Functionalism

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  • Created by: Cara J
  • Created on: 10-11-15 12:25
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  • Functionalism
    • theory on society
      • 1) people in society generally agree
        • this means that society is based upon consensus
      • 2) consensus is achieved through sharing norms and values
      • 3) these norms and values are passed on through societies different parts (institutions).
        • eg. family, media, religion etc.
          • these are learnt through a learning process called socialisation.
      • 4) society has different parts (institutions) that need to work together for it to survive like a human body.
        • This is called the organic analogy.
      • 5) all of this works because society is basically fair. It is a meritocracy.
    • Perspective on education
      • functionalists are interested in the positive functions that education performs in a society.
        • Schools give everyone an equal chance (meritocracy).
    • theories on education
      • Durkheim
        • system links the individual & society (by teaching history etc.)
          • social solidarity
        • schools are 'little versions of society'
          • teaching rules and how to work with others.
            • social solidarity
        • schools teach skills required by society
          • eg. accountancy, hairdressing etc.
            • specialist skills.
      • Parsons
        • Bridge between the family & the wider world.
        • education system (ES) teaches universalistic values.
          • as opposed to particularistic values learnt in the home
            • everyone must be treated the same so universal rules and values must be applied.
        • Status is achieved not ascribed
          • = meritocracy
        • ES teaches societies fundamental values.
        • ES provides role allocation.
      • Davis & Moore
        • expanded on Parsons role allocation.
          • make society run efficiently - most able get the most demanding roles in society.
            • they get higher rewards as their jobs are more demanding.
              • this is fair (meritocratic). People will compete for them & the most able will get the job.
          • ES 'sifts and sorts' people out into those with greatest ability & least ability
            • this allocates peoples roles in society.
        • mosr able gain the most rewards because society is meritocratic

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