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Sociocultural Exam

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Paul Hewitt

on 7 May 2014

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Transcript of Sociocultural Exam

Karl Marx
“The ideas of the ruling class are, in every age, the ruling ideas”! (Marx)
Marx’s ideals contained a passion for human justice, political democracy free of oppressive elites. Marx aimed to free man from economic determination and enabling him to find unity and harmony with his fellow man.
Marx believed that to gain rights for the proletariat (the working man) a socialist or communist society should be developed.
Communism – the ‘state’ no longer exists, fruits of labour are shared and no- one is exploited.

Herbert Spencer viewed the different social structures as organs which kept the body (society) alive.
Focusses on the concept of order compared to neo Marxist conflict theories.
Functionalism originally attempted to explain social institutions as collective means to fulfil social needs, especially social solidarity.
Social institutions are functionally integrated to form a stable system – interdependent.
Structural functionalism develops from this to hold that society consists of various institutions e.g. police, hospitals, schools, each of which has its own function within society.
Each institution has developed their own norms and values that develop from expectations and obligations that develop over time to become widely accepted and reinforced. E.G in the family institution Dad sits at the top of the table.
SF focusses on social order (stability), value consensus, socialisation, and conformity/consensus.

Structural Functionalism
Doesn't give a fuck
Not a brand, social, or psychological theory.
A very small fine perspective (micro)
The key is the concept that we as human beings have a mind and a sense of self.
There are 3 varieties of interaction: Physical – everyday interactions in general, Environmental – interactions which are connected to the environment as a whole and symbolic interaction – people act towards things based on the meaning that thing has to them.
People are capable of rational activity they; can control own behaviour, act purposively (identify objects in environment and can devise the means to obtain them), exhibit reflexive self-concious, relate to the world in terms of significance for their own development, display orientation to past and present as well as future, initiate sequences of events whose benefits might only accrue in the future, strive for moral perfection even though it might not be totally attainable, employ signs and symbols to communicate and strive to attain consistency in their view of the world and people.

Symbolic Interaction
How do Macro Theories influence education
Consider the social political and economic influences on education.

Heavily relies on macro theory - marxism, structural functionalism.
How is society created?
Bigger Picture Thinking.
For each point state what you will talk about e.g what marxism is? What does it mean?
Apply it to the context of education and analyze/critique it.
Use References throughout.
Part 1
Sociocultural Exam
John. B. Watson- advocator of behaviourism.
A micro sociological theory.
Behaviourism is a psychology of learning.
Behaviourism is based on the premise that the only justifiable focus of study in psychology is overt behaviour.
Implicit in a behavioural approach is a commitment to a positivist approach to research as exemplified in operational definitions and experimental procedures.

