Social Class and Education
Social Class and Education
There is an increasing population in many regions of the world today. This increase comes with an increased diversification in the major sectors of the world including the political, social, and economic sectors. This diversification in these sectors contributes to the rapid development of social classes in these regions. The social classes are the various groupings in the societies with which particular individuals identify themselves. On the other hand, the increasing globalization and challenges in various political, social and economic segments have promoted the increase in the levels of education in various regions around the globe. For this reason, there is a distinct connection between the social class and education in these societies in the sense that they all encompass political, economic, and social issues.
This topic is important in the field of sociology because it provides an understanding of the interrelationship between the social classes in the societies and the education in these societies. Understanding this relationship is essential in the sense that it provides an overview of the role of sociological aspects in the solving of the various problems facing social institutions across the globe. The social class is concerned with the groupings of individuals in the society. These groups suggest the unity of the people in the society. Each of these groups are has its role in the development of the society. For this reason, education comes in. education seeks to provide individuals with the required knowledge and skills of handling various issues in the society.
Social Class and Education
The paper will discuss the existent relationship between the society, education, and social class. The paper will seek to relate the social class and education from the Marxist perspective. Fist, the paper will discuss the social class and the various avenues of measuring it. Second, it will provide some of the key concepts of the Marxist social view of class analysis. Third, the paper will relate these concepts to the education in the societies with relation to a variety of scholarly studies on the same topic. Social class is an identity of individuals in terms of elements such as height, sexuality, religion, and age among others. Nevertheless, social class can also be deemed as having specific significance in the society. The social class is recognized as the reflection as well s the causing of key cultural, social, and economic difference in, for instance, lifestyle, education, and income. Social class, therefore, is a representation of the elemental sectors in the society and the individuals that facilitate the development of these sectors.
The combination of education and social class is influenced by the Marxist theory and viewpoint of the social class on education with respect to schooling. Curriculum is an elemental viewpoint of the theory and viewpoint. According to this theory of social class, the state and the situation of the social classes influences the curriculum and schooling of the education system in that given society. That is, for a capitalist society, which is likely to have most of the social classes founded on the issues and concepts of capitalism, the education curriculum is also likely to have capitalist approaches. As such, the social classes have the greater power in the influence of activities or sectors such as education in the system.
Education forms one of the pivotal institutions in sociology. Most individuals do not have the developed instincts, technology, and the knowledge necessary for the simplification of societal issues. In the recent past, the family was responsible for the transformation of education in the society to facilitate the gaining of knowledge. The transmission of education in the societies encompasses the teaching of the required skills for the survival of the societies. As such, due to the transition of the societies from agricultural to industrialized, the institution of education required immense transformation and improvement along with other elemental institutions, including economy, government, family, and religion (Lawton, 2008). Since the members of the common social unit, the family could not teach all that was necessary for the children to know, formal education, in terms of schooling was elemental in the recent past. Schooling has since developed with improved systems, which have speeded up the educational process among individuals of different social classes.
Social classes in terms of cultural and material factors may influence education as well as the development of individuals or children in the societies. As such, with reference to social classes, the lower social classes are likely to suffer more from issues of material development, which can hold individuals back in terms of the education because of the insufficient or lack of access to essential resources in education, such as reduced spaces of personal study, computers or other elemental reading materials. In the extreme situations, individuals may have insufficient food or poor housing systems that influence the progress of these individuals. The effects of the deprivation of materials are cumulative. For this reason, the educational development and progress of individuals is greatly influenced by the social classes in which these individuals fall. In the ancient times, male education was preferred to female education. The social class of the females in terms of gender led to the development and dominance of the male figure in the society at the expense of the females. That is, most of the males in the societies were enlightened to factors affecting the societal progress as compared to the women.
