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Sociology Vocationalism Esaay

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Binning11
Words 1065
Pages 5
Outline and asses the view that vocational education simply trains workers for exploitation.

A Labour prime minister in the 1970's said that Britain was facing a skills crisis. Pupils were leaving school unemployable, lacking the knowledge and skills needed for Britain to compete in the global economy. This was the main reason why new vocationalism was introduced to train young people and to provide the economy with skilled workforce. On these vocational courses students are taught technical skills such as plumbing and construction.
Marxist would argue that vocationalism doesn’t simply train workers for exploitation but also produces inequalities. That the real function of vocational education is to serve the needs of capitalism and tofurther produce existing inequalities.They would also argue that vocational schemes are interpreted as helping legitimise class division because they promote the idea that the middle class receive education whereas the working classes receive training. As the elite have their own schools which are known as public schools where they are not taught vocational courses this allows them to get the higher status and better paid jobs and further promotes inequality.Althusser argued that the main role of education in society is to reproduce of an efficient and obedient work force. This is achieved through schools by transmitting the ideology as school teaches individuals to compete with their pupils by trying to do better than them. It also trains future workers to become submissive to authority as school teaches individuals to accept and do as you’re your told. Althusser argues that ideology in capitalist society is fundamental to social control and education is instrumental in transmitting this ideology. He argues that education is an ideological state apparatus which helps pass on ruling class ideology. However Durkhiem would disagree and argue that religion and education promotes social solidarity. That members of society are united by the necessity of combining their occupational skills to produce goods and services.
Bowels and Gintis suggested that there is a correspondence between educational institutions and the workforce and would agree with statement above. That the main role of education is the reproduction of new generations of workers appropriately schooled to take their place in capitalist society. This involves learning to accept and obey a hierarchy of authority, to find satisfaction to external rewards rather than work itself and to believe that social inequality is just and legitimate. Davie and Moore would criticise this view as he argues that education main function is to allocate roles which are best suited to their talents. Gramisic would also argue that although education does produce a major role in inequalities but education is counter hegmomic, that workers have many opportunities to fight back against the elite by using many different methods such as the media. However Gramisic can be criticised as the has been hegemomic science fiction and most people do not understand the meaning behind it and no major action has been taken. Many would argue that marixsm is a out of date political theory.
Clarke would define training in a different way that vocationalism teaches students transferrable skills and behavior skills, apposing discipline so they become obedient workers. She observed that when providing skills they are restricted to the courses they can do. This means when they go into employment they are likely to be in low paid jobs becuase they dont have the required skills to move up the social ladder. However Parson would argue different as he see education being part of the meritocracy that everyone is given equal opportunities.
Willis being a Neo- Marxist argues that the education system is closely linked to the needs of Capitalism. He studied 12 working class boys during their last year at school, he found that lads formed a particular attitude to school a counter school culture. That they so no value in education and they felt superior to teachers and conformist pupils and found that they shared the values for their first jobs. The study supports the view that education trains students to face exploitation in the future. However it could be argues that Willis study was small scale and therefore not be representative of society as a whole and he used qualitative research method therefore his finding may lack validity as he may have interpreted them. Feminist would argue that vocationalism trains women to face exploitation by men. Research constructed by Carl Jones that girls learn to put up with sexual harassment as she found that when girls walk into the classroom groups of boys jeered, commented on the size of their breast and appearance. As they learn to expect this as normal and part of school. However many would argue that Carl Jones study is too deterministic.
The New Rights solution to all these problems is the marketisation of education. They believe that competition and the laws of supply and demand will empower the pupils and employers bringing greater diversity, choice and efficiency to schools and increasing their ability to meet everyone's needs. Chubb and Moe call for the introduction of a market system that would put education in the hand of the consumers. That schools should have to compete for business, improving their product for the customers. That instead each family would be given a vouchers to spend on buying education from a school of their choice. Critics argue that the real cause of failure is not state control but social inequality and inadquate finding of state schools. Gewirts and Ball argue that competition only benefits the middle classes who can use their cultural and economic capital to gain access to more desirable schools.
To conclude I would argue that education voactionalism does trains workers to face exploitation it also limits their chances of climbing the social ladder. Also I would also argue that most of the individuals that take voactionalism dont really know that they are letting themseleves into. They are persuaded that voactionalism is the best for them and is the most successful for them. Vocationalism limits the working classes opportunity of going to the top university and the fees of university also put off working class people,as they get worried about the amount of depth they will be once leaving university. This is not encouraged by the government as they continue to increase university grants. As the middle class are born with advantages and increases their chances of gaining the higher jobs.

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