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The Effects of Education as an Institution John W


  • pg 1
									The Effects of
Education as an Institution
John W. Meyer
Chapter 8
Legitimation Theory
• Education is a system of institutionalized
  rites transforming social roles through
  powerful initiation ceremonies

• Transforms society by creating new classes
  of personnel with new types of
  authoritative knowledge
Macro-sociological theory
• Network of rules creating public
  classifications of persons and knowledge

• More powerful than socializing function
Socialization Model
• Proposition 1: Socialization (supported)
• Proposition 2: Socialization and Adult
  Competence (questionable)
• Proposition 3: Individual Competence and Social
  progress (little empirical evidence)

**Missing element  Educational systems are
society-wide and state controlled
Allocation Model
• Ed as a selector, sorter and allocator

• Proposition 4: Educational Allocation; status 
  duration/type of education
• Proposition 5: Chartering: external role  status
  achieved upon entry
• Proposition 6: Lagged Socialization: adopt
  appropriate roles
**missing element: focus on individual being
processed w/ the social structure constant
Social effects of Education

• Set of initiation ceremonies that transform
  futures and pasts; enhance their value in social

• A fixed capital asset more durable than work,
  income, family, property

• Non-students; lower prospects, desocialized,
  committed to passive roles, allocates to failure
Legitimation Theory
• Proposition 7: Expansion of education 
  increases functions under social control
• Proposition 8: Increases the specialized positions
  in society; defines and justifies their occupancy
  by certain people (*hired check credentials not
• Proposition 9: creates a collective reality
• Proposition 10: Nation-building and citizenship
• Proposition 11: intensified causal relationship
  between allocation and socialization
Legitimation Effects
• Expands the notion of homogeneity and
• Reconstructs, reorganizes, expands socially
  defined categories; personnel and knowledge
• Highly institutionalized status in society
• Crucial ritual system of initiation and

**effects society widely
• Schooling reconstructs reality for everyone
• Schooling confers status; highest level of
  legitimacy in society
• Secular religion in society  legitimating
  account of competence of citizens, authority of
  elites, buffers society from uncertainty
• Through ordering our lives around it and our
  participation we serve to perpetuate it and
  maintain its authority

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