Using Material From Item A And Elsewhere Assess The Contribution Of Functionalism To Our Understanding Of The Role Of Education

1431 words - 6 pages

Using material from item A and elsewhere assess the contribution of functionalism to our understanding of the role of education.

Functionalism is based on the view that society is a system of interdependent parts held together by a shared culture or value consensus (agreement) amongst individuals as to what values or norms are important in society. Therefore they take a positive view of the education system. As item A suggests they see it as a form of secondary socialism essential to maintaining society i.e. the values and norms transmitted by social institutions and groups which build upon those learnt in the family (primary socialism).

The French sociologist Emile Durkheim (1903) ...view middle of the document...

Item A sums up Durkheim’s view in one very important sentence “its performs a vital social function, including transmitting shared norms and values and equipping pupils with the knowledge, skills and habits needed for work”.

Durkheim argued that society needed a sense of solidarity, that is, its individual members must feel that they are part of a single group or community, reinforcing this statement with how social life and co-operation would be impossible without social solidarity as each individual would pursue their own selfish desires instead of working together to reach an agreement on important things. In his eyes the education system helped to create solidarity by transmitting society’s culture, shared beliefs and values from one generation to the next. For example, he argues that if a country’s history was taught, a sense of shared heritage and a commitment to wider social groups would be gradually established or instilled in the minds of children.

Marxists however criticise this view as they believe the values transmitted by education are not those shared by everyone in society but rather those of the ruling class. In some examples this can be seen when the ruling class creates a list of values which they believe everyone should learn in society.

In contrast to this school can be seen to act as ‘society in miniature’ preparing us for life outside of school. For example both in school and at work we have to co-operate with people who are either family or friends. In school teachers and pupils have to co-operate and also colleagues and customers at work. In addition to this both in school and at work we have to interact with others according to a set of impersonal rules that apply to everyone i.e. treat everyone as equals in society.

Further more Durkheim argues that education prepares young people for work. Industrial societies have a specialist division of labour which requires people to undergo often long periods of training for specific occupations. Education equips individuals with the required skills needed to participate in work in a modern economy be it through schools or vocational education and training courses like apprenticeships, N.V.Q and G.N.V.Q courses. Yet again Marxists criticise new vocationalism by saying how its true function is to serve Capitalism at the expense of young people by reproducing existing inequalities by forcing working class and ethnic minority students on to low paid low status jobs.

Talcott Parsons (1961) argues that schools are the ‘focal socialising agency’ of modern society. During primary socialisation within the family, each child is treated differently i.e. each child is special. Parsons argues that wider society cannot function in this way and everyone has to be treated the same for example everyone is equal before the law. He argues that education teaches these universalistic standards and acts as a bridge between family and wider society, reflecting the values of equal...

Other Papers Like Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess the Contribution of Functionalism to Our Understanding of the Role of Education

Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess the Value of the ‘Chivalry Thesis’ in Understanding Gender Differences in Crime

954 words - 4 pages As item A suggests women are treated more leniently than men by the criminal justice system which is supported by the official statistics; for example women are more likely than men to be cautioned rather than prosecuted. According to the Ministry of Justice, 49% of females recorded as offending received a caution in 2007, whereas for males the figure was only 30%, this suggests that women are less likely to be sent to prison or even prosecuted

Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Assess the Usefulness of Functionalist Approach in Explaning Crime

1306 words - 6 pages Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the usefulness of functionalist approaches in explaining crime (21 marks) Deviance is defined as the state of diverging from usual or accepted standards whereas crime is defined as an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law. Usually, we would expect that functionalists would regard crime and deviance as wholly negative. However, functionalists such as Durkheim see

Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess the Sociological Explanations of the Nature and Extent of Family Diversity Today

555 words - 3 pages Sociological Explanations of the Nature and Extent of Family Diversity Today In our modern society, there are different types of families including, but not limited to, the nuclear family, single parent family and divorce-extended family. This has caused sociologists to argue about whether this is a bad thing for society. Functionalists and the New Right argue that without pre-set roles in families, for example the male breadwinner and female

Using Material from Item 2b and Elsewhere, Assess the Marxist View That the Main Role of the Family Is to Serve the Interests of Capitalism

608 words - 3 pages Using Material from Item 2b and Elsewhere, Assess the Marxist View That the Main Role of the Family Is to Serve the Interests of Capitalism Marxism is a structural conflict theory, they argue that the main role of the family is to serve the interest of capitalism, but is that how modern sociologist view the family? Each group in society has a different idea on what the main role of the family is. As Item 2B says, “Marxists see all social

“Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess the Sociological Explanations of Changes in the Status of Childhood”

