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Using material from Item B and elsewhere assess the functionalist explanation of the role of education in modern society.

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12.03.08 Education essay f) Using material from Item B and elsewhere assess the functionalist explanation of the role of education in modern society. As item b states functionalists such as Durkheim believe that education performs two important functions one is that education prepares people for society and equipments them with skills and knowledge. Also education installs a sense of being part of a large group with a shared culture, history ,identity and value consensus ( an agreement between society's members about what values are important). This function is so that all society members share a common outlook and can all co operate to meet society's needs. ...read more.


In the family children are judges by particularistic standards also the child's status is ascribed. However many sociologists argue that meritocracy does not exist as some people have better opportunities in life and are more likely to succeed, for example a middle class parent who doesn't have to work and can stay at home with the children can devote more time to their children's intellectual development. Also not everyone can afford to send their children to private schools which do very well academically and also some parents are more supportive than others. Marxists believe that the functions of education are that the ruling class uses education to transmit its ideology to the rest of the population. ...read more.


Functionalist view is also criticised because the education system doesn't always produce what employers and the economy need and that who you know is still more important than what you know in some cases. Also we live in a multicultural country and do we really have just one set of values and a shared culture? Positive criticism of the functionalist view are that it identifies education as an important social structure and acknowledges the vital role of secondary socialisation. In conclusion the functionalist view on the functions f education are useful because it identifies the needs of modern industrial societies to have an appropriately skilled workforce produced by the education system however their view is very deterministic ...read more.

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