Words/Phrases DEFINED: 'reality and the misconceptions of sociologists'. Father Jerome's PSYCHOSOCIOLOGICAL DICTIONARY of KEYWORDS/PHRASES used in his QUALIA III Monograph.

Words/Phrases DEFINED:
"reality and the misconceptions of sociologists"

"reality and the misconceptions of sociologists"
The GENERAL CONTEXT of such use is:
reality and the misconceptions of sociologists: It is no accident that so many sociologists, victims of the ideological effect of the educational system, are inclined to isolate dispositions and predispositions towards education - 'hopes', 'aspirations', 'motivations', 'willpower' - from their social conditions of production: forgetting that objective conditions, i.e., opportunities, determine both aspirations and the degree to which they can be satisfied, they think themselves entitled to proclaim the best of all possible worlds when, after a longitudinal study of school careers, they find that, as if by a pre-established harmony, individuals hoped for nothing they have not obtained (success) and obtained nothing they did not hope for.
Reproving the academics who always feel 'a sense of guilt on reading the statistics on university students' social origins' (mainly upper classes), M. Vermot-Gauchy retorts that 'it has not occurred to them that genuine democratization perhaps consists of favouring the development of those forms of education best suited to the characteristics and wishes of children from modest or uncultured backgrounds', and adds: "It is of little or no consequence to them (lower class students) that by social tradition, aptitude acquired by virtue of belonging to a certain background, etc., the intellectually brilliant son of a labourer would rather aim for the old practical schools or old national vocational schools and (if he has sufficient ability) get a technician's or engineer's diploma, for example, while a doctor's son prefers a classical education with a view to entering the faculties". Blessed, then, are 'modest' folk who, when all is said and done, aspire, in their modesty, to nothing but what they have; and praise be to the 'social order' which refuses to hurt them by calling them to over-ambitious destibies, as little suited to their abilities as to their aspirations.
Is Dr. Pangloss less terrifying as a planner than as a metaphysician? [Or is, for that matter, Lucifer?] Convinced that calculation suffices to produce the best of all possible educational worlds in the best of all possible societies, the new optimistic philosophers of the social order return to the language of all sociodicies, which are designed to convince people that the established order is what it ought to be since the apparent victims of that order require no call to order (i.e., to what they ought to be) before they agree to be what they ought to be. Our optimists can only pass over in silence, because they tacitly assume it, the function of legitimating and conserving the established order which the educational system performs when it persuades the classes it excludes of the legitimacy of their exclusion, by preventing them from seeing and contesting the principles in whose name it excludes them. The verdicts of the academic tribunal are so decisive only because they impose simultaneously conviction and ignorance of the social grounds of conviction. For social destiny to be changed into free vocation or personal merit, as in the Platonic myth in which the souls which have chosen their 'lot' must drink the water of the river of oblivion before returning to Earth to live out the destiny which has befallen them, it is necessary and sufficient that the educational system, 'the hierophant of Necessity', should succeed in convincing individuals that they have themselves chosen or won the destinies which social destiny has assigned to them in advance. (And all such individuals better be 'convinced', for if not, the psychiatrists and psychologists of the social order - who are, incidentally, taught by and members of those exclusive social classes - will surely 'diagnose' such individuals as social misfits and consign such to the constricted lives of a 'mental patient'.) Better than the political religions whose most constant function was, as Weber says, to provide the privileged classes with a theodicy of their privilege; better than the soteriologies of the hereafter, which helped to perpetuate the social order by promising a posthumous subversion of that order; better than a doctrine like that of karma, which Weber saw as the masterpiece of the social theodicies, since it justified the social quality of each individual within the caste system by his degree of religious qualification in the transmigration cycle; the educational system today succeeds, with the ideology of natural 'gifts' and innate 'tastes' (of the individual), in legitimating the circular reproduction of social hierarchies and educational hierarchies.
