Sociology- Education and main theories (New Right, Marxism, Functionalism)

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: JD244
  • Created on: 26-01-12 19:38

FUNCTIONALIST THEORY

A consensus theory. Society has basic needs, including the need for social order. School is fair to all, and helps encourage positive social solidarity, and socialises students effectively. 

DURKHEIM

  •  Durkheim saw education as the transmission of society’s norms from one generation to the other.  This is vital to produce social solidarity. 
  •  The school is a miniature society, where students are trained to interact with other students much like they are trained to interact with other members of society.
  •  He argues that individuals must be taught specialist skills in order to obtain a job in a highly complex division of labour in which people must cooperate. 

 

CRITICISMS

  • Marxists argue that educational institutes teach the dominant culture of the ruling class.
  • Studies by Willis and Hargreaves, for example, show that the transmission of norms is not always successful. Some students form anti-school subcultures, such as Wills’ Lads.

 

PARSONS

  • Through the process of socialisation, education is used as a bridge between the family and society. 
  • In the family, children are judged according to particularistic standards. Their status is ascribed. In society, the individual is judged according to equal standards. Status is achieved through merit.
  • Education eases these transitions. Exams judge based on merit, and rules such as wearing uniform makes all students equal.
  • Schools transmit two basic values:
  • The value of achievement
  • The value of equality.

 

CRITICISMS

  • Dennis Wrong argues that functionalists such as Parsons view people as mere puppets of society, i.e. they passively take in school values.
  • Parsons assumes that Western Education systems are meritocratic, rewarding students based on intelligence and achievement, etc. Inequalities such as social class and the existence of private schools challenge this view.

 

DAVIS AND MOORE

  • They see educations as a means of role allocation. Educations sifts and sorts people according to their abilities.
  • The most talented gain high qualifications which lead to highly-paid jobs.
  • This will lead to a natural inequality in society, justified by the capitalist system. Society offers incentives through rewards such as higher pay.

 

CRITICISMS 

  • Intelligence and ability have only a limited influence on achievement. Bourdieu argues that middle class students possess more cultural and social capital and therefore are able to gain more qualifications than working class students.
  • Bowles and Gintis argue

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Education resources »