Assess the Claim That ‘the Main Function of Education Is to Maintain a Value Consensus’ in Society

1370 WordsMar 3, 20156 Pages
Value consensus is a term which refers to general agreement about norms and values amongst the members of society. Different theorists believe in different functions of the education system, some think it as promoting value consensus and some see as a method of control. Functionalists and Marxists have opposing views on the function of education which I will discuss in my essay, I will refer to sources from Durkheim, Parsons, Davis & Moore, Althusser and Bowles & Gintis and Willis and assess the function of education. Emile Durkheim, a functionalist’s view of education is that it teaches us the norms and value of society. Education helps to unite all the individuals of society which creates a sense of belonging and commitment to that…show more content…
In this way the education helps to ensure that the competent people fulfill the important roles whilst the less talented are sifted out in the process of social stratification in which the less talented are given the least important jobs. This process cannot be stopped and is bound to happen. Another theory is that social achievement is based on merits which brings forward the theory of meritocracy. This is the idea that the jobs are given to talented people. This is argued by Bowles and Gintis. They came up with the idea that meritocracy is a myth. Jobs are given according to social class and social capital. This means that the middle class are given the jobs such as dentists and doctors and no matter how talented a person is, they are not likely to get the jobs due their ascribed status. Marxists overall have a very negative view of education in which they think that the role of education is to produce a subservient workforce and that the capitalism directly shapes our society. A Neo- Marxist named Paul Willis agrees on the idea capitalism shapes society as a whole however, he believes that within education, there are groups that form their own subculture. This is the reason why he conducted an experiment to see whether all students conform to the education system or of there is a groups that rebel against their rules. He conducted his experiment on 12 boys from the working class. He monitored

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