Thus, the most hidden and most specific function of the educational system consists in hiding its objective function, that is, masking the objective truth of its relationship to the structure of class relation. To be convinced that this is so, one only has to listen to a consistent planner [Lucifer, maybe?], discussing the most reliable way of selecting in advance those students likely to succeed academically and so of increasing the technical efficiency of the educational system:
Before looking at the constituent elements of selection policy, it is appropriate to consider which characteristics of a candidate for university admission may legitimately be taken into consideration in the selection process. (...) In a democracy, institutions supported out of public funds ought not directly and openly select on the basis of some of them. Amongst the characteristics it would not normally be legitimate to pay attention to in the selection process are sex, sibling order, age above the minimum (or length of time spent at school), physical appearance, accent or intonation, socio-economic status of parent, and prestige of last school attended. Reasons for inclusion of some of these characteristics in such a list are self-evident. Even if, for example, it could be shown that those with parents who were low in the social hierarchy tended to be 'bad risks' in terms of academic performance at universities, a direct and open bias of selection policy against such candidates would be unacceptable (and undemocratic!)
In short, the time (hence MONEY) wasted is also the price that has to be paid for the continued masking of the relationship between social origin and academic performance, since an attempt to do more cheaply and more rapidly (exclusion/selection), what the system will automatically do in any case, would bring to light and, by the same token, annul a function which can be carried on only if it remains hidden. It is always at the cost of expenditure or wasted time, that the educational system (as a perfectly-operational system) legitimates the transmission of power from one generation to the next by concealing the relationship between the social starting point and the social point of arrival of the educational trajectory, thanks to what is, ultimately, merely a certification effect made possible by the ostentatious and sometimes hyperbolic length of an apprenticeship. More generally, if the lost time is not to be written off as pure loss, this is because it is the site of a transformation of dispositions towards the system and its sanctions which is indispensible to the operation of the system and the performance of its functions. The difference between deferred self-elimination and immediate elimination on the basis of a forecast of the objective chances of elimination, is the time required for the excluded to persude themselves of the legitimacy of their exclusion. If educational systems are nowadays increasingly resorting to the 'soft approach' to eliminate those classes most distant from that school culture, despite its greater cost in time and material, the reason is that, as an institution of symbolic government condemned to disappoint in some the aspirations it encourages in all, the educational system must give itself the means of obtaining recognition of the legitimacy of its sanctions and their social effects, so that machinery and techniques for organized, explicit manipulation cannot fail to make their appearance when exclusion no longer suffices, per se, to impose internalization of the legitimacy of exclusion.
Thus, the educational system, with the ideologies and effects which its relative autonomy engenders, is for bourgeois (upper class) society in its present phase what other forms of legitimation of the social order and of hereditary transmission of privileges were for social formations differing both in the specific form of the relations and antagonisms between the classes and in the nature of the privilege transmitted: Does it not contribute towards persuading each social subject to stay in the place which falls to him by nature [or, perhaps, by Lucifer?], to know his place and hold to it, ta heatou prattein, as Plato put it? Unable to invoke the right of blood - which his class historically denied the aristocracy - nor the rights of Nature - a weapon once used against the distinctions of nobility but liable to backfire against bourgeois 'distinction' - nor the ascetic virtues which enabled the first-generation entrepreneurs to justify their success by their merit (rather than their money, fictitiously), the inheritor of bourgeois privileges must today appeal to the academic certification which attests at once his gifts and his merits. The unnatural idea of culture by birth presupposes and produces blindness to the functions of the educational institution which ensures the profitability of cultural capital and legitimates its transmission by dissimulating the fact that it performs this function. Thus, in a society in which the obtaining of social privileges depends more and more closely on possession of academic credentials, the educational system does not only have the function of ensuring discreet succession to a bourgeois estate (and future) which can no longer be transmitted directly and openly. This privileged instrument of the bourgeois sociodicy which confers on the privileged the supreme privilege of not seeing themselves as privileged, manages the more easily to convince the disinherited that they owe their scholastic and social destiny to their lack of gifts or merits, because in matters of culture absolute dispossession excludes awareness of being dispossessed [as Lucifer would have it].
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