Asses the view that the main function of education is to reproduce and legitimate social inequalities
Functionalism is a consensus theory which sees society as being essentially harmonious. It argues that society has basic needs, including the need for social order. To survive, society needs social solidarity through everyone sharing the same norms and values. Durkheim said that the purpose of education is to promote social normality. He sees major functions of education as the transmission of society’s norms and values. Durkheim also says it prepares people for work and jobs are specialised and people need training for that and the job of education is what they need to go out to work. In school the child learns to interact with other members of the school community and to follow a fixed set of rules. This experience prepares the child for interacting with members of society as an adult and accepting social rules. Durkheim argues that individuals must be taught specialist skills so that they can take their place within a highly complex division of labour in which people have to co-operate to produce items. Marxists argue that educational institutions tend to transmit a dominant culture which serves the interest of the ruling class rather than those of society as a whole. Willis and Hargreaves say it is not always successful as some do not follow it. Feminists feel the men’s values move on and women are the ones declined.
Parsons says education is a form of secondary socialisation and family is a primary socialisation. When children are small, they are treated as if they are special. The role of education is to teach the same standards of everybody and the school is a bridge of family and society. One of the things that education does is socialise children and everybody into a shared value of the meritocracy society. A meritocracy society is where jobs and pay are allocated on peoples individual talents and abilities so its not where you come from in...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document