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The Role of Education in Society
Functionalist Approach

Functionalists argue that education has three broad functions:
1. Socialisation- education helps to maintain society by socialising young people into key cultural values such as equality of opportunity.
2. Skills provision- education teaches the skills required by a modern industrial society. These…

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Bowles and Gintis argue that education serves to reproduce directly the capitalist relations of production- the hierarchy of workers from the boss down-
with the appropriate skills and attitudes. Education ensures that workers will unquestioningly adapt to the needs of the system, without criticism. They
suggest that what goes on…

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Bowles and Gintis point out; however, that success is not entirely related to intellectual ability. Those pupils who fit in and conform rise above are those who
challenge the system. Functionalists see education as turning pupils into model citizens, whilst Marxists argue that it merely turns working class pupils into…


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