MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

838 views

In what way does Bourdieu challenge the concept of meritocracy in education?

Bourdieu does this through his 3 forms of 'capital'. The normal usage of the term capital relates to currency, or the tools we use to navigate through society. Bourdieu extends this concept to include 'social capital', 'cultural capital' and 'economic capital'.

'Social Capital' - the social connections we have. 'Its not what you know, it's who you know' (famous phrase which illustrates this form of capital)

'Cultural Capital' - the culture which is embodied within us through socialisation acts as a form of capital. This implies that there are certain cultural attributes which are superior to others; such as an interest in the theatre or literature. It also extends to ways of speaking, dress sense etc. which are all a reflection of culture.

'Economic Capital' - Money.

It is Bourdieu's argument that education in contemporary society can never be thought of as 'meritocratic' (the idea that everyone has an equal chance of success, and it is hard work alone that determines this) because the amount, and the quality, of each of these types of capital has a significant bearing on your chances of success in education. For example, middle or upper class children's parents are more likely to have connections within the education system to help their children get into the best schools, or get extra support (Social Capital). Middle and upper class children are also more likely to speak, write and dress in a manner which is deemed superior due to the way they have been socialised; leading to work which is marked more favourably, and better relationships generally with teachers (Cultural Capital). Finally, and perhaps the most obvious, 'Bourgeois' parents have the economic capital to pay for the best schooling and perhaps private tutoring.

This shows that in modern society the odds of success are always tilted in favour of the upper classes; which can be backed up by statistics on the issue.

Connor N. A Level Sociology tutor, A Level Media Studies tutor, GCSE ...

2 years ago

Answered by Connor, an A Level Sociology tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

14 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Ellie J.

Degree: Combined Honours in Social Sciences (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Sociology, Government and Politics+ 2 more

Sociology
Government and Politics
English Literature
-Personal Statements-

“Who am I? Hi, I'm Ellie, a Combined Honours in Social Sciences student at Durham University. I study Politics, Philosophy and Sociology within this degree and I hope to broaden my horizons even more next year. What can I offer you? My...”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Lucy B.

Degree: Liberal Arts (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: Sociology, Media Studies+ 2 more

Sociology
Media Studies
English Language
-Personal Statements-

“Hi, my name is Lucy and I am 18 years old. I am a first year studying BA Liberal Arts at The University of Exeter. What is Liberal Arts? I hear you say. It's a super cool degree which allows you to major in two humanities subjects, of...”

£20 /hr

Charlie H.

Degree: Social and Public Policy, Philosophy and Sociology (Masters) - Glasgow University

Subjects offered: Sociology, Religious Studies+ 2 more

Sociology
Religious Studies
Philosophy
Extended Project Qualification

“About Me: Hi, my name is Charlie and I am a MA Social and Public Policy, Sociology and Philosophy student at the University of Glasgow.  I have always had a passion for the subjects that I learn (both in my degree and at high school),...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

Connor N.

Currently unavailable: no new students

Degree: Sociological Research (Masters) - Manchester University

Subjects offered: Sociology, Media Studies

Sociology
Media Studies

“Masters student in Sociology at Russell Group University of Manchester (Ranked 2nd in the UK for this subject 2014).”

You may also like...

Other A Level Sociology questions

What is the dependency theory?

Identify and explain three reasons why women are more religious than men

Identify and explain three reasons why memberships of sects may be short lived

what is the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism?

View A Level Sociology tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok