Functional and Conflict Views on Schools

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There are a significant amount of educational issues that many students regardless of race, religion, and/or age face on a daily basis. A current educational issue which interests me is the “mistreatment” of students in under privileged schools compared to students in privileged schools. Many students like me, who attended lower class schools, did not receive the best education opportunities like students in privileged schools. Although functional theorist view this as being fair, conflict theorist view it as being unjust. A functional theorist is an individual like Emile Durkheim, who believed that “Achievement in schools as based on merit, not ones status. Thus, the function of education is to support capitalism, allowing those with the most “merit” to achieve and fill higher-level positions in society” (Ballantine and Spade, 2008, p. 10). Functional theorists are under the impression that those individuals who “have” should continue to be privileged, since they have money. Based on this belief, I believe that students who attend lower class (under privileged) schools are more than likely destined to fail, because of the abundant amount of resources schools lack. Many schools in lower class areas are not fortunate enough to receive the valuable resources which are needed for students to excel in life. When it comes to education students who attend less fortunate schools automatically start out with a disadvantage. Many families are dependent upon school systems to help their child grow up to have good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. How can a family rely on an underprivileged school, which trims valuable programs and materials needed for their child’s education? Using the example above, a functional theorist would react by stating one “must spend time and money educating themselves to fill these important roles” (Ballantine and Spade, 2008, p. 11). In other words, these theorists believe that education is used to support...
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