education and social mobility

Topics: Sociology, Social class, Social stratification Pages: 7 (1965 words) Published: October 24, 2013

I.D. # 20123656

Education and Social Mobility
Students who attend traditional schools have a greater opportunity for social mobility than students who attend non-traditional schools in Jamaica.

Historically, due to our post-colonial background, that of the plantation society, education was only afforded to the white, upper class individuals. In order to establish and reinforce a hierarchy of power and ownership, wealthy capitalists ensured first-rate education for their children, while actively excluding members of the lower classes from this luxury. Due to the caste system, students or individuals are stratified, where individuals from non- traditional school have less opportunity for social mobility, solely due to fact that students or individuals from traditional schools are of such social class, that their opportunity is based on their ascribed characteristics, which influences them in a profound way. Nonetheless, it is my view that this is a fact, due to the differences in class and culture, students will have varied access to resources with regard to education, and therefore, there will be different opportunity for education and social mobility within our society.

Firstly, while conducting the research on this thesis, it was found that the functionalist theory was not applicable, as the functionalist view studies the ways in which education aids society, as such, this sociological perspective did not support any of my points being made within this research paper. However, this research proved that the main views are supported by the Marxist conflict theory, which studies the ways in which education manages the imbalance of power in our society.

Due to socioeconomic background of individuals, those from low-income backgrounds are less likely to graduate from high school, less likely to go to university and even if

Comment [A1]: Very good

they do graduate, they are less likely to complete university if they enrol. Consequently, the gap between children from the lower socioeconomic strata and those from the middle and upper strata tends to increase with the level of school. This relates to social class; where the higher the social class, the more likely parents are to hold high expectations, and positively influence the child to attain a high degree of education. This suggests that schools contribute to educational inequality, where children who are deprived by their social background when they enter school become even more disadvantaged as they progress through school, and as such at a greater difficulty for social mobility.

Comment [A2]: Good

This is supported by an article taken from the Jamaica Gleaner, by contributor Michael Waul, who agrees with this notion. Students from marginalised socio-economic backgrounds, giving rise to disparate educational experiences is greatly evident in the preparatory/primary and traditional/ non-traditional high-school divide. Where access to quality education remains largely determined by societal class, a fact evident not only in the differential resources available to schools but also the background of students entering better-resourced institutions.

Comment [A3]: What does a conflict perspective
say about this issue?

This helps to perpetuates historical societal divisions, that of our post-colonial plantation society, where rewarding those from higher social classes while placing those from lower classes at an increasing disadvantage. This results in low CXC pass rates, increasing number of high-school dropouts in regards to non-traditional high schools, therefore leading to a decrease in the number of students attending university for tertiary education. Subsequently, with regard to primary and/or preparatory schools, a great majority of students are passing the GSAT examination; however with the majority of the passes, students are being placed into non-traditional high school, where only a minority of students are being placed in traditional high...
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