social demand for education
social demand for educationthe demand for formal education not only for its benefits in employment, but also as a consumer good with intrinsic values in its own right. Viewing education in this way leads to a different emphasis from narrow, economic interpretations of the benefits.
Sociologists, such as Margaret Archer (1982), regard the ‘expansionary search for opportunity’ as the main force behind the expansion of education provision in developed societies, but may suggest that increased demand from successive cohorts tends to ‘tip the opportunity curve out of the benefit zone’. In this context, Archer particularly notes that ‘non-completion’ of education now ‘distributes liabilities’. She also suggests that members of the middle class are quicker than members of the working class to adapt their strategies to the new requirements of an expansionary pressure on entry to élite institutions and preferred occupational areas. (See also CREDENTIALISM, GRADUATE LABOUR MARKET).