Sociology Education

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Education is the main agent of secondary socialisation. How do schools prepare us for social life?

Whatever the view on education, it is clear that schools are one of the most important agents of secondary socialisation. Peer groups and teachers have a major impact upon the socialisation of schoolchildren. In the case of the former, such groups exert "peer pressure" which influence students to conform to various norms and values. Sociologists often see the relationship between society and education results as similar, but explain them in different ways.

Socialisation is the process whereby we learn to become competent members of a group. Primary socialisation is the learning we experience from the people who raise us. On the other hand, secondary socialisation takes place mostly outside the place where we are raised. Functionalists see a relationship between education and other social institutions, and the contribution education makes to meet the functional needs of the social system as a whole; education is viewed as meritocratic whereby it is fair on everyone and the main key agents for success are intelligence and effort. Durkheim argues that education prepares young children to be able to conform to social life. By teaching the children values, norms and to obey authority and understand their role in society, education fulfils the needs of society. School can be viewed as a miniature model of the social system whereby children are given their first doses of interaction with different people and start to understand how society works; Durkheim states that this would develop a sense of self discipline in the children. Education reproduces future workers. According to functionalists Education responds to needs of employers, which then pay tax and fund more education. The children are prepared for the world of work by general work training which later on would develop in specific training for specific jobs. Jobs are taken by the grades students achieve and...
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