functionalism - education

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  • functionalist perspective on education
    • Durkheim
      • education is micro also know as society in miniature
        • must create social solidarity: everyone feels connected
          • education system creates this through passing on society's beliefs and values. For example, history and English teaches shared heritage known as homogeneity
    • Parsons
      • education teaches us meritocratic principles: if we work hard we will achieve
        • education acts a metaphorical bridge. it bridges the gap between particularistic values and universalistic values and bridges the gap between ascribed statuses and achieved statuses
          • meritocracy allows us to gain social mobility
    • Davis and moore
      • education system allocates people to future work
        • allocate people to jobs based on ability - most talented people fit better jobs
    • criticisms
      • too deterministic - says all societies are the same
      • meritocracy a lie? some people born with money and attend private schools

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