The Functionalist perspective on education

  • Created by: ceecw12
  • Created on: 13-05-18 16:00

The functionalist perspective on education

  • Based on independent parts that are held together by a shared culture or value consensus
  • Durkheim (1903) - 2 main functions = creating social solidarity and teching specialist skills

Social Solidarity:

  • Individuals must feel themselves to be part of 'single' body community 
  • Without social solidarity - social life and cooperation wouldn't be possible - each to purse own selfish desires
  • Education helps - transmits culture between generations
  • Example = History instils shared heritage and commitment to wider social group
  • 'Society in miniature' - prepares us for life in wider society - cooperation with people who aren't family or friends
  • Interact according to a set of impersonal rules applying to everyone

Specialist skills:

  • Education teaches individuals specialist knowledge and skills that they need to play their in the complex division of labour

Parsons - Meritocracy:

  • 'Focal socialising agency' - bridge between family and wider society - both operate on different principles, children need to learn a new way of living if they're to cope with the wider world
  • Within


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