Key Concepts for Sociology – Education

Starting off with gender and education, gradually going to be populated with more! 

Crisis of Masculinity         

Where men are uncertain about what it means to be a man because of the decline of traditional masculinity. Men used to get a sense of purpose and identity simply by going to work and performing the breadwinner role, now that more women are taking on these roles, this no longer defines masculinity, resulting in men wondering what the point of their existence is (anomie).

Feminisation of Teaching           

This involves more women taking up jobs in teaching.  There are now more female than male teachers, especially in primary education.

Gender Domains   

Gender domains are the tasks which are typically seen as either male or female – in terms of household chores, for example, DIY is part of the male gender domain, whereas doing the laundry may be seen as part of the female gender domain.

Gender Norms

Gender norms are the behaviours and attitudes which are associated with masculinity and femininity; gender roles are the social positions we typically associate with masculinity/ femininity.

Gender identities

How one understands and expresses (acts out) one’s own sense of masculinity/ femininity

Hegemonic Masculinity

Ideas about masculinity should involve being in control, dominant, aggressive, competitive, striving for success in the public spheres of work and/ or politics, and limiting their role in the family to that of bread winner and disciplinarian.


A system dominated by men or run by men/ in the interests of men, which typically involves the oppression and subordination of women.


This involves prejudice or discrimination against women on the basis of their sex.

 All (or at least most!) Education Concepts – Check List

Achieved status


Division of Labour Labeling


Ascribed status Education Action Zones League Tables


Banding/ Streaming


Elaborated Speech Code


Legitimation of class inequality
Beacon School


Equality of opportunity




Ethnocentric Curriculum


Material Deprivation
City Academy


Faith school




Compensatory Education




Comprehensive School


Gender regime


Modern Apprenticeships




Motivation by external rewards
Correspondence theory Grammar School


Multi cultural education


Counter school culture Grant Maintained School


Myth of meritocracy
Cultural Capital Hidden Curriculum National Curriculum


Cultural Deprivation Ideal Pupil New Deal


Curriculum 2000


Ideological state apparatus OFSTED
Cycle of Deprivation Immediate Gratification Parentocracy


Deferred Gratification


Independent (Private) Schools Parity of Esteem






Particularistic values




Passive subservience


Positional Theory


Patriarchal Ideology


Restricted Speech Code


Reproduction of inequality


Role Allocation
School- Parent Alliance Self Fulfilling Prophecy


School/ Parent alliance


Disconnected Choosers


Institutional Racism


Sink schools Social Capital Specialist School


Skilled Choosers


Social Class State Schools
Sure Start


Universalistic values Secondary Socialisation
Value Consensus Social Solidarity Teaching to the Test
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