How Education Shapes Life Chances

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Education in the largest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another. In sociology we have various schools of thoughts or theories and each of these have their own view on the impact of sociology on “life chances” Functionalist one of the “theories” of sociology are mainly concerned with the function of education to society and to seek solution to the following questions, “what is the relevance of education to the social system and “what are the relationship between education and economic system”. The functionalist believe strongly in value consensus, value consensus is a social contract entered into by members of the society on how best they can leave together. They believe education is aimed to produce social stability, to keep society smooth and to resolve conflict. In the words of a functionalist the individual has to submit to this higher order, which exist outside them and which was there before they were born and will continue after their deaths. That goes to say that the functionalist believes that every human being should succumb to this great order since the society is greater than any individual. Moore and Davis (2006) claimed that education carry’s out three major far-reaching functions which are firstly, socialization, where youths per take in key cultural values such as achievement, individualism, competition, equality of opportunity, social solidarity, democracy and religious morality. “Emile Durkheim” on the other hand argues that increase in individuality has an optimistic relationship to deviancy and could threaten social solidarity among members of the society and especially the youth who are more prone to these circumstances. But “Talcott Parsons” an American sociologist believes that the main social...
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