• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A comparison of the Marxists and Functionalists Approaches to Education

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A comparison of the Marxists and Functionalists Approaches to Education Marxists and Functionalists both believe that the school is a microcosm of society, and that it prepares pupils for their role in a capitalist society. Functionalists believe that this is a positive approach, whereas Marxists believe that this is negative. Both approaches believe that education is the crucial agency of socialisation. Marxists believe that socialisation is about getting the young people to accept their subordination in society and the inequalities in opportunity and wealth in their working life. The functionalists, on the other hand, think that socialisation I about learning the norms and values in our society about which there is a broad consensus. Education rewards on merit and we have a basically just and democratic. Functionalists believe that the education system has a function to fulfil in society. This function is to prepare people for their role in the work place. Durkhiem saw that the major function of education was the transmission of society's norms and values. In school children are taught how to interact with others, how to behave and to obey the authority figures, the teachers. This prepares the children for the world of work and how to accept the rule put down by the authorities. ...read more.

Middle

The students who conform will get the best grades, so it encourages the acceptance of the hierarchy. The subjects in school are fragmented and split up so the knowledge is also separated. This is mirrored in the world of work; each job is separated into tasks carried out by individuals. A functionalist would say that this is the best way for people to learn in school and to get jobs done. It makes it easier to learn, understand and complete tasks. They also argue that because the Marxist view was developed a long time ago it is no longer accurate because a lot has changed since then. The Marxists have been accused of exaggerating the connection between work and education. The Functionalists claim that much of modern work requires team work and the education system promotes competition and effort. Willis accepts the Marxist view that the education system is closely linked to the needs of capitalism. But he, unlike some Marxists, doesn't believe that there is such a simple relationship between education and the economy. He found that a number of children, mostly working class, rejected the hidden curriculum. They formed a counter school culture and had little respect for teachers, school rules or authority. ...read more.

Conclusion

Overall the Functionalist approach is strongest because it offers more than just criticisms. It explains why the education system is the way it is. Is has its weaknesses, but so does the Marxist view. Marxism is a conflict theory which isn't totally correct. Unfortunately the system is unfair; some groups of people are disadvantaged and more likely to fail through no fault of their own. This is what the Marxists are trying to say. Is should be fair and there should be an equality of opportunity, which the functionalists say this is, but there isn't. They believe in the hidden curriculum, where the children are taught to be subservient and obey authority with out question and give them respect when they get no respect back. This is probably true in most schools, but that just the way school is. There would be chaos if the children were equal with the teachers and did what they wanted, they wouldn't learn anything. It just they way things work best and nothing will change until an alternative is found. This is why the functionalist approach is stronger because it is the best way to do things. Some people have to have more power and better jobs. Children have to be told what to do or they wouldn't learn anything. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Work & Leisure section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Work & Leisure essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critically Evaluate the Functionalist Perspective on Education

    5 star(s)

    This streaming and selection leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy from which the working-class children begin to believe they are not as intelligent or as capable as the middle-class and so take on that role. Marxists see the link between educational qualifications, pay and job status as a weak link.

  2. Assess Functionalist and Marxist approaches to the relationship between education and economy.

    the school prepares the children for this transmission and prepares them for society as a whole. Within schools, education operates on a meritocratic basis. Standards are applied to all students regardless of sex, race, family background or class. Parsons, like Durkhiem stated that school represent society in miniature.

  1. Compare and contrast Marxists, Feminist, Functionalists, Third Way and New Right views of the ...

    to pay their stamp tax so are therefore not intitled to a state pension, and are therefore forced into poverty as a result and forced to rely on men. Those who suscribe to the Third Way school of thought such as Giddens has failed to help the poorest in society

  2. Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess the contribution of functionalist sociology to ...

    as a 'microcosm of society', providing the gateway and the base for wider society with such aspects such as social relationships and codes of conduct, mainly benefiting society as a whole and the individual as apposed to Althusser who suggests it only benefits the ruling class through ideologies.

  1. Examination of the Functionalist view that schools serve the interests of both society and ...

    Therefore, Bowles and Gintis' reject the functionalist view that we live in a meritocratic society and that therefore education is also non-meritocratic and thus equality of opportunity is not possible within a capitalist society. They argue that rather than merit and ability influencing their attainment it is a persons class background that is considered most important to capitalism.

  2. Marxist and functionalist perspective on education

    example the younger a child is the more they are able to get away with bad behaviour. On the other hand, we are all judged the same in schools and the society, we are judged in terms of achieved status and universalistic values.

  1. "Society originates because the individual is not self sufficient and no two of us ...

    All mankind is situated within the cave and are all initially chained to the wall, seeing shadows of the forms which they believe are the real things. Those that break free, the philosophers, are "free from illusion"40 and see not only the form of the good.

  2. Comment on the strength and weakness of the social security system in Hong Kong

    CSSA and SSA do quite well in this aspect as they can provide help to deal with their daily expenses. The system is also pretty all rounded. It can help different kind of people including the poor, elderly, disabled etc.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work