Many social issues occur in public and private schools concerning race, class, and gender. These social issues can be analyzed using the lens of critical social theory and critical education theory. These theoretical frameworks capture the social issues that occur in public and private schools and relate them to the society as a whole. More specifically, the critical social theory and critical education theory considers the relationship between social change and social struggle (Clark, 2006). I will discuss below how critical social theory and critical education theory relates to the social issues found in public and private education institutions, but first I will discuss the basics of critical theory and critical social theory.
In general, critical theory points out that societies of the West are problematically democratic and free (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005). Critical researchers understand the relationship between social structures and ideological patterns of thought, especially concerning the limiting of confronting and changing unjust social systems (Clark, 2006). Critical theorists and researchers apply their work to criticize social issues in education systems and create basic assumptions about those social situations (Kincheloe & McLaren, 2005).
Critical Social Theory
Critical social theory is a broader category of theoretical production than critical theory and includes subsets such as sociological theory, race and ethnic theory, cultural theory and literary theory (Leonardo, 2004). This theory was used predominantly in the Frankfurt School in Germany (Leonardo et al 2004).
A critical social theorist is p...
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...t parents are presented with the option to enroll their child in another school, but in most cases low socioeconomic families cannot afford to take their child out of a poor performing public school and into better performing public schools or private schools. This is because the parents have an inability to make enough money to provide transportation to take their children to schools outside of their neighborhood community.
There are social struggles that are observed in society. Those same struggles are also noticed in public and private schools. They stem from inequalities in race and socioeconomic class. By using the lens of critical social theory and critical education theory, those struggles are recognized and interpreted. In my next chapter, I will discuss what methods of data collection I used in my study and the specifics of my study.
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