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

Assess functionalist views of the role of education

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Assess functionalist views of the role of education. (20 marks) Functionalists emphasise positive aspects of schools, this is the idea of a ?consensus? perspective; where there is an agreement about what is valued within a society. These are like Emile Durkheim's social facts or moral regulation in that they govern behaviour, and while they are coercive, they are also generally agreed upon where ?The function of education is to transmit society?s norms and values? . According to functionalists education performs a wide range of roles for society; these roles include purpose and the passing on of values which contribute to a smooth running society. It is believed that education presents formal curriculum by creating a skilled, literate, hard-working workforce to meet the economic needs of society done by the National Curriculum. Another form of curriculum that is included is informal curriculum which is the hidden aspect of school this involves secondary socialisation such as teaching students obedience, ethos and norms and values. Talcott Parson a former functionalist claims that status is ascribed in that it is fixed by birth; in modern societies status is largely achieved, the usual example being occupational status. ...read more.

Middle

For example diploma and BTEC levels were established. The New Right have left a legacy which continues to reform the education system and even though functionalists have different approaches to the system the purpose of the New Right reform is to benefit every individual of society. Another critic of the functionalist perspective is Marxists. Marxists suggest that like functionalists they see the school as preparing the young for adult society that they will face in the future. However unlike functionalists they do not see this as a positive thing but as a way of manipulating the minds of the younger generation. This ?conflict? theory took over popularity and went up to challenge functionalists. This perspective has the point of view that groups exist in society that have different interests and that some groups benefit from certain positions that they hold in society. Marxists can see change benefiting education but then say such changes must be accompanied by wider social changes. Like Marxists, Bowles and Gintis (1976) see work as exploitive and alienating. ...read more.

Conclusion

Functionalists on the other hand do not address the possibility that inequality may be socially created and education is a former carrier of inequality. The Liberal/ de-schooling approach education as the promotion of the well being of the individual rather than aimed at improving society as a whole. These contrast with the beliefs of functionalists as they each suggest different roles of education. Ivan Iillich claims that school crushes a child?s spirit by removing their sense of identity and free thinking and school produces unthinking automatons. In contrast to functionalists that think education benefits the society, whilst as said, liberals stress the need for education to teach people to think independently and focus on the well-being of individuals as suggesting it should be freedom from having to conform to the demands of any group. There is a clear difference of sociological opinion over the role of education being consensus and conflict perspectives. Functionalists same similar values to certain aspects of the other views, however strongly feel that the roles of education all combine to see society as a system of interdependent parts held together by a shared value system. ...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 Sociological Differentiation & Stratification 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 Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and assess Functionalist explanations of the role of the education system.

    4 star(s)

    society, as it may not be able to change the norms and values instilled upon members of society by other forms of socialisation, such as the family or the areas of media young people are exposed to. Although, in defence, it is very much true that educational establishments do aim

  2. sociology of education

    Schools would redeem these vouchers and receive funds from the government. This would be the schools main source of income, so if schools wanted to stay in business they would have to keep improving standards. Schools which were failing would be forced to close down.

  1. Sociology of Education

    children in certain catchment areas would now attend the same schools, regardless of their academic ability. In reaction to the Robbins Report in the 1960s, the government set about making higher education available to all capable. New universities and polytechnics were built in response to the need for a more vocational line of education (Haralambos & Holborn, 2004, pg 691).

  2. Compare and contrast Marxist and functionalist views of religion.

    The Marxist view of religion, however seems to think different. Marx believes that religion is an illusion which eases the pain produced by exploition and oppression. They believe that it is a series of myths that justify the subordination of the lower classes and the domination of the ruling class.

  1. - APPROACHES IN PSYCHOLOGY

    The biological approach assumes that mental illness can be treated by invasive, physical intervention. It's assumed there's a physiological cause, so a physiological treatment is used. There are three main somatic therapies: psychotherapeutic drugs (chemotherapy), ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), and psychosurgery which may be used to treat clinical depression and even acute anorexia.

  2. Assess the claim that the main function of education is to maintain a value ...

    shared values/social solidarity and that Durkheim also assumes that the norms and values are those of society as a whole rather than those of the ruling elite. Talcott Parsons developed Durkheim's ideas, arguing several points; * Parsons argued that education performs an important socialising function, ensuring value consensus.

  1. Outline and assess the impact of the 1988 Education Reform Act

    A study which supports this view is by sociologist Caroline Sharpe; she had interviewed a sample of women before and during the Education Reform Act, (interviews were made during 1976 and 1994). Her studies had shown that women?s priority had altered from the ?love and marriage obsessed? to aspiring women

  2. Examining the role of education- Functionalism and the New Right:

    Their evidence shows that pupils from low income families consistently do about 5% better in private schools. The fundamental issue here was that Chubb and Moe wanted to introduce a market into state education where schools would receive guaranteed funding not taking into account how good or bad their academic status was.

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