Part 2 - What is Actually happening in PE
How can teachers respond?
Zoom in on micro social theories.
Think about what theories you will use
What theories do you think can explain what is happening in PE?
Are these situations leading to positive or negative experiences for pupils?
How can teachers respond?
Compare theories!
Harold Garfinkel
involves the study of "the body of common-sense knowledge and the range of procedures and considerations by means of which ordinary members of society make sense of, find their way about in, and act on the circumstances in which the find themselves" (Heritage, 1984:4)
Critical of functionalism which viewed people as puppets, views people as creative agents.
Looks at how we interpret meaning from the social world.
Looks at the how and not the why and so could be viewed as descriptive.
It is social interactions that constitute social order and reality.
What do Social Theorists have to say about Marxism?
"The work of Marx, taken as a whole is a savage , sustained indictment of one alleged injustice: that the profit, the comfort, the luxury of one man is paid for by the loss, the misery, the denial of another" (CW Mills, 1968:33"
Many Neo- Marxist theories have been inspired by Marxism such as the conflict theory.
This theory is concerned with ’class relations’ and the consequences of social inequality and the process of change in society.
Conflict theory denies the existence of society as a ‘thing’ and treats it as being made up of individuals, groups and classes. It operates at a macro level, with a view of society as a whole and rarely focusses of social forms or institutions.
“Conflict theory also focuses attention on how sports reflect and perpetuate the unequal distribution of power and economic resources in society.” (Coakley, 2001:35)
Criticisms of Marxism and the Neo-Marxist Conflict Theory
Acts under the impression that all poorer people are oppressed.
It assumes that all social life is driven by economic factors, by the need of the capital in society.
Conflict theory ignores the importance of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and other factors that explain how people identify themselves, relate to others and organise social life.
Conflict theory ignores cases where sport participation consists of experiences that empower individuals and groups in capitalist societies.
Influence on Education
"the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour." Marx (1848)
This view describes how Marxism views the education of lower social classes as simply creating new workers rather than offering them the same opportunities upper class pupils are afforded.
Conflict theorists reflect this with the view that: “sport is far more amenable to domination by the powerful in any society, and therefore is much more likely to mystify its adherents than to function as a means of mastering ones fate” (Hargreaves, 1978: 60)
This portray the view that sport is used by those in power to distract those who are not.
Coakley (2001) echoes this view by stating that sport is used to “affirm capitalist values of competition, production and consumption (p.36).
“Conflict theory leads to the conclusion that problems in sport exist because power does not rest in the hands of people who play sports” (Coakley)
We see this through the perverse advertising campaigns where athletes are used as tools to propagate capitalist ideals.
This could explain how much of an influence marxism has on the activities played in PE.
What do Social Theorists say about structural functionalism
“Focussed on the processes by which highly organised and structurally complex societies continued to reinforce values and generate cultural norms that were seen to benefit society as a whole” (Molnar and Kelly, 2013: p42)
Parsons argued that the crucial feature of societies is homeostasis (maintaining a stable state). He believed in the interconnectedness of different elements of society.
Believed society had an in built equilibrium.
He built his theory on four pillars: Adaptation, Goal Attainment, Integration, Latency.
The Four Pillars of Parsons Theory
Talcott Parsons
The Capacity of society to interact with the environment. This includes, among other things, gathering resources and producing commodities for social redistribution
Goal Attainment
The capability to set goals for future and make decisions accordingly. Political resolutions and societal objectives are part of this necessity.
The harmonisation of the entire society is a demand that the values and norms of society are solid and sufficiently convergent.
Latent Pattern Maintenance challenges society to maintain the integrative elements of the integration requirement above. This means institutions like family and school, which mediate belief systems and values between an older generation and its successor. Latency (Tension management) is the recreation of systems energy and its orientational patterns.
Criticisms of Parsons Theory and Structural Functionalism
These views leave little room for individual agency.
Does your structure (what you are born into) define who you are or does your agency (who you are) have more of an effect.
This perspective propagates the superiority of capitalism and western liberal democracy.
It benefits those in power as it conveys an ideal of the reproduction of social norms.
There is little or no sense of mediating group structures such as classes, regional, or national or ethnic categories.
Assumes normative values –no sense of resistance to mainstream values or of difference or dissent.

Application within P.E
• Parsons offered up a set of choices people must make before being able to act appropriately in any institutional setting allowing him to account for both individual choices and system choices.
• One example is the choice between universalism where one makes the choice of enforcing rules and standards to everyone in the social structure (universalism) or applying qualifications or exceptions so that we favour or discriminate against others.(particularism)
• For example when it comes to the kit issue in P.E teachers would have the choice to universally enforce a kit rule where if someone does not have the required kit they are forced to sit out of the lesson, or enforce a kit policy whereby the teachers may allow exceptions if a child is known to have difficulty bringing clean kit.
• P.E within HWB teaches valuable lessons about life in society.
• Physical Activity and sport motivates workers and is necessary in industrialised societies and acts as a source of inspiration.
• PE, PA and sport can unify disparate units of society.
• P.E within HWB reflects a reproduction of existing values – fair play and healthy lifestyle.
• PE, PA and Sport aids social control.

