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Functionalism and Education

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Introduction

´╗┐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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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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