Education Is the Main Agent of Secondary Socialisation. How Do Schools Prepare Us for Social Life?

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Secondary socialisation is an ongoing process which occurs when a child leaves a family environment and continues learning how to live as a member of society. There is always an influence to help carry out this process, this is known as an agent of socialisation. The perfect example of an agent of secondary socialisation is Education, more precisely, school. At school, the student continues learning that which they started learning at home. The aim of education is for the individual to learn how to behave in certain situations and places. One of the main aims of education in schools is the preparation for the world of work, one of the most predominant aspects of social life. Functionalists view the positive aspects when it comes to education’s contribution to society as a whole. Functionalists view education as meritocratic, stating that it is a system which is fair on everyone. They attribute intelligence and effort as being the keys to success. Parsons, a functionalist, says that schools are a major tool when it comes to role allocation. He views education as being important when selecting the future roles of individuals in society. In his own words, he states that an educational system ‘’functions to allocate these human resources within the role-structure of adult society’. Parsons therefore concludes that schools test the student while also evaluates them, to give a suitable job based upon the talents and skills that the student has. Parsons view regarding the values transmitted may not have been that of society as a whole, but perhaps as a ruling minority. Something which Parsons has been criticised for. His view upon schools being a meritocratic system was also questioned. Meanwhile, another functionalist, Durkheim, says that schools are society in miniature which is modelled after the social system. Same as in society, in school, an individual has to abide by a certain set of rules which in turn prepares the student for interaction with the members of...
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