The Contribution of Functionalist Sociology to an Understanding of the Role of Education in Society

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The Contribution of Functionalist Sociology to an Understanding of the Role of Education in Society Functionalists have constructed two questions to help them research education. The first question is. "What are the functions of education for society as a whole?" and the second question is. "What are the functional relationships between the education system and other parts of the social system". Firstly, Functionalism is a theory. A theory based on “value consensus”. Functionalism is based on the view that society is a system of interdependent parts held together by a shared culture or value consensus (an agreement amongst society’s members about what values are important). Functionalist…show more content…
Durkhiem stated that school serves a function in a complex industrial society that the family or peer group can't. Children are taught to get along with those who are neither their kin nor friend. Durkhiem saw schools as society in miniature. Durkhiem also argued that school rules should be enforced and punishment which should reflect the seriousness of the damage done to the social group and should be made clear why they were being punished. Durkhiem also explained that education teaches individuals specific tasks, which are necessary for their future jobs. David Hargreaves supported Durkhiem view by saying that schools place too much stress on the developing the individuals and not enough on the duties and responsibilities for social solidarity. Hargreaves also noted that schools fail to produce a sense of dignity for working class pupils and therefore fail and may form subcultures, which rejects the values of the school. Hargreaves proposed three solutions to the national curriculum. One was for students to follow a field of study where they have a special interest or ability. Another view is there should be compulsory parts of the curriculum, which will help pupils to have a clear view of their role in society.
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