Introduction to social dimensions of education


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  • Societies with little division of labor (i.e., where people are self-sufficient) are unified by mechanical solidarity; all people engage in similar tasks and thus have similar responsibilities, which builds a strong collective conscience. Modern society, however, is held together by organic solidarity (the differences between people), which weakens collective conscience. Durkheim studied these different types of solidarity through laws. A society with mechanical solidarity is characterized by repressive law, while a society with organic solidarity is characterized by restitutive law.
  • Other prominent social theorists…
  • Introduction to social dimensions of education

    1. 1. Sociologists see education as one of the major institutions that constitutes society. Social science theories guide research and policy formulation while providing logical explanations for why things happen the way they do.
    2. 2. Consensus  a general or widespread agreement among all members of a particular society
    3. 3. Conflict  a clash between ideas, principles and people
    4. 4. Consensus Theories Conflict theories See shared norms and values as fundamental to society Emphasize the dominance of some social groups by others Focus on social order based on tacit agreements See social order as based on manipulation and control by dominant groups View social change as occurring in a slow and orderly fashion View social change as occurring rapidly in a disorderly fashion as subordinate groups overthrow dominant groups
    5. 5. Consensus theorists • Examine value integration in society
    6. 6. Conflict theorists • Examine conflicts of interest and the coercion that holds society together in the face of these stresses.
    7. 7. Society cannot exist without both conflict and consensus, which are prerequisites of each other (Dahrendorf). Thus, we cannot have conflict unless there is some prior consensus.
    8. 8. Consensus is a concept of society in which the absence of conflict is seen as the equilibrium state of society based on a widespread agreement among all the members of a particular society. Conflict is a disagreement or clash between opposing ideas, principles or people – this can be a covert or overt conflict.
    9. 9. The Conflict Theory • According to Horton and Hunt (1984), focuses on the heterogeneous nature of society and the differential distribution of political and social power • sees society as a dynamic entity constantly undergoing change as a result of competition over scarce resources
    10. 10. The Conflict Theory • A struggle between social classes and class conflicts between the powerful and less powerful groups occur
    11. 11. The Conflict Theory • Groups which have vested interests and power work for rules and laws, particularly those that serve their own interests, to be passed to the exclusion of others.
    12. 12. Conflict theorists ask how schools contribute to the unequal distribution of people into jobs in society so that more powerful members of society maintain the best positions and the less powerful groups (often women, racial and ethnic groups) often minority groups, are allocated to lower ranks in society
    13. 13. The Conflict Perspective assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tensions between competing groups. Such conflict need not to be violent; it can take the form of…
    14. 14. Conflict theory grew out of the work of Karl Marx and focuses on the struggle of social classes to maintain dominance and power in social systems.
    15. 15. The conflict model is concerned with the stresses and conflicts that emerge in society because of competitions over scarce resources. It focuses on the inequalities that are built into social structures rather than on those that emerge because of personal characteristics. Social Structures produce patterns of inequality in the distribution of scarce resources. Conflict Reorganization and Change
    16. 16. The discourse of conflict theories is on the emergence of conflict and what causes conflict within a particular human society.
    17. 17. Conflict theory deals with the incompatible aspects of society. Conflict theory emerged out of the sociology of conflict, crisis and social change.
    18. 18. The conflict theorists are interested in how society’s institutions – the family, government, education and the media – may help to maintain the privileges of some groups and keep others in a subservient position.
    19. 19. Conflict theory sees social life as a competition, and focuses on the distribution of resources, power and inequality. This perspective is derived from the works of Karl Marx, who saw society as fragmented into groups that compete for social and economic resources. Social order is maintained by domination, with power in the hands of those with the greatest political, economic, and social resources.
    20. 20. Consensus Theory  a sociological perspective or collection of theories, in which social order and stability/social regulation form the base of emphasis.
    21. 21. Consensus Theory concerned with the maintenance or continuation of social order in society, in relation to accepted norms, values, rules and regulations as widely accepted or collectively by the society – or within a particular society itself.
    22. 22. The consensus and conflict theories are reflected in the works of certain dominant social theorists such as …
    23. 23. Karl Marx Marx's class theory rests on the premise that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." According to this view, ever since human society emerged from its primitive and relatively undifferentiated state it has remained fundamentally divided between classes who clash in the pursuit of class interests.
    24. 24. Emile Durkheim Durkheim discusses how modern society is held together by a division of labor that makes individuals dependent upon one another because they specialize in different types of work. Durkheim is particularly concerned about how the division of labor changes the way that individuals feel they are part of society as a whole.
    25. 25. Max Weber Max Weber believed that it was social actions that should be the focus of study in sociology. To Weber, a “social action’” was an action carried out by an individual to which an individual attached a meaning. Therefore, an action that a person does not think about cannot be a social action.
    26. 26. Talcott Parsons Robert Merton
    27. 27. Louis Althusser Ralf Dharendorf
    28. 28. George Herbert Mead Charles Horton Cooley
    29. 29. The works of Marx in his early years was interpreted by some social theorists as emphasizing the role of human beings in social conflict. They explained change as emerging from the crisis between human beings and their society.
    30. 30. They argued that Marx’s theory was the theory characterized by class conflicts or the conflict between the bourgeoisie (rich owners) and the proletariat (poor workers).
    32. 32. Max Weber argues that schools teach and maintain particular “status cultures”, that is, groups in society with similar interests and positions in the status hierarchy.
    33. 33. Located in neighborhoods, schools are often rather homogenous in their student bodies and teach to that constituency, thus perpetuating that status culture.
    34. 34. Education systems may train individuals in specialties to fill needed positions to prepare “cultivated individuals”, those who stand above the others because of their superior knowledge and reasoning abilities.
    35. 35. Individuals who had access to this type of education in early China were from the educated elite, thus perpetuating their family status culture.