Marxism in the Context of Education
Marxist theories can influence education in a number of ways:
Class distinctions become clear through a comparison of examination attainment between different social classes
Whereby pupils from the lower social class are more likely to do poorly in exams, dropping out of school and pursuing manual work.
As well as this many pupils are labeled at a young age because of their low social class and so aspirations for their attainment may be lowered.
Through neo-marxist theories such as conflict theory education teachers could recognise inequality and work to stamp it out.
Structural Functionalism within the Context of Education
A Structural functionalist perspective can have many influences within the context of education:
Teachers may wish to recreate societal norms by meeting the needs of their pupils as it could help establish an equilibrium.
Within PE HWB allows teachers to impart valuable lessons about life in society.
These lessons can be used to contribute to the scoial system throughout their lives.
• “Behavioral psychology, also known as behaviorism, is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning.” (Cherry, 2010)
• “All we need to know in order to describe and explain behaviour is this: actions followed by good outcomes are likely to recur” (Skinner, 1953)

Social Theorists Perspective
• This is a very general description of behaviour by Skinner who proved this theory through his studies into operant conditioning.
• This focussed on the reinforcement of behaviour by operating on an organism’s environment.
• The operant conditioning chamber was designed by skinner to measure the responses of rats.
• The box had a lever and a food tray, and a hungry rat could get food delivered to the tray by pressing the lever. When a rat was put in the box, it would explore the box and would usually press the bar by accident, at which point a food pellet would drop into the tray. After that happened, the rate of bar pressing would increase dramatically and remain high until the rat was no longer hungry.
• The box was also used to emphasize negative reinforcement where a current was sent through the box at which point the rat would have to press the lever to stop it.

Skinners box
Criticisms of Behaviourism
As teachers is it right for us to manipulate children’s environment?
Do we want to condition pupils behaviour to the extent that they lose their identity?
“The usual argument against sub-human experimentation is that humans are not comparable to animals. Consequently, derived principles are supposedly invalid for humans” (Rushall & Sidentop, 1972)

Behaviourism and P.E
The three essential components of behavioural objectives are: 1. Description of specific observable behaviour which the learner will exhibit. 2. Identification of any conditions that will impinge on learner’s performance of the desired behaviour. 3. Specification of the standard to be used to assess whether or not the objective has been achieved.
These objectives take place in the cognitive domain: e.g. knowledge of specific facts, the affective domain: Awareness and the psychomotor domain: loco motor movements.
In P.E Skinners idea of operant conditioning can be used in several ways since the main principle of operant conditioning is that behaviour is strengthened on the basis of its consequences in the environment. As teachers we can reinforce behaviour through both praise and punishment.
In teaching we should focus more on shaping behaviour.
“It is appropriate to use behavior control techniques to mold the repertoires and control the frequency of occurrence of the behaviors which are appropriate to sports and physical education environments” (Rushall & Sidentop, 1972)
“In coaching and teaching there are behaviors which are desirable (adaptive to the situation, e.g., rule-following behaviors) and undesirable (maladaptive to the situation, e.g., disrupting behaviors). The coach and teacher want to strengthen the desirable and weaken or suppress the undesirable behaviors.” (Rushall & Sidentop, 1972)
“Two groups of reinforcers need to be established. The first group consists of positive and negative consequences which are strong and suitable for the initial control process. These reinforcers must be readily available for use by the coach or teacher. The second group comprises those positive and negative reinforcers which occur naturally within the environment and are independent of the coach or teacher” (Rushall & Sidentop, 1972)

Social Theorists?
• Mead developed the idea of a generalised other and a significant other.
• The Generalised other symbolises the group who have beliefs and value systems whereas the Significant other is someone who is so important in your life that they can change and structure your behaviour.
• The basic idea is that people behave differently depending on which “other they are in contact with.
• Fine (1996) explains that humans react to things based upon the personal meanings of these things which merge through social interaction. However these personal meanings are open to change.
• For example a pupil may behave differently around his classmates (generalised other) and his mother (significant other).

Symbolic Interaction within P.E
• Within P.E we should note that “teams generate meanings for themselves, a key fact for the symbolic interactionist perspective on group dynamics”(Fine 1986: 166), thus we should see that specific groups within the P.E classroom will create their own cultures or “idioculture”.
• It is important as teachers to make sure these cultures do not become unhealthy and lead to the alienation of others in the class.
• Also within P.E it should be noted that pupils will take particular symbolic meaning from failure as well as success.
• For many pupils “sports ability is closely connected to their identity, presentation of self and self esteem” (Fine, 1986:168). This could lead to pupils disengaging with activities within P.E

"Although symbolic interactionists would not deny that
free-willed behaviours occur within societal and cultural
constraints, critics suggest that symbolic interactionism does
not focus adequate attention on social structure" (Benzies & Allen, 2001)
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