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Describe the different purposes of education according to different sociological perspectives.

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Introduction

Describe the different purposes of education according to different sociological perspectives. Education as a whole is a vital part of socialisation, and has been called the 'secondary' socialisation after the family. Functionalism confirms this theory with the idea that education is another social system within the structure, helping the society to function. Parsons states that the school compensates for the defective socialisation sometimes present, especially in dysfunctional families. For example some families may fail to instate the morals of society and so that is left up to the school. Merton continues the theory by concluding that within the family the status is ascribed and therefore does not reflect the real world. ...read more.

Middle

Marxism has some similar views as functionalists of education however they take a more negative stance. Althusser views education as a segment in the 'ideological state apparatus' used by the ruling class to get the majority to accept ruling ideas. Education gives a 'false consciousness that the system gives each individual an equal chance'. Macdonald supports this view by stating that education is useless in determining an individuals life chances as the social class they are born into predetermines them, incorporating this idea Stanworth & Giddens studies have conducted research providing statistical evidence, 7% of all school population attend public schools, yet 60-90% of all the top positions are taken by public school pupils. ...read more.

Conclusion

As with everything it is felt that education can be of great use although it completely depends on the individual and their motivation and determination to succeed. They accept that there are other reasons for education such as secondary socialisation and that not every individual is offered the same life chances. However the view is based more so on the individual themselves. Education offers individuals the chance to show their potential. It socialises in all walks of life and in many different ways such as academically, emotionally, physically and morally. It is true that education is used for other purposes solely than just to educate, and education as with everything in life is not equally shared but it does offer an individual the chance to progress in life. ?? ?? ?? ?? Michelle Lambe 13 A ...read more.

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