Essay Education and Social Inequality

2683 Words11 Pages
Focus Area - Education and Social Inequality
Explain how the four components of thinking sociologically assist in understanding this area or domain. Traditionally Australians have believed in and conveyed the myth of Australia as a fair , egalitarian society without excess wealth or poverty, however we are definitely not a classless society. Australia's education system has been and remains one of the most unequally distributed social resources and could possibly be regarded as the main source of inequality in our society (Encel 1970; Anderson & Vervoorn 1983; as cited in Jamrozik, 2009). Now more than ever, Australia's education system is acting as a kind of 'sorting out' mechanism, allocating people to certain stations within
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Regardless of the financial costs of education, statistics show in the years from 1983 to 1996 numbers of students in tertiary education doubled and retention rates within secondary schooling reached new heights, rising from 40.6% in 1983 to 71.3% in 1996 (Jamrozik, 2009), clearly placing education as a high value within the Australian society and becoming a lifetime pursuit for many people. However historically, the changes that have occurred over the years, have reinforced Australia’s problem with social inequalities within the education system.
Cultural When considering the cultural lens of the sociological imagination we pay attention to cultural differences and diversity (Georgeou, 2010). In relation education we look again at the historical view of education as a right and the term considered cultural capital, which has had a strong impact on the social inequalities within education. Historically and Culturally within Australia, education has been viewed as a right, as previously discussed. Although Australia perpetrates the myth of an egalitarian society, it has been cultivated to conceal the unequal life chances of disadvantaged individuals (Jamrozik, 2009). This is central to the political and cultural differences/conflicts and the bases of knowledge in which our education system is being built upon. Within schools certain students are being labelled
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