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The Functionalist View On The Role Of Education

1302 words - 6 pages

* Assess functionalist views of the role of education (20 marks)
There are multiple views in society of the education system. The first view is functionalist – they believe that the education system is positive. The second view is Marxism – they believe that education in negative. The final perspective is feminism and they believe that again education is a negative thing.
Functionalists such as Durkheim believe that the education system is positive because it gives us a shared sense of belonging, he also believes that due to history in education we are all bonded together because we all share the same past. Moreover, he also said that education gives us social solidarity because we’re all ...view middle of the document...

However, some sociologist would argue that Durkheim is wrong because we all have different cultures and histories so therefore, history doesn’t bind us together because the education system is ethnocentric and also we’re not bonded together because we’re segregated by classes due to capitalism. Moreover, because of capitalism in society we do not have social solidarity. Additionally, some would say that the education system doesn’t give us a shared sense of belonging because working class children are forced into jobs in labour and middle class children are pushed into middle class jobs such as managerial roles in production. Moreover, some sociologists would say that Parsons is wrong because if education created a value consensus then we would not have any subcultures in society, however we do, which demonstrates the different norms and values in society. Sociologists such as Marxists would say that there isn’t a meritocracy – we live in capitalism and status is only ascribed as it can’t be achieved because there is no social mobility. Additionally, functionalist views on education completely ignores class, age, gender and ethnicity. Also, some sociologists would say it’s too optimistic. Moreover, other sociologist would say that role allocation is based on class not ability and if you’re middle class you will be in top sets. This shows us that functionalist views on education are not always realistic.
Although functionalists have a positive outlook on the role of education, other sociologists such as Marxists would disagree with functionalists because they have a negative view on the role of education. Marxists such as Althusier would say that the education system is ideological control which means that it controls us in a sub-conscience manner, he said that education does this by transmitting the idea that capitalism is fair. He also said that education has replaced the church because people used to see their future as God’s will but now education tells us our future. Althusier said that we’re all conditioned to accept and follow rules and the hierarchy and this prepares us for the workforce – this is social control and it’s natural to us. He also said that education creates social reproduction which means it mirrors the workforce. Other sociologist such as Bowles and Gintis came up with the correspondence theory and they said that there is a close resemblance between school and work because of the evident hierarchies for example, in work there is a boss and in school there is a principle. Bowles and Gintis also said that education reflects society because in both school and work we’re motivated by rewards and disciplined through rules and regulations. He also said the social inequality promotes a meritocracy because when people are suffering from social inequality they want to get to the top of the hierarchy and they can education is a negative thing because it promotes capitalism and social order. Moreover, sociologist such as Willis say...

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