Compare, Contrast and Evaluate the Sociological Perspectives on the Ro

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The role of education is to educate individuals within society and to prepare and qualify them for work in the economy as well as helping to integrate individuals into society and teach them the norms, values and morals of society. Yet there are three sociological theories that differ greatly between them on the role of education. These are Functionalism, Marxism and Liberalism.

     Functionalists view the role of education as a means of socialising individuals and to integrate society, to keep society running smoothly and remain stable. Emile Durkheim, creator of the Organic Analogy, was a functionalist during the 1870’s. Durkheim believes that society can only survive if its members are committed to common
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Bowles and Gintis also believe that schools are no longer about the teaching of a subject but the Social Principle or control of the pupils meaning that schools concentrate more on the hidden curriculum than the knowledge process. Equally, schools don’t reward independence and innovation, therefore meritocracy cannot exist within our capitalist society as capitalism is based on the principle of a ruling class (the bourgeosis) and a working class (the proletariat) and meritocracy would abolish the idea of the ruling class, society would be equal. According to Louis Althusser (1972), a French Marxist philosopher, the school serves to mould individuals into subjects that fit with the requirements of capitalism, they learn submission, deference and respect for the economy and their place in it. The school also works to ensure that the labour force is technically competent. Also, according to Althusser, the ruling class within any society exercises control over and through schooling and the Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs). The ideologies themselves express the material interests of the ruling class, so this control over and through the ISAs maintains what is called class hegemony, or domination. Althusser is also draws attention to the powerful effects of the ‘hidden curriculum’ of
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