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Is education fair always a dream?

 

In March of this year, the United States broke the history of the most involved college admissions fraud cases, Yale, Stanford, South Africa and other famous schools into a scandal, related personnel involved in company executives, Hollywood stars, college sports coaches, executives and so on. On May 2, foreign media said that the largest amount of fraud in the fraud case was $6.5 million from a wealthy Chinese family. Zhao Tao, the person in charge of the case, is the chairman of Shandong Buchang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. He has opened the door to Stanford for her by forging the identity of her daughter Zhao Siyu. In addition to the history of the birth of the company, the netizens also revealed the live broadcast of Zhao Siyu's sharing of learning experiences in the fighting fish a few years ago. She told the audience to stand firm and persist in their struggles. There is no shortcut to the ideal university.

Education has long been regarded as one of the most effective ways to achieve social mobility and class rise. The ignorance and trampling of educational equity has also touched the bottom line of people's hearts. In the context of liberalism, people's expectation of fairness often points to fairness in opportunities. However, the selection mechanism of educational institutions does not seem to fully follow the principle of fairness of opportunity. After the Stanford scandal, the interface culture hopes to find out how the educational institutions collude with power and capital by combing the following books, and then covertly hinder normal education selection and social mobility: how the elite college students succeed through a series of mechanisms. Step into the upper class or even the ruling class? How does the educational institution maintain and consolidate the privileges of the elite in this process? How do the ruling class and the social elite inherit the privilege from generation to generation under the ingenious pretense of equality in education? How is the university admission standard affected by the power structure and how does it counteract the power structure? Can education expansion really break down class barriers and provide people with more opportunities for upward mobility?

When we walked into the university, we were waiting for the academic ivory tower, and perhaps also a dark field dominated by power and class separation. When the cold door is getting harder and harder, we need to carefully examine and reflect. Perhaps it is not the corruption of a certain university or some universities, but the nature of educational institutions and the system of modern education.

I. "Privilege: Education of Harvard and the Ruling Class"

As a world-class institution that is rich in elites, rich and ruling classes, how does Harvard University send students to the upper class through a series of mechanisms? "Privilege: Education of Harvard and the Ruling Class" is a response to this question. Dorset, an American conservative writer and senior editor of the Atlantic Monthly, is a graduate of Harvard University and studied here between 1998 and 2002. From the entrance ceremony to the community dinner, from the student's love life to the classroom state, he detailed the picture of the American elite university at the end of the 20th century in this privilege. This book can be regarded as a graduate to college life. What is even more rare in the memoirs is that he also analyzed and reflected Harvard's utilitarianism from the perspective of outsiders.

Dorset analyzed how Harvard injects utilitarian thinking into students: clubs and fraternities can enable them to effectively build upper-level social networks, students often give up friends with their favorite people, and spend time on these small In the group, prepare for future career advancement and class climbing; Harvard's increasingly "score expansion" makes students' performances more and more beautiful, but students rarely study hard, they fully realize that good results are just A small part of a tempting resume, good grades don't mean you need to read all the books in a solid way; the reminders of the future of the students are everywhere on campus, which also makes the romantic love between students more obedient In reality, utilitarian factors even sneak into sexual relations. At Harvard, everything starts with "you should not ruin your career."

In addition, Harvard is also a field of class segregation, and the school actually recruits the most homogenous groups under the emphasis on diversity. Although students have different genders, skin colors, religious beliefs, and nationalities, they are almost all of the upper class children from the rich areas of the region and the private elite high schools. Harvard claims that its students come from all over the world, but it is not said to be the "important" world. After entering the school, the society rejects the ordinary identity background. Even if the family is rich, there will be no neglect when there is no door. When students are in love, whether the family status is equal is an important consideration. The author wrote in the book, "I thought at the time, and still think so now that Harvard is a messy place, a hotbed of American ruling class. This class is distinct, pretentious, self-appreciating, but in the pursuit of knowledge. But it drifts with the flow."

Second, "Privilege: Behind the Scenes of Elite Education in São Paulo Middle School"

Different from Harvard's old elite education in Dorset, with the constant changes in social culture, a new generation of elite culture began to emerge. The "Privilege" by Professor Simos Khan, a professor of sociology at Columbia University, examines the educational institutions' training model for new elites. When the closed old elite becomes an open new elite, what changes have been made to the educational institutions? In what way does the new elite maintain privilege in a democratic society where equality awareness arises? Why is the increasingly open cultural environment, but the deeper levels of inequality?

In the eighteenth century, the way in which Europe divided its elites by means of title and bloodline was no longer applicable to the new immigrant country of the United States. Wealth ownership has become the new standard for dividing elites, which means that the social class in the United States is more liquid than in Europe. In order to resist the threat of class mobility to its own status, the old elite has strengthened its elite identity through a series of measures. The boarding system of private high school is a big invention: the school tries to build under the closed space and the "pure" elite culture. A group of ruling classes in the future society.

As the social ideology gradually becomes more open and diversified, the form of the elite is no longer a closed circle. The education mode of elite high schools has also changed. The school has begun to accept women and minority groups and encourage students to adopt a more open approach. Incorporating into the society, it can not only accept the popular culture, but also appreciate the high art, and can work with any class to manage their "calm" temperament. The new elites no longer regard themselves as a closed class, but a specific person. The school has achieved this through a series of educational means: after the new students enter the school, the school deliberately separates the family status and asks them to unify their clothes, implying that they are not It belongs to the family and class, but belongs to the new "São Paulo". At the same time, under the indoctrination of individualism, students tend to regard their achievements as the result of their own efforts. As for the fallen people, it is because they are lazy or not looking for opportunities to create their own difficulties. In the new elite era, the intention of opening up conceals deeper inequality, weakens the underlying power, and pushes responsibility entirely to the individual.