On the other hand, the individuals from the rich or enlightened social classes are important in influencing the education patterns and systems in the society. The richer individuals in the society are likely to have better education systems and more choices for the types of schools they can attend. Such individuals also have access to better systems of housing and food that minimize the constraints on the development of education. The cultural deprivation, which is an element of the social class, can influence the patterns and development of education in the society. For instance, individuals from the working class are likely to socialize into restricted codes of speeches and are less able to comprehend the educators at different education institutions compared to those in the middle social classes (PENSOLA & VALKONEN, 2002). Different social classes have different values in terms of the immediate gratification in the society. The cultural capital theory facilitates the understanding of the influence of the social class on education by suggesting that the background and the social class of individuals matters largely. The theory postulates that the social class of individuals has immense value and impact on the formation or establishment of individuals within the society.
The society being an institution with a variation of individuals in these societies, people tend to take various forms and fit in groups that they deem essential for their existence and survival throughout the society. These groups are formed based on the political, economic, ideological, economic viewpoints of individuals within the societies. These viewpoints and ideologies represent the significance that these people have the significant concepts and institutions such as education (Smith et al., 2011). The impact of social class on education encompasses when these groups and the activities they engage in define the kind of individuals they are. The social class encompasses such aspects as lack of the social capital to fund the education development, the lack of cultural capital, the underachievement of the working class, the restricted coded in language, the subcultures of the working classes, the material factors such as sickness, poor diet, lack of space of working, and the teacher or educator evaluations, including streamlining labeling and stereotyping.
Material factors, factors within the education systems, and cultural factors are some of the groups of elements in the social class issues that interrelate with the institution of education. The material factors encompass the elements that explain how the economic and social institution can affect the development of individuals in the education sector. The lower class individuals are likely to have poor conditions of housing, which can lead to lower attainments. The poor diets of the working classes can lead to instances of damaged development in the cognitive aspects of education. The low income that most of the individuals in these social classes means that the learning or educational resources such as books or internet research cannot be bought, which affects the progress of education in the societies (Sonne-Holm & Sørensen, 2006). The lower and some of the middle class individuals can have difficulties in affording the higher education. Some schools and education institutions in the societies are dependent on the donations and funds from the parents or the stakeholders of the societies in which they exist. For this reason, if the society itself encompasses low class and middle-class groups of individuals who are less affluent in terms of the financial resources will receive fewer funds, which translate to the poor or sluggish development of education.
Parental interest in the education of their children also comes with the social class stratification. Most the parents from the high social classes are likely to have more interest in the education of their children because of the level of their enlightenment than the middle and lower class. For this reason, this interest translates to the level of importance or the degree of development of the children in these regions. The attitudes of the social classes are elemental in relation to the formation and progress of the education systems in the society (Weis & Dolby, 2012). Different social classes have different social perspectives and viewpoints as well as attitudes towards aspects such as education. For this reason, the degree of exposure and enlightenment is likely to affect how these individuals perceive education in the society. Nevertheless, education is important in reducing the effects of the differences between the social classes in the societies. It acts as a bridge between the social classes and the differences between these classes as regards the promotion of education in the society. Social class and education is important in societies because they promote societal, economic, and political growth.
Lawton, D. (2008). Social class, language and education. London: Routledge & K. Paul.
PENSOLA, T. H., & VALKONEN, T. (2002). Effect of parental social class, own education and social class on mortality among young men. European Journal of Public Health. doi:10.1093/eurpub/12.1.29
Smith, G. D., Hart, C., Hole, D., MacKinnon, P., Gillis, C., Watt, G., . . . Hawthorne, V. (2011). Education and occupational social class: which is the more important indicator of mortality risk? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. doi:10.1136/jech.52.3.153
Sonne-Holm, S., & Sørensen, T. I. (2006). Prospective study of attainment of social class of severely obese subjects in relation to parental social class, intelligence, and education. British Medical Journal. doi:10.1136/bmj.292.6520.586
Weis, L., & Dolby, N. (2012). Social class and education: Global perspectives. New York: Routledge.