The Role of the Education System

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  • The Role of the Education System
    • Criticisms of Functionalists
      • Evidence of differential achievement suggests that education is not meritocratic
      • 'Who you know' is still more important than 'what you know' in some parts of society so the allocation function isn't working properly
      • Functionalism doesn't look at how education may serve the interests of a particular group in terms of ideology and values. It doesn't explain conflict
    • Criticisms of Marxists
      • Marxists assume people are passive victims. It exaggerates how much working-class students are socialised into obedience
      • Most people are aware of the inequality in education, and don't think it is legitimate
    • Functionalists
      • Davis and Moore
        • 'Principles of stratification' - the rules education uses to sort its members
        • There has to be unequal rewards to motivate people
      • Durkheim
        • Teaches norms and values needed for society
        • Creates social order from cohesion and value consensu
      • Parsons
        • Schools pass on a universal value of achievement
        • Selects children for appropriate roles because its meritocratic
          • Meritocracy - when social rewards are allocated by talent/effort rather than being born into it
    • Marxists
      • Bowles and Gintis
        • Pupils are prepared for the workforce
          • Timetable
          • Subservience is rewarded
          • Hidden curriculum
          • Motivated by reward
          • Accept hierarchy


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