Comparing the Marxist and Functionalist Views on the Role of Education in Industrial Society

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Comparing the Marxist and Functionalist Views on the Role of Education in Industrial Society

The functionalists and the Marxists both believe that the education system benefits everyone, but both have different views on society. The Marxist views of the education system are that there are conflicts because there is an inequality between the working class and the higher classes. They believe that there are two different classes which education produces, and that is the working class and the ruling class. The people who don't achieve good grades in school and who aren't very bright, will be known in society as the working class, and so won't have very good status jobs in society, and the people that
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A functionalist named Emile Durkheim believes that the education system introduces the importance of social solidarity in people. He says 'Society can survive only if there exists among its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity; education perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by fixing in the child from the beginning the essential similarities which collective life demands.' So he believes that social life would be impossible without social solidarity amongst people. Social solidarity is when a mass of individuals in a society is united as a whole, and when people learn to respect their community and look after one another and their surroundings. Education teaches people this at an early age, by giving history lessons because this provides a link between the individual and the society in which they live in. In particular, Durkheim's view are proved by the way pupils are taught in the U. S. A, where there educational curriculum has introduced the pupils to take an oath to the Stars and Stripes at the start of every school day, and so they are committed to their society at an early age. However a criticism to these norms and values that he talks about is that different people have different norms and values to one another.

Hargreaves who is another functionalist proposes a number of changes to the
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