MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

695 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

11 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Laurie K.

Degree: Environment, Culture and Society (Masters) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered: Sociology, Geography

Sociology
Geography

“Hello fellow geographers and sociologists!My name is Laurie, and I am currently studying a Masters degree in Environment, Culture and Society at the magical University of Edinburgh. Before this I was in Glasgow, where I did my Bachel...”

£24 /hr

Grace G.

Degree: English Literature (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: Sociology, History+ 3 more

Sociology
History
English Literature
English Language

“I am an English Literature student at Exeter University, and have always had a passion and love for writing and reading; I hope this will be evident in my tutorials, and I can make my students realise why English Literature is suchan ...”

£20 /hr

Alice W.

Degree: Psychology (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: Sociology, Psychology+ 1 more

Sociology
Psychology
Biology

“About me Hi my name’s Alice and I’m a Psychology student at the University of Bristol. At A-level I studied Psychology, Sociology and Biology, which meant all my studies complimented each other. This enabled me not only to understand ...”

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

Suggest two ways a persons social experience is affected by their sexuality

Assess the Marxist view of the role of education.

How can I effectively plan to write an essay for a sociological question?

What is the difference between Positivist and Interpretivist?

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