Third, "Selected: Secret History of Entrance Standards for Harvard, Yale, and Princeton"

The book "Selected" tells about the changes in the admission criteria of the three elite universities of Harvard, Yale and Princeton. It is both a history of changes in the standard of admission and a history of the evolution of American power and elite privileges. Jerome Carabel, a sociology professor at the University of California at Berkeley, tried to answer such questions by writing a book: How do the admission criteria of elite universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton shape the American elite? With the changes in American social power and elite privilege, how do these admissions standards change, and to what extent does it affect the changes in class structure?

From 1900 to the 21st century, the standards for the admission of elite colleges and universities in the United States have undergone tremendous changes during this century. Initially, the goal of elite schools was to foster a future ruling class with leadership and communication skills. They often had extraordinary personality fascination and swam in the upper-class cocktail parties and dinners, and weaved the network with ease. Guided by this training goal, the family background is more important than the learning ability. Therefore, the preference of the prestigious schools is the younger Anglo-Saxon family who believe in Protestantism. They have studied in private aristocratic schools since childhood, and their achievements are not necessarily superior, but they have traveled as organizers or leaders in large and small extracurricular activities.

This standard continued until the end of 1950. After the rise of the anti-cultural movement and the civil rights movement, the concept of equality became more and more popular. Coupled with the rise of the Soviet Union, the US government began to focus on the development of disciplines and science and technology. The skills and capabilities of talents began to become more important. The school began to pay attention to good academic performance. Strong ability students. The consequence of this change in admission criteria is that students with more cultural capital have replaced students with economic capital advantages into the upper echelons of society. However, this “smartness” admission standard does not produce true equality. Instead, students with invisible cultural capital believe that they are admitted because they are more capable, as Professor Jerome wrote in the book, “ In this society, the great ideals of equality are replaced by brutal competition, which will also create a new social order. The new social order may be the same as the previous hereditary system, and will not care about the so-called society. just."

Fourth, "Diploma Society: Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification"

In the 1970s, Randall Collins, a famous American sociologist and representative of conflict theory, mentioned the inflation of education diploma in the book "Diploma Society: Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification": With Yue The more people who come to get higher degrees, the higher the level of demand for education in the workplace. Forty years later, this theory has been fulfilled in China today: “Graduate and above” has gradually become a common requirement in the job market; doctoral education has become excessive, and the academic requirements of college teachers have risen to overseas doctoral standards. Why is the diploma less and less valuable? More and more people have realized that the knowledge learned in higher education is useless to work. Why do companies still have academic qualifications as a hard requirement? Can education expansion really break down class barriers and provide people with more opportunities for upward mobility?

Collins mentioned in this book that the education people receive is actually surplus, far more than what is used in the work. The existence of educational institutions is not to grant knowledge and develop the skills of workers, but to extend the time for people to enter jobs and solve the problem of excess labor in society. Education expansion has reduced the number of workers in the market and prevented the unemployment rate from rising further. Under this mechanism, society can maintain stability in an era when labor is increasingly replaced by machines.

In addition, Collins also suggested that the expansion of education seems to increase the equality of opportunities, giving more people the upper-level flow of channels, but actually further hinder social mobility. He divides his work into two categories: “production work” and “political work”. People with diplomas often engage in political work – they don’t need too much professional skills, they pay more attention to a series of “cultural currency” such as interpersonal skills. The diploma represents not professional skills. People who are educated by the elite are often well-educated, educated, and have a broad network of relationships. At this level, the diploma precisely hinders social mobility, because the diploma does not reflect the full power and technology, but the family and resources.

V. "National Elites: Famous Universities and Group Spirits"

As a famous French philosopher and one of the most important public intellectuals in France, Bourdieu has always paid attention to the relationship between French education system and social power. From the "Inheritor" in 1964, "Reproduction" in 1970, "Division" in 1984, "College" in 1988, and "National Elite" in 1989, he used five books. It explores the relationship between the French education system and the solidification of class, and how the knowledge, power and culture are intertwined and interdependent.

In the book "National Elite", Bourdieu used the winners of the French Central Examination to observe a series of information on their family, academic situation, post-graduation occupation, and social status. He believes that education is essentially a kind of "national magic", which guarantees the operation and transformation of power through the reproduction mechanism, thus maintaining social order, and this operation process is quite hidden.

He divides capital into economic capital, social capital and cultural capital. Cultural capital refers to the cultural inheritance in the family background, which determines a person's cultivation, manners, etiquette and taste. Because the educational institutions themselves are occupied by the upper culture, the students who have been influenced by the upper culture can adapt quickly, while the students who are from the lower level feel alienated and uncomfortable. In this way, cultural capital became the driving force of the French leadership and promoted the evolution of the national elite. At the same time, educational institutions have also divided the class through a series of mechanisms, such as academic classification - defining some disciplines (philosophy, French, literature, etc.) as "the discipline of the wise," linking these disciplines with "talent" and "talent" Students who choose these subjects often have superior cultural capital. Educational institutions bring together similar individuals, promote the collective spirit, and cultivate students' inner feelings through "pride" and "internal marriage", and at the same time further isolate this group from the outside world. Bourdieu concluded in "National Elite" that "the education system is objectively eliminated, and the lower the class status, the deeper the damage."

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