Essay on Functionalist Views

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Working class Pages: 2 (658 words) Published: February 6, 2013
Functionalism is a predominant perspective.The functionalists see education as a miniature society, where the individual develops a sense of commitment to the social group; it is a place to learn rules where the individual learns to conform to societies cultural norms and values. The functionalist perspectives of Emile Durkheim are, he believed that the major function of education was the transmission of societies norms and values. This would allow an advanced division of labour, which contributes to the economy. He believed in the process known as socialisation, where cultural norms condition an individual, allowing entry to modern society. The economy greatly relies on educational conditioning, and it is essential that educational achievement is well balanced in the meritoractic society, for role allocation to occur. The individual must be suitably-fitted for his or her post. From a functionalist perspective schools sieve individuals in accordance to their ability for example by tiered examinations. This process in which educational failure is seen positively, aids role allocation. Parsons backed Durkheim' s theory. He believed that education fulfils the function of secondary socialisation, thus allowing role allocation to occur. He firmly believed that role allocation was necessary for the functioning of society and the economy. His perspectives encouraged meritocracy, where the individual is rewarded on the basis of merit or ability and not thier background. There are various conflict theories, which give different views regarding the role of education. For example the Marxist perspectives of education argue that the education system imposes values of a higher class origin. In addition, achievement is based merely on social background and therefore makes failure inevitable. They belive that the education system serves capitalism and say that functionalists only look at the positives of the education system. Bowles and Gintis believed that the hidden...
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