which statement describes the conflict theory of education?
Conflict theorists point to the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent bank bailouts as good examples of real-life conflict theory, according to authors Alan Sears and James Cairns in their book A Good Book, in Theory. They view the financial crisis as the inevitable outcome of the inequalities and instabilities of the global economic system, which enables the largest banks and institutions to avoid government oversight and take huge risks that only reward a select few.
Weber’s beliefs about conflict extend beyond Marx’s because they suggest that some forms of social interaction, including conflict, generate beliefs and solidarity between individuals and groups within a society. In this way, an individual’s reactions to inequality might be different depending on the groups with which they are associated; whether they perceive those in power to be legitimate; and so on.
The correct answer is option B
Such a situation leads to social class reproduction, extensively studied by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. He researched how cultural capital , or cultural knowledge that serves (metaphorically) as currency that helps us navigate a culture, alters the experiences and opportunities available to French students from different social classes. Members of the upper and middle classes have more cultural capital than do families of lower-class status. As a result, the educational system maintains a cycle in which the dominant culture’s values are rewarded. Instruction and tests cater to the dominant culture and leave others struggling to identify with values and competencies outside their social class. For example, there has been a great deal of discussion over what standardized tests such as the SAT truly measure. Many argue that the tests group students by cultural ability rather than by natural intelligence.
Conflict theorists do not believe that public schools reduce social inequality. Rather, they believe that the educational system reinforces and perpetuates social inequalities that arise from differences in class, gender, race, and ethnicity. Where functionalists see education as serving a beneficial role, conflict theorists view it more negatively. To them, educational systems preserve the status quo and push people of lower status into obedience.
credentialism the emphasis on certificates or degrees to show that a person has a certain skill, has attained a certain level of education, or has met certain job qualifications
16.1. Education around the World
Educational systems around the world have many differences, though the same factors—including resources and money—affect each of them. Educational distribution is a major issue in many nations, including in the United States, where the amount of money spent per student varies greatly by state. Education happens through both formal and informal systems; both foster cultural transmission. Universal access to education is a worldwide concern.
Table 11.1 Theory Snapshot
The major sociological perspectives on education fall nicely into the functional, conflict, and symbolic interactionist approaches (Ballantine & Hammack, 2012). Ballantine, J. H., & Hammack, F. M. (2012). The sociology of education: A systematic analysis (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Table 11.1 “Theory Snapshot” summarizes what these approaches say.