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Using materials from Item B and elsewhere, outline and assess the functionalist of the role of education in modern society.

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A2 Sociology-Education 7/10/04 Imran Miah Using materials from Item B and elsewhere, outline and assess the functionalist of the role of education in modern society In our modern society, education plays an important part by acting as s secondary agency of socialisation and keeping social control. Over the last decade or so there has been wide debate that have led to educational changes. Education is seen as one of the most influential institutions in society today because it teaches us norms and values and who to obey. Different people have different views on the relation between education and modern society; the two dominant views are Functionalist and Marxist. Functionalist view states that education plays and positive role in society. The key concepts associated with Functionalism and education is that education is said to socialise us into patterns of discipline and teach us norms and values. Education also teaches us rules and regulations of society as well as obedience. There is a value consensus amongst the majority of people because education is seen as important for ones success in life therefore functionalists say education is valued highly. ...read more.


there to learn then how will they be prepared for adult roles, secondly the relationship between education and economy is not as efficient as stated because we have labour shortages in many areas for example teachers, nurses and builders. There may not be a wide agreement in society and school as there may be people who value work than education depending on their interpretation of norms and values. Functionalist also assumes that there is equality of opportunity but ignores the underachievement of W/C and ethnic minorities such as Pakistani, Bangladeshi and afro Caribbean. Examinations may not be the best way for selection and role allocation as it may not be the best way to measure ability and intelligence. Marxists such as Althusser argue that the education system is an ideological state apparatus in that it will maintain the same economic relations, reproduce labour power from generation to generation. Althusser argues that ideology is more effective than force as the education system teaches people to accept future exploitation that is done by showing the situation is just and reasonable. ...read more.


Moreover, capitalism existed prior to compulsory education so was the previous system promoting capitalist values as well? Both Marxist and functionalist views is structuralist by putting the institution first rather than individual. But they ignore the fact that students have freedom to do whatever they want and learn what they want. They are not brainwashed into believing anything, if they feel that education is not important then it is up to them as they may not value it as much as others. Functionalists are overly deterministic, as they believe education system is a positive aspect of society but not everyone is a model citizen, we have truants and criminals that the education system has failed to provide them a position. Work may be valued more as many parents see money as worthwhile. Marxists argue that the education system isn't designed to develop human potential but to limit it, if this is the case then why do we have people who want to work but come to education to better their chances of job. They do this for personal satisfaction and are not controlled by capitalist values. ...read more.

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