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Does Education Enable Western Democracies?

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Does education enable Western democracies to be meritocratic?
Investment in the brain is much more rewarding than investment in property. (Young, 1958.) This statement shows the ever growing possibilities and realms which can be achieved and explored just by the use and engagement of our brain. Are these possibilities equal across the education system and amongst all students? Many people in today’s society believe that we live in a world of meritocracy, that the brightest students will ultimately gain the highest earning jobs when they are thrust into the world of the working. On the other hand, those who do not engage in their learning, will simply not gain an as sought after career. We must take into consideration this idealistic view
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Lastly, symbolic interactionism analyses and observes the interactions between humans and the roles in which they play within society. A great example of this theory being put into practice is “the looking-glass self”. To fully understand the question at hand, we must widely explore in an in-depth manner the social paradigms of sociology and education, which will enable us to come to a conclusion, does education enables western democracies to be meritocratic. All three paradigms must be explained individually, taking into account there purpose within the education system in order to analyse and fully attempt the question posed. The three sociological paradigms The three sociological paradigms must be fully explored as they will help us to answer the question, does education enable western democracies to be meritocratic? Firstly, our sociological paradigm, conflict theory. Conflict theory emphasises the role of coercion and power between social classes. It focuses on the negative aspects of society and was established by key research which was conducted by the famous theorist Karl Marx and following on from Marx, Max Weber. Marx believed that society was split into key groups. These groups must therefore compete against each other for the social and economic resources within there society. For society to progress and work effectively there has to be two different classes where
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