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Introduction to Sociology

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Introduction to Sociology ­ SOC101
VU
Lesson 33
FUNCTIONS OF SCHOOLING
Education is a social institution that is guiding the society's transmission of knowledge ­ including basic facts, job skills,
and also cultural norms and values ­ to its members. In industrial societies education is largely a matter of
schooling, formal instruction under the direction of specially trained teachers.
The extent of schooling in any society is closely tied to its level of economic development. Industrial, high-
income societies endorse the idea that everyone should go to school. Schooling in low-income nations is
very diverse because it reflects local culture. In low-income countries there is not much of it. About one half
of all elementary age children ever get to school, and perhaps only one half of them reach the secondary
grades.
Structural-functional analysis looks at how formal education contributes to the operation of society. The
important functions performed by schooling are:
Socialization
Technologically simple societies transmit their ways of life informally from parents to children. As societies
develop complex technology, kin can no longer stay abreast of rapidly expanding information and skills.
Thus schooling gradually emerges as a distinctive social institution employing specially trained personnel to
convey the knowledge needed for adult roles.
In primary school children learn basic language and mathematical skills.
Secondary school builds on this foundation, and for many, college allows further specialization.
Schools pass on society's core values from one generation to another. Schools are used for the inculcation
of its values ­ values bout work, family, population, democracy, justice, and so on.
Schools explicitly instruct students in our political way of life. It may be called political socialization.
From the earliest grades, rituals such as saluting the flag and singing the national anthem foster patriotism.
Similarly classroom drills develop competitive individualism, respect for authority, and a sense of fair play.
Cultural Innovation
Education creates as well as transmits culture. Schools stimulate intellectual inquiry and critical thinking,
sparking the development of new ideas. At college and university the teachers are busy in research to
expand our knowledge in countless areas. Medical research conducted at major universities over the years
has increased our life expectancy, just as research by sociologists and psychologist helps us to take
advantage of our longevity.
Social Change
Not only the schools generate new knowledge, they are also the means for bringing social change.
Education may lead to dispelling the traditional attitudes and values. Education is likely to widen the
perspectives of the youth, make them `rational', willing to accept new ideas and carrying the message
forward.
Social Integration
Schooling helps forge a mass of people into a unified society. This integrative function is especially
important in nations with pronounced social diversity, where various cultures know little about ­ or may
even be hostile to ­ one another. A basic way schools integrate culturally diverse people is by teaching a
common language that encourages broad communication and builds a national identity.
Social Placement
Schools help in identifying and developing each student's aptitudes and abilities and then evaluating a
student's performance in terms of achievement rather than social background.
Teachers encourage the "best and the brightest" to pursue the most challenging and advanced studies, while
guiding students with more ordinary ability into educational programs suited to their talents. In this way
schooling enhances meritocracy by making personal merit a foundation of future social position.
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Introduction to Sociology ­ SOC101
VU
Formal education helps people assume culturally approved statuses and perform roles that contribute to the
ongoing life of society. In this way the schools prepare the youth for making a living.
Perpetuating Inequality
Schools provide learning according students' background, thereby perpetuating inequality.
Schools also help continuing inequality between men and women i.e. more boys go to school than girls; girls
select different subjects than boys. Schools reinforce the cultural values of gender inequality.
School Tracking
Schools help the assignment of students to different types of educational programs. This is a usual practice
in most of the developed countries. Aptitude tests are given to students at grade 8, and with the help of
guidance and counseling, students are put on different streams. The official justification for tracking is to
give students the kind of learning that fits their abilities and motivation.
Research shows that social background has as much to do with tracking as personal aptitudes. Students
from affluent families generally do well on standardized "scientific" tests and are to better tracks while those
with modest backgrounds end up in programs that curb their aspirations and teach technical trades.
Tracking effectively segregates students ­ academically and socially ­ into different worlds.
Qualification Certification
Schools not only transmit the knowledge and skills to the youth, they are also the agencies that certify the
level of education achieved.
Other Latent Functions
Schools perform many latent functions. Schools have become vital for relieving single and dual earner
parents of some childcare responsibilities.
