Sociology : Education : Functionalism and Marxism

Functionalism : Durkheim

  • Education reinforces a collective conscience
  • Children become social beings who know the right values
  • The teaching of History and R.S teaches social solidarity which is a sense of belonging and helps create ideal citizens
  • The hidden curriculum teaches everyone the same norms
  • Individually examining people teaches them to get individual success.
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Functionalism : Durkheim : Evaluation

  • Not everyone has the same norms and values
  • A huge weakness is the presence of subcultures in education go against the same norms and values
  • If everyone had the same norms and values then we wouldn't have crime
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Functionalism : Three Functions of Education

  • 1 is an agent of socialisation, teaching everyone the same norms and values, reproducing ideal citizens
  • 2 provides skills and qualifications need for work
  • 3 allocating roles - the divison of labour - the role created on your ability which is good for economies and workplace
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Functionalism : Parsons

  • There is a bridge between home and work
  • At home you have an ascribed status and at work you have an achieved one
  • Within the family the child is judged by particularistic characteristics as an individual
  • In wider society they are judged by universalistic standards
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Functionalism : Parsons : Evaluation

  • A lot of the skills learnt in school don't fit into the workplace
  • Some values are negative like learning to be passive - more open to abuse
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Functionalism : Davis and Moore

  • Education promotes a meritocracy - everyone is equal and the system is fair
  • Differeces in achievement are due to ability and society is openly mobile
  • Most talented occupy the most demanding roles
  • Inequality encourages you to work harder
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Functionalism : Davis and Moore : Evaluation

  • Not valid as girls achieve higher results in education but this is not mirrored in the workplace as they are earning at least 20% less
  • Hargreaves argues that education in Britain emphasises individual competition
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Marxism : Althusser

  • We learn to accept social inequalities through the hidden curriculum
  • Ruling class maintain power by teaching their values through the hidden curriculum
  • Education is a system that the government use to teach ruling class ideas - ideological state apparatus
  • Prepares you for later exploitation in the workplace and teaches youto accept the system.
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Marxism : Althusser : Evaluation

  • Not in the interest of tecahers/schools to encourage or let the working class fail as they get performance related pay
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Marxism : Bowles and Gintis

  • Education is about transmitting skill and 'good working attitudes'
  • Capitalism requires a passive and docile work force that will accept low pay
  • Students learn to submit to authority, be punctual and tolerate boredom
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Marxism : Bowles and Gintis : Evaluation

  • It is deterministic and assumes that everyone is docile and passive, which evidenced by Willis would suggest is wrong
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Marxism : Paul Willis

  • Identifies 2 subcultures - anti-school (LADS) where norms and values reject education. Earoles (pro-school). The lads adopted traditional masculine values, they knew they were going to fail so resisted education
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Marxism : Paul Willis : Evaluation

  • Can't explain why cultures are still there when the jobs aren't
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Marxism : Bourdieu

  • Shows how the working class internalise their chances of success.
  • Attitudes and values of the middle class mirrors education and the middle class have a cultural advantage - CULTURAL CAPITAL
  • The working class are subject to SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE
  • HABITUS - the internalisation of success, works against the working class and for the middle class.
  • The function of education is to keep class inequality and failure is their fault
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Marxism : Bourdieu : Evaluation

  • Can't explain why some working class groups achieve in education while others don't.
  • No discussion of working class women and ethnic groups
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