Sociology of Education; Functionalism

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  • Function 1- (Durkheim) Transmits culture and history to form a sense of belonging, increases social solidarity. 
  • Evaluation-Marxists argue education instills ruling class views not shared norms and values. 
  • Function 2- (Durkheim) Teaches specalist skills needed in modern societies with a complex division of labour.
  • Evaluation-New right claim education fails to prepare young people for work. 
  • Function 3- (Parsons) Education acts as a bridge from family (ascribed status/particularistic values) to wider society (achieved status/universalistic standards) Schools apply impersonal rules which we must all follow, education is based on meritocracy.
  • Evaluation-Marxists myth of meritocracy.
  • Function 4- (Davis and Moore) Education performs role allocation,


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