Education Functionalist Perspective

  • Created by: HBN_18
  • Created on: 03-05-18 14:32
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  • Functionalist Perspective
    • Parsons
      • Education provides a bridge between the particularistic values and ascribed status of the family and the universalistic values of society
    • Durkheim
      • Saw school as society in miniature
        • Preparing young people for life in a wider society
      • Using meritocratic values where everyone achieves their position through skills and qualification
    • Schultz
      • Education develops human capital
      • Trained and qualified labour force - benefits the economy
    • Davis and Moore
      • Education selects and allocates people for roles in a meritocratic society
      • Everyone has equal opportunity
      • The most able and qualified people fit into the hierarchy of unequal positions in society
    • Criticism
      • Feminists believe schooling passes on patriarchal values - disadvantages girls
      • Social class, gender and ethnicity still affect access to the highest positions
      • Employers often complain schools do not provide a well-disciplined and qualified labour force
      • Education is not meritocratic
        • Social class, gender and ethnicity are barriers to success in education
      • Functionalist exaggerate the role of education - ignore wider influences on socialising young people
        • E.g Family and Media
      • Marxists
        • Argue education simply reproduces the inequalities that exist outside school
      • Education should be concerned with training the workforce
      • Education should be run on meritocratic lines ensuring the talented are recruited into the most important jobs
        • Education selects and allocates people for roles in a meritocratic society


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