Assess the role of education form the functionalist perspective

Authors Avatar

Assess the role of education form the functionalist perspective

Functionalists believe that education performs very important roles for individuals, the economy and the wider social structure. It provides secondary socialisation, passing on shared culture enables individuals to develop their potential and regulates their behaviour. Functionalists argue that education has three broad; socialisation where education helps to maintain society by socialising young people in to key cultural values, such as achievement, individualism, equality of opportunity, social solidarity and democracy.       

The second one is skills provision in which education teaches the skills required by a modern industrial society. These may be general skills that everyone needs such as literacy and numeracy or the specific skills needed for particular occupations. And the final function is role allocation, where education allocates people to the most appropriate jobs for their talents using examination and qualifications. This is seen to be fair because there is equality of opportunity, everyone has the chance to achieve success in society on the basis of their ability.

Emile Durkheim claims that schools perform two central functions, relating to social cohesion and the division of labour  

Join now!

In order to exist, societal members must share common beliefs and values, these are only partially taught by the family, he emphasized the moral force of education, the way in which the school continues this process and the way in which children internalise the values and belief of society to became ‘social beings’. According to him the main functions of education was the development of social solidarity through the transmission of a collective culture and making them realise they are part of something bigger. An example of this is in American schools where pupils sing the national anthem and pledge ...

This is a preview of the whole essay