MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

1296 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

13 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Ruwaida K.

Degree: Media and Cultural Studies with Marketing and Advertising (Bachelors) - Lancaster University

Subjects offered:Sociology, Media Studies+ 1 more

Sociology
Media Studies
English

“Hello all! My name is Ruwaida Khandker and I am a second year Media and Cultural Studies with Marketing student at Lancaster University. I am extremely passionate about the study of media and would therefore love to pass on my experti...”

£24 /hr

Marral S.

Degree: MPhil Modern Middle Eastern Studies (Masters) - Oxford, St Antony's College University

Subjects offered:Sociology, Politics+ 4 more

Sociology
Politics
Maths
Government and Politics
English Literature
-Personal Statements-

“I am a first class graduate of BSc Politics and International Relations from the University of Bath, currently studying my masters at the University of Oxford”

£20 /hr

Amy M.

Degree: Theology and Religious Studies (Bachelors) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered:Sociology, Philosophy and Ethics

Sociology
Philosophy and Ethics

“An enthusiastic teacher, I have lots of experience in teaching children and young people of all ages and all abilities.”

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 does Durkheim mean by anomie?

Why is Howard Becker significant in Sociology?

How can crime and deviance be explained?

What explanations can be offered by sociologists for an individuals identity may be shaped by their ethnicity?

View A Level Sociology tutors

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

mtw:mercury1:status:ok