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Examine sociological explanations of the relationship between education and the economy

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Examine sociological explanations of the relationship between education and the economy There seems to be a direct link to what goes on in schools and what takes place at work. The functionalist approach to education and economy is that through socialisation education helps maintain society by introducing young people into values and beliefs such as achievement. They argue that education teaches what is needed within the world of work like numeracy and literacy skills or specific skills for particular jobs. The education system allocates people to the most appropriate jobs, which suits their abilities using examination results. Through the eyes of the functionalists this is seen to be fair because there is an equal opportunity for everyone, everyone has the chance to succeed in society on the basis of their ability. If they work hard and try hard at school then they will succeed and climb the social ladder obtaining a higher social status. They see education as turning pupils into model citizens that the most able pupils will succeed and obtain the most important jobs. Durkheim stated that education performs the function of making individuals feel they are members of a social group. This can be done through lessons such as history. ...read more.


What goes on in school is related to the world of work, the pupils are like the workers and the teachers are like the bosses. Marxists explanation of education is that it does entirely depend on intellectual ability only the pupils who conform will rise above the rest. Schools reproduce the appropriate work force with the correct attitudes for factory work. They argue that it turns working class kids into conformist's workers. Marxists argue that a hidden curriculum lies within the education system that filters out working class children into working class jobs it is a passive process that gets them used to this idea of inequality and hierarchy. It makes them accept it and not challenge it this is the correspondence principal. Bowles and Gintis argue that what goes on in schools is directly related to the world of work. The organisation of school to that of work is very identical, separate school lessons mirroring separate work place tasks. The examination results and payment are the enjoyment of working and learning. Educational success and promotion at work is based on work. Again what was just said isn't always the case. Bowles and Gintis never actual got any research evidence to support their claims. ...read more.


This was great for the company because they were getting labour for half the price and once they had got to 19 they would sack them and employ another 16 year old. The schemes led to low paid and low skilled part time employment. The main aim for the government to set this scheme up was so that when it came to Election Day it meant that the number of people who where unemployed was low. There was first an assumption that unemployment was caused by a lack of skills amongst young people. In actual fact it could be to do with lack of jobs. Cohen stated that this attitude and discipline training made the post 16 people ready to except low paid jobs. In conclusion there is no one simple explanation about the relationship between school and economy. All of the information featured is theories and beliefs based on different perspectives. Up to a certain point all of the theories are true and probable in certain situation. No one can speak for the whole of society what happens in one group might be completely different to another. I would however be incline to put my trust in to a lot of what Paul Willis says partly because of the way he carried out his study, it was very in-depth. ...read more.

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