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In what ways is education beneficial for individuals and society?

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In what ways is education beneficial for individuals and society? A functionalist view on education focuses on both how education benefits society in terms of maintaining social order and contributing a workforce to the economy and how it helps the individual prosper as a 'social being'. There have been several different functionalist thinkers in recent history who focused their studies on this particular aspect of sociology. Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist who wrote at the turn of the 20th century wrote largely on how 'social order' can be disrupted, and how social institutions, such as schools could glue individuals together. Durkheim believed strongly that for society to operate effectively individuals must develop a sense of belonging to something wider than their immediate situation. ...read more.


Therefore the teacher must be commited to presenting, not as his own personal doing, but as a moral power superior to him, And of which he is merely an instrument. The teacher must makes the student understand that he is constrained by this power in the same way that the student is, that it obliges him as it does them and that he can neither remove nor modify this rule. Society is with every generation faced with a clean slate, and must with each, build these social beings again. "To the egoistic and asocial being that has just been born it must, as rapidly as possible, add another, capable of leading a 'moral' and 'social' life. ...read more.


schools can teach specific work skills of the kind required by society. Talcott Parsons was an American sociologist who also focused his studies on the role of education, he was critisiced by other sociologists who thought that his theories were far too 'rosey' and ignored the problems within social institutions. Parsons agreed with Durkheim that the role of education is vital in providing a basis for socialisation but he also stressed the function it performs in allocating social roles to these individuals. According to Parsons individuals are filtered in education so that they can be allocated the most appropriate job for them. The education system also provides the skills, values and attitudes they will need to do their jobs properly and contribute as much as possible to the economy. ...read more.

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