Fuctionalism and Education

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  • Functionalism and Education
    • Parsons' 3 Functions
      • Social
        • Bridge between family and wider society
        • Main agency for secondary socialisation, builds on primary and develops value consensus
        • Value consensus = agreement in society's values
      • Meritocracy
        • Rewards achieved through talent and effort, status achieved, rewards no on background
        • Equality of opportunity = equal chance through exams, all sat the same
        • School = miniature society in preparation for wider society
      • Economic
        • Role allocation
          • Sifting and sorting into jobs and social roles
          • Exams test students and match talents to jobs
    • Durkheim's 2 Functions
      • Social
        • Social solidarity
        • Need shared norms and values to prevent anomie and selfishness
        • Education develops these similarities to bind society together
        • Acts as a miniature society to prepare for wider society
      • Economic
        • Preparation for work and teaching specialist skills
        • Preindustrial = Jobs unspecialised and basic skills provided by family
        • Industrial = jobs specialised and specific skills and knowledge needed
        • Teach he skills needed for work
    • Davis and Moore's 1 Funcion
      • Role allocation
        • For society to work, most talented needs to be in most important jobs. To encourage this they must have highest rewards
        • Inequality is important to ensure most talented get most important jobs but not everybody is equally talented
    • Evaluation
      • Everybody has equal opportunity through exams
      • New Right agree with meritocracy due to exams
      • Same exams are unfair as some do better than others
        • E.g. material/cultural deprivation
      • New Right believe state education doesn't give knowledge of working world


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