839 words - 4 pages before due to laws like this – it argues that society has finally recognised that childhood is a distinct phase in one’s life where children should be treated separately in order to maintain their innocence. Children are more valued, cared for, protected and educated due to the introduction of these various laws. For example, the child labour act of 1938 restricts children from going into paid employment and protects them from the exploitation of

Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Assess Sociological Explanations of Changes in the Status of Childhood (24 Marks)

1247 words - 5 pages ‘Assess’ Essay Planning Sheet Name: Essay Title: Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of changes in the status of childhood (24 marks) | Underline or highlight the key concepts, terms and instructions, by identifying these key elements it will allow you to focus on answering the question. It is important to use relevant sociological terminology

Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Assess the View That the Growth of Religious Fundamentalism Is a Reaction to Globalisation

1030 words - 5 pages Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the view that the growth of religious fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation As mentioned in item A ‘much has been written about the decline of religious beliefs and the secularisation of modern societies’ this states that the growth of fundamentalism represents a culture which tends to be a clash between the sacred an secular. Fundamentalism refers to ‘black and white’ thinking that

Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that the growth of religious fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation

583 words - 3 pages Globalisation is the idea that the world is getting smaller, through inter connectedness, Different societies are becoming a lot closer to each other through technology and the media as well as transport. Fundamentalism, is the opposite to globalisation, where the core beliefs are still in practice. Anthony Giddens argues that fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation provides choice in many different areas of life, such as diversity

Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess the View That the Growth of Religious Fundamentalism Is a Reaction to Globalisation

763 words - 4 pages cultures as threat, to what they see as, their own dominant culture. Steve Bruce identified one function of religion as creating cultural defence. When applied to a context of globalisation and fundamentalism it can be said that some communities feel that their culture and identity is threatened not by individuals but by alternative ideals and beliefs from other cultures. For example In the 50s Western capitalist powers had significant

Using Material from Item C and Elsewhere, Assess the Strengths and Limitations of Using Structured Interviews as a Means of Investigating Substance Abuse Among Homeless People. (15 Marks)

741 words - 3 pages , they are mistrustful of the police or any other organisation representing authority. Many of the homeless are people who have ‘fallen through the net’, in that they have suffered from poor education, long-term unemployment and/or mental illness. Some homeless substance abusers may feel excluded from society and may welcome the chance to talk about their situation. Item C portrays homelessness to be a deviant lifestyle which therefore suggests

Using Material From Item C And Elsewhere, Assess The Strengths And Limitations Of Using Qualitative Documents As A Means Of Investigating Suicide. (15 Marks)

511 words - 3 pages Qualitative documents to investigate suicide would be favored by interpretivists. These documents are personal to the family and friends of the person who took their own life. They might include suicide notes, emails, texts or personal diary ect. The strengths of using personal documents is that they are free from the Hawthorn effect because at the time of writing them they were unaware that anyone would be using them for an investigation on

Related Essays

Using Material From Item A And Elsewhere Assess The Contribution Of Functionalism To Our Understanding Of Role Of Education

693 words - 3 pages claim that Marxists and Feminists ignore the functions that a family plays, such as support and intimacy. Today in Britain there are a diverse range of family types, yet the Marxist and Feminist approaches assume that families and their members are manipulated in order to perform certain functions, such as provide a workforce or oppress a gender. A final criticism of the structuralist theories is from interpretivist sociologists who claim that we are free to make our own choice and may choose not to become a family unit. Couples may choose not to have children, which is resulting in family types becoming increasingly diverse.

Using Material From Item A And Elsewhere, Assess The Contribution Of Functionalism To Understanding Of The Role Of Education

568 words - 3 pages Brenna McRandal Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the contribution of Functionalism to understanding of the role of education When studying education, Functionalists seek to discover what functions it performs to meet society’s needs. Durkheim identified two main functions of education: creating social solidarity and specialist skills. Durkheim argues that society needs a sense of solidarity, and that without solidarity, social

Using Material From Item A And Elsewhere, Assess The Contribution Of Religion To Social Change

934 words - 4 pages Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the contribution of religion to social change. (18 marks) Weber found that religion could cause social change, such as the Calvinism and capitalism. The Calvinists believed in predestination, so God had already chosen the elect to go to heaven and the individuals who hadn’t, could not do anything to change that. They believed that God was far

Using Material From Item A And Elsewhere Assess The Contribution Of Religion To Social Change (18 Marks)

1030 words - 5 pages Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess the contribution of religion to social change (18 marks) Religion can be powerful under the right certain circumstances for social change. However it can be argued that religion can be a conservative force. Weber argues that religious beliefs contributed to major social change- specifically the emergence of modern capitalism in Northern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Modern capitalism