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

Compare And Contrast Marxist and Functionalist Views on Society and Education.

Extracts from this document...


Compare And Contrast Marxist and Functionalist Views on Society and Education Society There is a division between functionalists and Marxists over the functions of the society. Marxism was founded by Karl Marx. Marx saw society as divided into two major parts, the economic base otherwise known as the infrastructure and the super-structure. Functionalists see society as a set of parts which work together to form a whole. Functionalism is also called a consensus theory. Marxism and functionalism are similar in that they see that the way society is structured as an important part in determining the way people have relationships and behave between themselves. This is known as structural perspective. Both functionalists and Marxists believe that people are portrayed as creature within the social system. Functionalists believe that society operates to the benefit of everybody. They stress that societies continue to exist because a lot of the time there is consensus between various aspects of society. ...read more.


A Functionalist would disagree with this and would say that we work for our status; they believe that success is from a personal achievement and that it should be rewarded. Marxists and Functionalists also differ in their views on social order. A Functionalist would say that social order is based on a consensus agreed by all whereas Marxists would say the social order has been imposed by the powerful. In conclusion Functionalists see society working in a harmonious way, with everyone working towards common goals and we are in general agreement about how to reach those goals. Marxists see conflicting interests in society. For example there is conflict at work with the boss wanting you to work more hours for less wages, while we want the opposite. The boss however has the power to impose their will on. Education Both Marxists and Functionalists see education as serving the needs of society but they differ in whether it is an industrial or capitalist society. ...read more.


They are not concerned with the individual. They both also see schools justifying and explaining social inequality. Marxists see that if this inequality was seriously questioned it might threaten social stability, they say that one way of avoiding this is to promote the belief that inequality is justified. Bowles and Gintis argue that education does this by broadcasting the myth that it offers everyone an equal chance. Functionalists believe that education provides a means for upward social mobility for those who have the ability. Marxists will completely disagree with this idea and say that with the exception of a few individuals, education confirms an individual's class of origin, as their class of destination. They believe that education contributes to the reproduction of class inequalities between generation, and does not provide a means of upward social mobility for most people. In conclusion Marxists are interested in the way education works in the interests of the ruling class in a capitalist society. Whereas Functionalists are mainly interested in the positive functions education performs for society and in particular, for the economy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the Functionalist and Marxist views of society.

    5 star(s)

    Durkheim uses organic analogy of the human body, in order for the body to proper all parts like organs have to work together and work efficiently. He believed the end result would be a perfectly harmonious society which maintains order and stability.

  2. Compare and contrast the Marxist and Functionalist explanations of the role of religion in ...

    He sees religion as an expression of community feeling aimed to unite that community, it also gives the individual someone to blame, be thankful for or provide some one to talk to. The other time in which society turns to religion in response to emotional stress in when events take

  1. Outline Some Of The Key Tenets Of The Functionalist, Marxist and Interactionist Theories Of ...

    Instead of viewing school as helping to play a part in discipline alongside the family, it suggests that by respecting the school rules the child will learn how to respect rules in general. But most children tend to learn to respect rules from a young age, before they even start

  2. Evaluate Marxist and Functionalist Views of Religion.

    The functionalist view gives very little consideration to hostility between religious groups. Conflict between groups within the same religion is a recurring feature of world religions.

  1. "Compare and contrast the functionalist and Marxist competing views concerning the purpose of the ...

    are allowed to vote, our votes all count and we decide who is elected into power. If we don't agree with the viewpoints of the people in the positions in power we vote them out. After all they are there to represent the common values of the people.

  2. Outline and assess the differences and similarities between the Functionalist and Marxist views on ...

    Functionalism, or structural consensus, was developed as a concept by the French writer Emile Durkheim. He believed, like Comte on whose work he drew, that sociology should be viewed as a precise science, and that a sociologist should approach their work with an open mind (value freedom), and that society should be studied objectively.

  1. Compare and contrast Marxist and Functionalist accounts of religion.

    Religion has allows supported class systems and promoted inequality. In gender. In work. In authority. Everything that Marxism is opposed to. "The rich man placed in his castle - The poor man placed at his gate" Malinowski, famed for his research at the Trabaind islands, did not see religion as

  2. Compare and contrast the Functionalist and Marxist explanations of the role of religion in ...

    By defining values and beliefs as sacred, religion holds greater power in directing human behaviour. In particular Durkheim suggested that religion is characterised by the sacred and the profane. He identifies how religion can be utilised for control since people respond to the authority of the sacred.

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