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Functionalism and Education

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´╗┐Laura Green Sociology ________________ FUNCTIONALISM AND EDUCATION ________________ 1. A functionalist?s perspective on education is to have a consensus perspective: examine society in terms of how it is maintained for the common good. A functionalist will put an emphasis on positive aspects of schools such as socialisation: the learning of skills and attitudes in school. Education helps maintain society by socialising young people into values of achievement, competition and equality of opportunity. Skills provision is also important: education teaches the skills for the economy. ...read more.


Specialist skills: division of labour ? schools teach specialist knowledge and skills. 3. Parson views education as being part of a meritocracy. Education is a secondary agent of socialisation ? bridge between family and society. Parsons believes that education instils values of competition, equality and individualism. In a meritocracy everyone is given equality of opportunity. Achievements and rewards are based on effort and ability ? achieved status. Parsons is supported in these views by Duncan and Blau who believe that a modern economy depends for its prosperity on using human capital ? its workers and skills. ...read more.


Education transmits ruling class ideology. Melvin Tumin believes that jobs are considered important when they are highly rewarded. Dennis Wrong views pupils as puppets ? that pupils passively accept and never reject their school?s values. The New Right argue that the state education system fails to prepare young people adequately for work. A Functionalist?s view on education: 1. Structural consensus theory ? agreement through socialisation; Macro theory; Society made up of interdependent and interrelated parts; Look at positive aspects and see education as being very important and beneficial. 2. Critics of Functionalism state that as a theory it assumes education is fair and that it rewards the best and ignores social inequalities that may restrict attainment. . . ...read more.

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