How do schools reproduce the social class structure? Be sure to include private and public schools in your discussion.
America is known as “the land of opportunity.” It is a country where millions have come to seek wealth, prosperity, and a fulfilling life. One of the most important ways of achieving these high aspirations is getting a quality education. Although America has reformed its education system over the past century in order to better the quality and to achieve equality among schools, there still are drastic differences between schools in America. There are also great differences in educational outcomes among students in America.
There are many advantages when a child is growing up in wealthy family. First is cultural capital where white color parent teaches the child how to communicate, behave or think properly, so then they would feel comfortable in classroom. Second is social capital where knowing people who are willing to help you when you get stuck. For example, if your teacher is a friend of your parent. Third is achievement expectation where a child is expected to do well in school. The next is control over their environment, meaning that middle or upper class children are rewarded for getting good grades. Unlike working class children whose parents are powerless will not expect any reward and rarely will try to accomplish. Also family size is the issue in students’ achievements. The less people there are in the household the better the results in studding going to be. It is better for a child to have two adults in the family unit because single parents might have greater financial need. Neighborhood is also a great factor in child’s success. I think better neighborhood will yield a child getting good test scores. In the black and Hispanic location there are higher crime rate and abuse. This might affect child’s ability to learn and stay in school.
Children of upper and middle class families tend to achieve more than the children of lower and working class families. This greater achievement of the upper and middle class allows those students to continue their education in college, which then allows them to get prestigious and well paying jobs. The lower class children, due to their low achievement in school, typically do not go on to college and therefore are left with low skilled, low paying jobs.
Between lower and upper class parents we can see major attitude differences toward education. For example, a teacher is constantly giving math homework to the students without explaining the topics first. Usually working parents don’t debate teachers and respect their expertise. Although they probably value education and want their children to succeed, parents do not try to change their child’s school experiences, unlike higher-class parents. As for richer parents they usually challenge the teachers in conversations, criticize the teacher’s methods, complain to the principal, and do not except “no” for an answer. Lower class parents have less time to spend with a child at home to direct them with school work, which leads to the child alone being responsible for his or her own education. The end result is that upper class children have a better chance of succeeding in school because it is not up to them alone to educate themselves. They have help and guidance from their parents. Also the upper class parents can obligate their children to concentrate on schoolwork rather then introduce them to labor when they reach high school.
The higher social class a person has the better “life chance” he or she has. Acquiring better salary lead to better quality education. Private and public schools offer good education for future success. However, upper class parents have an opportunity to send their child to prestigious private school. Even though public schools offer more diversity, private schools are composed of smaller classes and curriculum is more challenging. Crime and threats are far more common in public schools, while private school teachers share a greater sense of community within the school. The private school can choose students and decide who stay and who goes, whereas public takes everyone and it is for free. Private school is the choice of wealthy parents with the aim to put their child on the college track.
What is meant by a postindustrial economy? How is it changing the working lives of people?
Postindustrial economy is a system that produces goods based on service work and high technology. This system produces, manages, and distributes material resources. The knowledge on how to operate machinery is an important factor in this economy. For example, knowledge of computers allows a person to work at home. On the other hand, for middle-aged adults who operated certain machinery that is no longer in use is a big disadvantage. They now have to go through rigorous training to adapt to new profession. Today people can choose how many hours they are willing to work. I see it as being very beneficial because you can go to school or care for your child while working.
The economy is composed of three sectors. Primary Sector is activities, which extract products from the natural environment like wood or land. Secondary Sector is manufacturing, which transform material resources into goods or products like extraction of the cotton. Tertiary Sector selling product that people made rather than goods. As a society moves from agricultural to industrial the primary activities decline and tertiary activities become more important. Primary and secondary activities are diminished because they are carried out by workers of other nations.
Work in the postindustrial economy leads to many changes and new adaptations. As it approached people started to move out from rural to urban areas in hopes of better income and less stressful jobs. This caused a decline of agricultural work and increased social diversity in urban areas. From manufacturing (factory) people moved to service work like banking, teachers, and real estate.
Postindustrial economy practices the dual labor market. The primary labor market includes occupations that provide high benefits to workers, which include large industries like automobiles or pharmaceuticals. The secondary labor market includes jobs providing minimal benefits to workers, which are low-profit businesses similar to retail stores or clothing manufacturing. This creates big income inequality among people. In postindustrial economy unions are trying to improve wages and working conditions by using various strategies like negotiations and strikes. For example, a massive NY transit strike in 1980 has occurred for the purpose of better income. I consider it negotiations to be helpful as long as it does not impair other people.
Self-employment, once common in the U.S. is now quite rare because usually someone has to refer you to get a good position. Whereas unemployment is a problem in postindustrial societies because most jobs require training, which some people are not willing to learn. Today some people are involved in activities that give them extra income and do not report to the government as required by law or drug trade. For example, working for cash and not stating it in the tax returns. In postindustrial society there is an increase in the numbers of female and minority employees because they now able to learn the skills in college. I think it is beneficial to both women and society because they can have more free time from work then in earlier years. Jobs are not permanent in this country, therefore people have to be prepared to be able learn new skills and keep an open mind. “Sociology is a great way to develop these abilities” (Hess, p 215).
Compare and contrast socialism and capitalism; discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each economic system.
Capitalism, economic system in which private individuals and business firms carry on the production and exchange of goods and services through a network of prices and markets. Ideally, in capitalism system we can see private ownership of property, pursuit of personal profit, free competition and consumer independence. It is about private interest where individuals, families, or corporations guide markets. On the other hand, socialism is economic systems in which natural resources and the means of producing goods and services are collectively are owned by the government. Wealth is equally divided among people. In socialism we can see public ownership of property, governmental regulation of economic activity and emphasis on public interests over personal gain.
There are many advantages to a capitalist economic system, which could make it very appealing to society. Some of the advantages are that the societies are considerably more economically productive, as for instance United States. Capitalist countries have more liberties and political freedom. Individuals seek to maximize their position by accumulating as much wealth as possible. There is competition among members of society in accumulating wealth, which in turn regulates prices and the quality of products. For example, 2 fruit stores are located next to each other. One owner would try to have fresher fruits and vegetables every day for same price. The firms which produce the correct goods and services will win and make profit, those which don’t will go out of business and therefore release their resources to the more successful firms. This will lead to the expansion of the economy and greater prosperity. Everyone is going to benefit from this system whether it is raw material, labor, or investment.
There are also some of the disadvantages of capitalism. As stated earlier the consumer has all the power in the economy. However, individuals purchasing power is unequal because of the inequality of wealth within the economy. This is due to the fact that some people will always be able to work harder, be more creative and be more talented than others. Therefore be more profitable and promote themselves higher in the economy whereas others will fail. Due to inequality of wealth and no government intervention people would fall into poverty, which will lead to homelessness, starvation, diseases. In the Capitalist society the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This morale will lead to great uneasiness of the low class population.
Some of the advantages of socialism are that those societies display considerably less income and wealth inequality. I think to some extend this is good because people would not feel worthless. The state will plan what is needed to be produced to cope with the societies demands, and how to distribute goods. However, there are also disadvantages in socialism. Socialism is a very unrealistic theory and, as we saw in countries such as the Soviet Union, doesn’t always follow all the rules of pure Socialism and therefore creates many weaknesses. Wealth isn’t always distributed equally; the rulers of the state will live in luxury while others will not. The economy will also suffer from excessive amounts of bureaucracy and will be slow. Also there will not be any improvement, and goods will be of a poor quality because effort will not be rewarded. A doctor could earn the same as a housekeeper. Then going to medical school for number of years would not seem to be as an appealing option.
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