Structuralism and the Reproduction of Elites
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In Knowledgeable Women, originally published in 1989, Sara Delamont traces the history of women's education and the elites it produces. She examines class and gender divisions in the structure and contest of education in Britain and the USA from 1850 to 1989. Her empirical focus is of course elites – especially elite women – but the justification for this is the belief that sociologists should study the powerful as well as the poor and powerless. Above all, Delamont argues the case for the relevance to sociology of a serious study of women, their schooling and professional training, and their struggle to enter the professions.
She also encourages a broader focus to the sociology of education itself, viewing her subject from an anthropological structuralist perspective and encouraging the inclusion of anti-sexist ideas and material from other areas of sociology such as the study of science and stratification. She demonstrates for the first time the relevance to education of structuralist theorists such as Mary Douglas.
Knowledgeable Women is a structuralist and feminist challenge to the sociology of education by an author highly regarded in Britain and the USA. It offers a non-sexist, structuralist, fully sociological sociology of education.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements. Part I: Introductory Themes 1. Introduction: Towards a Structuralist Sociology of Education 2. Cultural Capital and Muted Groups: the Theoretical Perspective of the Volume 3. Lessons from St Luke's: Women and Cultural Reproduction Part II: The Mountains of Inertia and Prejudice: a Structuralist Discussion of the Period 1845-1944 4. Chaperons, Gloves, and Cycling in Skirts: Strategies Against Pollution in Women's Education 5. Classics, Chemistry, and Cultural Capital 6. Domesticity or Delilahism? The Debates over Womanliness and Education Part III: Exploring Structuralist Sociology of Education: a Critique of Sociological Accounts for the Period 1945-1988 7. A Country Fit for Heroines? Schooling and Teaching 1945-1988 8. Excluded from the Elite? Women and Top Jobs 1945-1985 9. Mobile or Nubile? Social Stratification, Mobility, Marriage, and Education 10. Professions and Powerlessness: the Inadequacy of the Sociology and the Chauvinism of the Professionals Part IV: Conclusions 11. The Old Middle Class Strikes Back. Bibliography. Author Index. Subject Index.