Schools help in establishing social networks
School help stabilize employment. Schools continue to hold on to the youth for a longer period ­ a period,
which be utilized for the creation of job opportunities for the educated youth.
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Table of Contents:
  1. THE ORIGINS OF SOCIOLOGY:Auguste Comte, The Fields of Sociology
  2. THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE:Society affects what we do
  3. THEORETICAL PARADIGMS:Salient Paradigms, Critical Evaluation
  4. SOCIOLOGY AS SCIENCE:Empirical, Verifiable, Cumulative, Self-Correcting
  5. STEPS IN SOCIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION:Exploration/Consultation
  6. SOCIAL INTERACTION:Social Status, ROLE, The Social Construction of Reality
  7. SOCIAL GROUPS:Primary and Secondary Groups, Reference Group, Networks
  8. ORGANIZATIONS:Utilitarian Organizations, Coercive Organizations
  9. CULTURE:Universality, Components of Culture, Symbols, Language
  10. CULTURE (continued):Beliefs, Norms, Cultural Diversity
  11. CULTURE (continued):Culture by social class, Multiculturalism, Cultural Lag
  12. SOCIALIZATION: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, NATURE, Social Isolation
  13. UNDERSTANDING THE SOCIALIZATION PROCESS
  14. AGENTS OF SOCIALIZATION:The Family, The School, Peer Groups, The Mass Media
  15. SOCIALIZATION AND THE LIFE COURSE:CHILDHOOD, ADOLESCENCE
  16. SOCIAL CONTROL AND DEVIANCE:Crime, Deviants, Stigma, Labeling
  17. THE SOCIAL FOUNDATIONS OF DEVIANCE:Cultural relativity of deviance
  18. EXPLANATIONS OF CRIME:Sociological explanations
  19. EXPLANATIONS OF CRIME -- CONTINUED:White-Collar Crime, Conflict Theory
  20. SOCIAL DISTRIBUTION OF CRIME: EXPLANATIONS, Gender and Crime
  21. SOCIAL STRATIFICATION: INTRODUCTION AND SIGNIFICANCE
  22. THEORIES OF CLASS AND STRATIFICATION I:Critical evaluation
  23. THEORIES OF SOCIAL CLASS AND STRATIFICATION II
  24. THEORIES OF CLASS AND SOCIAL STRATIFICATION III
  25. SOCIAL CLASS AS SUBCULTURE
  26. SOCIAL MOBILITY:Structural factors, Individual factors, Costs
  27. THE FAMILY: GLOBAL VARIETY, Marriage Patterns, Patterns of Descent
  28. FUNCTIONS OF FAMILY:Reproduction, Social placement
  29. FAMILY AND MARRIAGE IN TRANSITION:Family is losing functions
  30. GENDER: A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION, Gender socialization
  31. GENDER SOCIALIZATION:Role of family, Gender Stratification
  32. EXPLANATIONS OF GENDER INEQUALITY:Conflict Explanations, Feminism
  33. FUNCTIONS OF SCHOOLING:Cultural Innovation, School Tracking
  34. ISSUES IN EDUCATION:Low Enrollment, High Dropout, Gender Disparity
  35. POPULATION STUDY AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE:Crude Birth Rate
  36. THEORY OF POPULATION GROWTH:Theory of Demographic Transition
  37. POPULATION PROFILE OF PAKISTAN:World Population Growth
  38. POPULATION PROFILE OF PAKISTAN (Continued):Age Distribution, Sex Composition
  39. IMPLICAIONS OF POPULATION GOWTH:Additional GDP needed per year
  40. POPULATION POLICY:Goals of Population Policy, Objectives, Strategies
  41. ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY:Global Dimension, Historical Dimension
  42. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES:Preserving Clean Water, Clearing the Air
  43. SOCIAL CHANGE:Social change is controversial.
  44. CAUSES OF SOCIAL CHANGE:Culture and Change, Conflict and Change, Modernization
  45. MODERNITY AND POST MODERNITY:Cultural Patterns, Post-modernity