Sociological Perspective of the Relationship Between Education and the Economy

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Sociological Perspective of the Relationship Between Education and the Economy

There seems to be a direct link to what goes on in schools and what takes place at work.

The functionalist approach to education and economy is that through socialisation education helps maintain society by introducing young people into values and beliefs such as achievement. They argue that education teaches what is needed within the world of work like numeracy and literacy skills or specific skills for particular jobs. The education system allocates people to the most appropriate jobs, which suits their abilities using examination results. Through the eyes of the functionalists this is seen to be fair because there
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Schools challenge pupil’s abilities and their talents so that they can be issued into specific jobs.

Davis and Moore explained that some people have greater talents than others and to ensure that society functions efficiently the most able individuals are allocated the most efficient jobs. The education system is responsible for this, targeting the people who are most able then training them for important jobs.

However, some people would argue that this is far too optimistic. This idea of meritocracy is untrue does not exists. There are certain barriers that get in the way the main one being social class. An example of this is careers such as medicine and law where certain firms will not accept you if you have been to a university that was previously a polytechnic college. There is nothing wrong with these universities but certain people and groups see them as lower class and therefore less likely to employ them. This is a barrier that gets in the way. There is a lack of evidence that schools teach work specific skills, an example of this is how often does a job require you to know quotes from Shakespeare, some subjects have a limited usefulness to the world of work. The principal of having a general consensus in school is not always the case; different social groups have different sets of values.

Marxists disagree with this approach stating that its main function