Sociological Perspectives - Education

  • Created by: ash8642
  • Created on: 27-04-19 16:14

Functionalism and Education

  • Secondary socialisation
    • Teach value consensus
  • Organic analogy
    • Teach institutuion must work together to ensure society moves and progresses
    • When one institution fails, the others must pick up the slack
1 of 12

Functionalism and Education

Functions of Education

  • Durkheim
    • Creating social solidarity
    • Teaching specialist skills
  • Parsons
    • Education is a bridge between home and wider society
    • Selecting and allocating pupils for future work roles
2 of 12

Functionalism and Education

Davis and Moore

  • Relationship between role allocation and inequality
  • Inequality is needed to ensure most talented perform most important roles
  • Education begins the process of 'shifting and sorting'
    • Ability groups - most able get the highest qualifications

Blau and Duncan

  • Meritocratic education systems are the best at matching skill-based jobs to human capital
  • Matching ensures maximum productivity
3 of 12

Functionalism and Education

Evaluation of Functionalism

  • State education is meritocratic
    • Talent + motivation + equal opportunity = good job
  • Tumin
    • Davis and Moore have a circular argument
    • Why are some job important? Because they're highly regarded. Why are they highly regarded? Because they're important.
  • Wrong
    • Interactionalist
    • Functionalists have over-socialised the view of people as 'puppets'
    • Assumes no student rejects school values
4 of 12

Functionalism and Education

Evaluations of Functionalism

  • Chubb and Moe
    • New Right
    • State control discourages efficiency, choice, etc
  • Marxists
    • Education cannot instil shared values
    • Purpose is to transmit ideology of the minority (bourgeoisie)
    • Equality of opportunity does not exist in education
5 of 12

Marxism and Education

  • Teaches us to abide by Capitalist views
  • Socialises us into obedience to authority
  • Creates a hierarchy and reproduces it
  • Acts as an ideological state apparatus
6 of 12

Marxism and Education

Bowles and Gintis

  • Myth of Meritocracy - does not exist in education
  • Reinforces false class consciousness
  • Hidden curriculum - punctuality, conformity, subordination, etc
  • Correspondence Principle - role of education is the reproduction of the workforce
  • Surplus of skilled labour created
    • Children are over-educated
    • Maintain high rate of employment to control the workforce
    • Proletariat scared of losing their jobs so work for low wages
7 of 12

Marxism and Education

Criticisms of Bowles and Gintis

  • Cannot prove hidden curriculum exists
  • If education prepares for work, why are there apprenticeships?
  • Not all students are passive and obedient
  • Ignores other factors like gender and ethnicity
8 of 12

Marxism and Education


  • Takes a theoretical approach
  • Working-class are controlled by ruling-class through RSA and ISA
  • Dominant ideology passes on through education and basic skills taughts


9 of 12

Marxism and Education

Willis' Study

  • 12 working-class boys in their final year
  • Unstructured interviews and observations
  • Counter-school system - directly oppose the values of the education system
  • Boys actively chose to fail in order to land 'dream jobs' in factories with friends and have little responsibility

Criticisms of Willis

  • Working-class ended up getting working-class jobs so system did its job of creating a workforce
  • Small sample - unrepresentative/not generalisable
  • Ignores 'conformist culture' - only looked at one subculture
  • Boys could have exaggerated/lied
10 of 12

New Right and Education

  • Performitivity - to what extend schools provide an 'outstanding' education
  • Market education - competition in schools
    • Due to marketisation - key to raising standards in education
  • Privatisation
    • Private investment
    • Arrangement with corporations - cola-isation
    • Subcontracting services
    • Academies
11 of 12

New Right and Education

  • Formula Funding
    • "bums on seats"
    • Sum of money received by schools for each child registered (approx. £4000 each)
  • Parentocracy
    • Power in the hands of parents
    • Decide where their child attends schools and therefore directs funding
12 of 12


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Education resources »