Education: Role of Education in Society.

HideShow resource information

Functionalists:

  • A consensus view.
  • Society needs social order via social solidarity, helps everyone share norms and values which if they didn't would dismantle society.
  • Institutions like education are beneficial, socialises members, sustains solidarity.

DURKHEIM, SOLIDARITY AN SKILLS:

SOLIDARIY:

  • Without this, society would fall apart.
  • Education transmits shared norm/values which creates community cooperation.
  • School teaches cooperation, interactions and universalistic rules.
  • School is a minature society.
  • School and work are very similar.

SKILLS:

  • Schools prepares people for work in the industrial society.
  • Means their is a division of labour which special training for their jobs.
  • Education gives skills and specialist knowledge needed to work in an economy.
1 of 11

Functionalists:

PARSONS: MERITOCRACY:

  • School bridges family and society, peforms secondary socialisation.
  • Bridge is needed as both have different principles
  • Family = Particularistic, rules apply to one particular child, e.g. elder son and younger daughter have different rights because of sex/gender.
  • But school and society = universalistic, everyone has same rules/laws.
  • pupils are judged equally, e.g. same exam, pass mark etc.
  • Schools are meritocratic, if you work hard you can achieve and given equal opportunities so everyone has a chance.

DAVIS AND MOORE: ROLE ALLOCATION:

  • Schools help allocates roles for future jobs to people according to ability (Social stratification).
  • Some people are more talented than others, important for the skillful jobs.
  • For society to work, most talented must be allocated to important jobs.
  • We need people to do the unskillful jobs too.
  • Meritocratic school allow equal competition, sorts people for roles.
  • Meritocracy helps human capital, workers' skills and maximises productivity.
2 of 11

Functionalists:

CRITICISMS:

  • Competition, not equal due to gender and class differences.
  • Marxists, values and norms shared are that of the ruling class.
  • Meritocracy, isn't true, teachers stop certain class/gender from achieving.
  • Social solidarity isn't as developed as competition in education, Hargreaves says.
  • Ascribed status really determines the outcome of school, not school achievement.
  • Interactionists say functionalist ignore student who don't share values and rebel.
  • New Right say state educations system doesn't help prepare for work.
3 of 11

New Right:

  • Margaret Thatcher 1979.
  • Conservative.
  • State must encourage privatisation, free market etc.
  • State must not interfere. 
  • Agree with Functionalists on:
    • Some people are talented than others.
    • Meritocracy, more competition for the economy and prepare for work.
    • Education should socialise young shared ideas like competition and input a national identity.
  • But New Right believe the current system is failing to achieve this.
  • On education, New Right see there's too much state involvement which = inefficiency, national economic decline and lack of personal responsibility.
  • This encourages welfare dependency, stopping investment in industry.
  • State run education system = one size fits all and uniformity which stops skilled/motivated workers for people and the community.
  • State run schools aren't accountable to it's pupils, so aren't efficient and if they have poor results, they won't change as they don't have to answer consumers which gives a less qualified workforce.
4 of 11

New Right:

NEW RIGHT SOLUTION TO CURRENT EDUCATION PROBLEMS: MARKETISATION:

  • To make school more responsive to consumers education needs a introduction of a market force of consumer choice and competition between supplies into areas ran by the state.
  • This forces schools to respond to pupils and parents needs.
  • If competition, school will compete with one another making teachers more efficient and raise achievement levels.

CHUBB AND MOE: CONSUMER CHOICE:

  • Their study backs up the idea of a free market in education.
  • Compared 60,000 pupils achievement in state + private school in the USA.
  • Low income families did better than 5% in private schools.
  • State education failed as it doesn't need to respond to pupil needs and disadvantaged.
  • Parents and communities can't stop a failing school under state control.
  • Marketisation would allow parent and communities to shape schools according to needs.
  • Chubb and Moe would give vouchers to spend on buying education via school of their choice.
  • This would force schools to be more responsive to parents.
  • Like businesses, schools would have to attract and improve.
5 of 11

New Right:

  • Chubb and Moe want less state intervention. For them the state should only be doing 2 things.

2 ROLES OF THE STATE:

  • State should create framework for competition between schools. It should publish league tables and have a national curriculum all schools should follow.
  • State should transmit societies shared culture via curriculum that teaches national identity, e.g. socialise pupils into a single heritage by teachers british history. 

