
Subjects taught in school being biased towards one particular culture.
External Rewards Rewards to motivate you to do well in education and work are not intrinsic they come from
outside the task itself, such as promotion and pay rise at work and qualifications at school
Faith School Schools that cater for a particular religion. E.g.(catholic, C of E, Muslim, Sikh, etc.) Have been
encouraged and expanded in numbers and type, because they tend to achieve better exam
Fatalism Believing you are destined to fail so don't bother trying as you believe your future is led by your
Sewell (2006) says this is the idea that education is dominated by women it no longer values
masculinity traits such as competitiveness and leadership, but females ones such as methodical
working and attentiveness in class. This is best embodied in coursework and he suggests to
improve male achievement replace it with exams
Feminism These are sociologists who believe society is patriarchal that men oppress, dominate and exploit
One function of education is to teach us that the working environment will be split into separate
specific tasks, at school its split into different subjects.
Gender This is the social constructed social and cultural differences between men and women that are
socialised rather than purely biological.
Gender Domain This means the tasks and activities that are seen as male or female territory. At schools boys and
girls appear more confident in subjects they believe belong to their gender domain, this can
influence their interpretation of tasks their enjoyment and their choice to do that subject.
Gender Identity This is how people perceive themselves and construct themselves in terms of their gender roles
and biological sex
Gender Regime This is the idea that certain institutions such as the family, education are biased in favour of men.
Globalisation The spread of culture products and ideas across national and international boundaries.
Halo Effect Where people stereotype about you and attach other characteristics based on one aspect of a
This is the expression of maleness that has the most status. This is a 'real man' it is made up of
aggressiveness, being competitive, being a successful heterosexual and breadwinning. All other
expressions of gender are considered to be beneath or subordinate to this expression.
Hidden Curriculum These are the lessons we learn in school that are not explicitly taught. The secret socialisation
that takes place such as the acceptance of hierarchy.
According to Althusser these are institutions such as education which spread the ideology that
capitalism is fair and inevitable.
Ideology A set of norms, values, ideas and beliefs
Individualism The belief that the wants and needs of the individual are more important than that of the
Institutional Racism Where all areas of a work place or school are discriminating against a certain area
Interactionism This is the sociological approach that focuses on small scale, micro level interactions between
individuals and groups and the meanings that these groups and individuals give to these
interactions. These are sometimes called social action theories.
Job Role Allocation This is Parsons idea that school sorts us into particular careers by showing us what we are bad
and good at through testing.
Labelling This is the idea that teachers hypothesis about what students are like, they then attach a
stereotype or label to this this effects peoples interactions with them and can bring about a self-
This is where pupils do not have the dialect or language that would allow them to be successful
in education for example, they may speak in restricted code or English may not be their first
Micro Level These are theories such as interactionism that focus on small scale, micro level interactions
between individuals and groups and the meanings that these groups and individuals give to
Male Gaze Mac an Ghaill (1994) suggested that the 'male gaze' existed within the school setting in that both
male pupils and teachers 'eye up' girls as sexual objects and make judgements about their
Marginalisation This is where individuals feel pushed towards the edges of society or an institution.
Marketization Schools are placed in competition with each other to drive up standards, market forces of supply
and demand were introduced into education by the 1988 education act.
Material Deprivation This means that children do not have the money and resources that would give them the
advantage in education they may be in poverty
Means of Production These are factories and raw materials required to manufacture goods.
Meritocracy A system of equal opportunity in which rewards are based on achievement/ability.
Macro Level Structural theories such as Marxism or functionalism that focus upon the large scale social
structures that they believe exist in society.
Moral Panic This is where society becomes anxious about an exaggerated or imaginary threat to society. For
example, male underachievement.
Parentocracy Rule by parents. This is the idea that parents have more say over education as they can chose
where to send their children to school.
Parsons term for all norms and value that apply to your own particular family. They give a priority
to personal relationships.
Patriarchy This is where society is controlled and dominated men and women are oppressed and exploited.
Polarisation The creation of two opposite extremes. For example, in schools labelling can create a school
culture or an anti-school culture.
Positional Theory This is Boudon’s theory that w/c children do worse that middle class children as to progress they
have further to go up the social ladder.
Postmodernism This literally means after modern society, it is characterised by choice, individualism, fluidity,
diversity and constant change.
Seeing the present as more important than planning for the future
This is the first stage of passing down a society’s culture to its young. It normally refers to the
family teaching children norms, values, language and skills.
Proletariat These are the working classes.
Public Schools Schools that are selective, fee-paying such as private schools
This is the idea that institutions like education keep the ruling class in power and the working
class exploited. Keeping the rich, rich and the poor, poor.
Restricted Codes This is a dialect spoken by the working class it may contain slang, shorthand speech, rely on
gesture, have a narrow vocabulary and often cannot be understood outside of its context.
This is learning norms, values and culture from outside the family, e.g. from teachers, TV.
Secularisation This is the decline of religious thinking and influence in a society.
Selection In education this is the process of allocating children to schools. For example, via the 11 plus
When a pupil comes to live up to the label given him/her, something comes true because it has
Setting This is where students are split into ability groups on a subject by subject basis.
Silt Shift Schools get rid of the pupils that are destined to fail in education and keep the more capable
pupils who will improve the schools exam results.
Social Mobility The extent to which individuals can move up or down the social class hierarchy.
Social Norms Social norms are the unwritten and sometimes written guidelines and expectations about how it
is acceptable to behave within a particular culture.
Social Polices These are the laws and legislations put into place by the government or educational institutions
to deal with particular social issues.
Social Solidarity This is a sense of belonging people have to society which holds society together.
Specialist Schools 85% of secondary schools are now of this type, they were introduced to drive up standards,
choice and increase diversity. They had to raise £50,000 from sponsors that would then be
matched by the government. This type of school specialises in the provision of a certain subject,
once they had achieved this status they are allowed to select 10% of their students on the
grounds of aptitude and are additionally funded. Evidence suggests this type of school also do
achieve better results compared to non-specialist schools.
State Schools A school that is funded and controlled by the government and for which no fees are charged
Streaming This is where students are split into ability bands or streams for all of their subjects.
Tripartite System The secondary school system introduced by the Butler Act: Students were allocated to one of
three types of schools dependent upon their performance on the 11 plus. Grammar Schools –
Academic, Secondary Modern – Vocational, Technical Schools.
Underclass These are long term welfare dependents; they are right at the bottom of the social class hierarchy
and are socially excluded. e.g. single mothers.
Universalistic Norms These are the written and unwritten guidelines about how to behave that are shared by all
members of a society
Parsons term for the norms and values that apply to all members of a society.
Value Consensus These are social norms and values that all members of a society share agreement upon.
Values These are the most important beliefs or principles that a society holds. For example, most
societies value the preservation of human life.
Vocationalism Education or qualifications that relate to a particular career or specific work roles.