Assess the view that the education system exists mainly to select and prepare young people for their future roles?
The role of the education system has broadened and perhaps been restructured to apply to different eras of capitalist society. Developing ideologies around the purposes of the system towards young people have been brought forward by Marxists and highly critical perspectives by feminists have also appeared to challenge the system.
Functionalists developed the concept of secondary socialisation viewing the education system as playing the role started by the family of integrating children into society and the future working world by setting rules and norms to follow in order to succeed in the educational system. Sociologist Durkheim created the theory and Parson supported his theory applying it to 20th industrial society of the America where the educational system played a functional fit to the wider economy allowing each individual to benefit from education while polishing their employability skills.
Davis and Moore further illustrated the influence of the system linking it to equal opportunity where ascribed status isn’t the determining factor of an individual’s achievement within the educational system. Functionalists argue this has led to a more meritocratic society where role allocation is based on merit however this has come under attack in the 21st century where social class has been identified as perhaps the most influential factor in educational achievement of young people and contributing massively to constitutional racism. All the criticisms highlighted the educational system as a filter sieve where talent is selected and sorted out leading to roles been given according as part of the division of labour allowing society to function efficiently.