CRITICISMS:

  • Says failing schools won't change themselves and aren't accountable to consumers. But OFSTED inspect and can close failing schools.
  • State control isn't the problem, social inequality and unequal state school funding.
  • Marxists, they impose a ruling class structure.
  • Competition in schools only appeals to middle classes who can afford the best schools
6 of 11

Marxism:

  • A conflict view, society is divided unequally.
  • Capitalists Ruling Class vs Working Subject Class.
  • Capitalists own production and exploit their workers for profit.
  • Education is an institution that justifies ideology and reproduces class inequalities.

ALTHUSSER: THE IDEOLOGICAL STATE APPARATUS:

  • Says the state has two elements/apparatus that help the Bourgeosie dominate their workers.
    • Repressive State Apparatuses - Help maintain the capitalist rule if under threat. The state would supress the Working class via use of courts, police, army and physical force.
    • Ideological State Apparatuses - Helps maintain the capitalist rule by controlling peoples ideas and beliefs. This includes religion, media and education.
  • The education system according to Althusser peforms two functions of the Ideological State Apparatus.
    • Reproduction - of class inequality, fails every Working class generation so that they end up like their parents.
    • Legitimation - justifies class inequality, spreads ideologies (ideas and beliefs) that pursuade workers inequality is normal and they should accept their position in society to stop them challenging the Capitalists.
7 of 11

Marxism:

BOWLES AND GINTIS: CORRESPONDENCE PRINCIPLE AND THE HIDDEN CURRICULUM:

  • Capitalists needs workers who obedient, accept hardwork and authority from above.
  • Education reproduces this kind of workforce, to have this successful generation of workers they need to accept that social inequality is fair.
  • Say there is a correspondence between school and work.
  • School creates next generation of workers to serve the capitalists.
  • Correspondence principle works through the hidden curriculum, lessons learnt in school but not directly taught e.g. accepting attitudes like hierachy and competition as a norm in everyday school life.

EXAMPLES OF CORRESPONDENCE PRINCIPLE: SCHOOL AND WORK:

  • School = Hierarchy of authority is teachers; Work = Hierarchy of authortiy is managers.
  • Alienation - School =  lack control over education; Work = lack control over production.
  • Exstrinsic Satisfaction - School = Grades over interest in subject; Work = Wage over interest in job.
  • Competition - School = divides students into streams; Work = different status and pay promotions.
8 of 11

Marxism:

BOWLES AND GINTIS: LEGITIMATION OF CLASS INEQUALITY:

  • Education system helps prevent people from realising their exploited position or rebelling.
  • It does this via legitimating class inequalities through passing ideologies like inequality is fair and normal/natural.
  • Functionalists say school is meritocratic, if you work hard, you'll achieve success with equal opportunites.
  • But Bowles and Gintis say 'Meritocracy is a Myth'.
  • Myth of Meritocracy = Meritocracy is a con, there is no success through hardwork, it's all based on class background, this helps pursuade workers to accept their positions as your job is based on your ability.
  • Working class then see inequality as legitimate, less likely to rebel against capitalists.
  • Education also legitimates poverty by saying the 'poor are dumb', they blame themselves instead of the capitalists.
9 of 11

Marxism:

PAUL WILLIS: THE LADS' COUNTER SCHOOL CULTURE:

  • Unlike Bowles and Gintis view of more or less indoctrination, Willis shows how Working class pupils can resist indoctrination attempts.
  • Studied counter culture lads who were 12 working class boys as they moved from school to work.
  • Rejected Bowles and Gintis correspondence principle, didn't passively accept ruling class ideology and resisted indoctrination attempts.
  • Lads opposed the school and displayed a counter culture via smoking, shouting and disrupting class.
  • The Anti-school counter culture was similar to Shop-floor culture, both saw manual work as superior to non-manual work.
  • By resisting school's ideology, they went onto manual work that capitalists need someone to peform. School made sure they were destined for the unskilled manual work.
  • Shows even when you resist school culture, class inequality is still reproduced.
10 of 11

Marxism:

CRITICISMS:

  • Post-modernists - Marxism is out of date, there's no longer a correspondence principle as the economy requires schools to produce a different kind of labour than compared to the one as described by Marxists, who ignore diversity and focus on inequality. 
  • Feminists - Schools are patriarchal too which Bowles and Gintis ignore, Marxist's Willis study ignores women too.
  • Marxists internally - Bowles and Gintis are deterministic in view that pupils passively recieve indoctrination with no choice. Willis rejects this brainwashing view and shows how pupils resist school, but still end up in Working Class jobs.
  • Functionalists - Marxists ignore the benefits of education
  • Romanticisation - Willis was criticed for romanticising lads. Made them look like Working class heroes despite anti-social behaviour. The study was unrepresentative, it was small scale of only 12 boys.
11 of 11

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Education resources »