Essay on Assessing the Role of Education From the Functionalist Perspective

Essay on Assessing the Role of Education From the Functionalist Perspective

Length: 874 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Assessing the Role of Education From the Functionalist Perspective

Functionalists believe that education performs very important roles
for individuals, the economy and the wider social structure. It
provides secondary socialisation, passing on shared culture enables
individuals to develop their potential and regulates their behaviour.
Functionalists argue that education has three broad; socialisation
where education helps to maintain society by socialising young people
in to key cultural values, such as achievement, individualism,
equality of opportunity, social solidarity and democracy.

The second one is skills provision in which education teaches the
skills required by a modern industrial society. These may be general
skills that everyone needs such as literacy and numeracy or the
specific skills needed for particular occupations. And the final
function is role allocation, where education allocates people to the
most appropriate jobs for their talents using examination and
qualifications. This is seen to be fair because there is equality of
opportunity, everyone has the chance to achieve success in society on
the basis of their ability.

Emile Durkheim claims that schools perform two central functions,
relating to social cohesion and the division of labour

In order to exist, societal members must share common beliefs and
values, these are only partially taught by the family, he emphasized
the moral force of education, the way in which the school continues
this process and the way in which children internalise the values and
belief of society to became ‘social beings’. According to him the main
functions of educa...

... middle of paper ... things not relevant for work. Others argue that education
really only has a baby-sitting or control function. It’s a way of
controlling young people and of allowing parents to go out and work.

Functionalists are useful in drawing attention to the many functions
education can perform but they are probably wrong to see them as
well-being for the goods of individuals and society as a whole. For
example it may be only the ruling class who benefit from education
producing a docile workforce. From another perspective,
interactionists would argue that they have an over socialised view of
individuals and that we cant see education in terms of ‘functions’
anyway we should look instead at how individuals interact with schools
rather than seeing education as a thing which shape the individuals in
societies interests.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Functionalist Perspective On Education Essay

- The functionalist perspective argues for education as a means of development from simple, traditional social structures to more complex, modern ones. Drawing heavily from biological theories, functionalism equates society with a living organism composed of various internal systems, asserting that an understanding of these systems, in our case social practices and institutions, requires an examination of the means by which they serve the ‘body’, society (Feinberg and Solitis, ). In assessing the relationship between education and development, it is imperative to note that functionalists associate the advent of formal, compulsory education with the requirements of modern society, with modernit...   [tags: Sociology, Education, Socialization, Society]

Better Essays
763 words (2.2 pages)

What Are Conflict And Functionalist Perspectives? Essay examples

- What are conflict and functionalist perspectives. The conflict perspective is “the sociological approach that views groups in society as engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources” (Kendall, 25). These conflicts can result in forms such as politics and negotiations. Most conflicts form with discussion of family financial situations, due to the lack of resources (Kendall, 25). The functionalist perspective is defined as, “perspectives are based on the assumption that society is a stable, orderly system (Kendall, 23)....   [tags: Sociology, Structural functionalism]

Better Essays
910 words (2.6 pages)

Structural Functionalist Paradigm Of Society Essay examples

- Structural Functionalist Paradigm There are three main theoretical theories that are used in sociology to study the aspects of societies. Functionalism is one of these major theories. This specific theory focuses on all the parts of a society on a macro level and how they work together to form a unified unit. This theory can be used to break down and study how functionalists might think the causes of a social problem are. Auguste Comte and Hebert Spencer compared society to a living organism or a human body....   [tags: Sociology, Structural functionalism]

Better Essays
773 words (2.2 pages)

Functionalist and Marxist Approaches to Education and Economy Essay

- Functionalist and Marxist Approaches to Education and Economy Functionalist and Marxist perspectives differ considerably in the way they view the relationship between education and the economy. Both perspectives agree that the educational system provides society with certain functions, but they disagree about the purpose of these functions and more importantly who benefits from them. Functionalists see the educational system as providing a positive educational experience, which benefits the children and society....   [tags: Education Economics Papers]

Better Essays
1824 words (5.2 pages)

The Marxist and Functionalist Perspectives on the Family Essay

- The Marxist and Functionalist Perspectives on the Family For the purpose of this essay question I will discuss the Marxist and the Functionalist perspectives on the Family. I will compare and contrast them and give a critical analysis of each and place them in historical context as well as modern day. In Britain today there are many different types of families. A social unit living together defines what a family is. The family resembles the core feature of society. Both Marxist and Functionalist perspectives believe the family is what holds society together and helps socialise the future generations....   [tags: Papers Families Society Marxism Functionalism ]

Better Essays
1075 words (3.1 pages)

A Comparison of Marxist and Functionalist Understanding of the Role of Education in Society

- A Comparison of Marxist and Functionalist Understanding of the Role of Education in Society Functionalist theories assume the different parts of a society each have their own role to play (their own "function"), and work together smoothly in order to form a harmonious whole (macro). The metaphor often used to describe functionalism is that it views society as a body, with the different socialisation agents —government, media, religion, the family, etc., and, of course, education—being like the different organs in a body, each contributing in a different way to keeping the entire body healthy....   [tags: Papers Politics Political Theory Compare]

Better Essays
1128 words (3.2 pages)

The Contribution of Functionalist Sociology to an Understanding of the Role of Education in Society

- The Contribution of Functionalist Sociology to an Understanding of the Role of Education in Society Functionalists have constructed two questions to help them research education. The first question is. "What are the functions of education for society as a whole?" and the second question is. "What are the functional relationships between the education system and other parts of the social system". Firstly, Functionalism is a theory. A theory based on “value consensus”. Functionalism is based on the view that society is a system of interdependent parts held together by a shared culture or value consensus (an agreement amongst society’s members about what values are i...   [tags: Sociology Essays]

Better Essays
2220 words (6.3 pages)

Impact of Sociological Theories on Education Essay

- Impact of Sociological Theories on Education Sociologists and educators argue the function of education in society. Historically speaking, education was very informal; formal education was only for the elite. Whether education serves a political or an economic agenda can be best viewed within three perspectives. These perspectives are the functionalist, conflict and interactionist perspective. We will explore the differences and similarities in functionalist, conflict, and interaction theories of education; as well as their effect on individual views, approach to social change, and views of society within education....   [tags: Education]

Better Essays
1836 words (5.2 pages)

Structural Functionalist Theory Of Society Essay

- Structural-functionalist Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore concluded that stratification of society is inevitable because: for society to function its positions must be filled, some positions are more important than others, the more important positions must be filled by the more qualified people, and to motivate the more qualified people to fill these positions they must offer greater rewards. (2012:228) Example of Davis and Moore conclusion is if someone apply for a job as a teacher, they need to be highly qualify in area such as education and experience....   [tags: Sociology, Social class, Marxism, Proletariat]

Better Essays
1066 words (3 pages)

Comparing the Marxist and Functionalist Views on the Role of Education in Industrial Society

- Comparing the Marxist and Functionalist Views on the Role of Education in Industrial Society The functionalists and the Marxists both believe that the education system benefits everyone, but both have different views on society. The Marxist views of the education system are that there are conflicts because there is an inequality between the working class and the higher classes. They believe that there are two different classes which education produces, and that is the working class and the ruling class....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1315 words (3.8 pages)