Premium Essay

Assess the View That Educations Main Function Is to Maintain a Value Consensus.

In: Social Issues

Submitted By tomtezel
Words 428
Pages 2
Assess the view that educations main function is to maintain a value consensus.

Functionalists argue that the main aim of education is to maintain a value consensus in society. They highlight the positive features of education and they believe that educational organizations are a way of using different types of people’s skills and talents to help find a suitable place for them in society. This is known as the 'sifting and sorting' process. Which matches them to their future work roles that suits their different abilities.

They see the learning of history as important for children to gain an insight into their heritage. This is particularly strong in American schools where loyalty to the flag and recognition of heroic characters is encouraged in all schools. This helps the children in education to feel a sense of belonging and can help develop role models. It can be argued that people from cultural sections in the USA may feel that paying loyalty to a flag which is not their culture, can cause conflict and negative sub-cultures as they may feel their culture isn't recognized and they may feel singled out.

Functionalist’s believer meritocracy is true and that if students work hard enough they can achieve high grades and work their way up the social ladder based on how well they work. This will allow different abilities to be 'sifted and sorted' into their appropriate role in society.

However, not everybody agrees with this consensus opinion. Marxists deliver a conflict theory on education. They gave the theory of 'the myth of meritocracy'. They believe education ensures that the working class remain the working class and the middle and upper class remain as that. Marxists believe education is a tool to help maintain social divisions. So the middle class could suppress the subject class. It can be argued that meritocracy does exist as people, such as Alan...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

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

...Assess the claim that the main function of education is to maintain a value consensus in society. Different sociologists believe that there are different functions of the education system. Some sociologists think that the main function of the education system is to maintain a value consensus in society while others think differently. In item A it states “Functionalists argue that value consensus - agreed social values - is essential for the well-being of society” They think that education transmits the norms and values to the students which would contribute towards the skills needed for work in the future. Education has many purposes such as secondary socialisation of children and allocation of roles. The functionalist perspective think that education helps maintain society by socialising young people into values of achievement, competition and equality of opportunity. Durkheim is a functionalist. He identified the two main functions of education were creating social solidarity and teaching specialist skills. Durkheim argues that society needs a sense of solidarity and without it, life would be impossible because each individual would pursue their own selfish desires. . Furthermore, he argues that education teaches individuals the specialist knowledge and skill that they need to play their part in the social division of labour, therefore the main function of education is to maintain a value consensus in society. Parson views education as being part of a......

Words: 462 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Don't Know

...Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess functionalist views of the role of education in modern society (20 marks) The consensus functionalist approach is just one of many that attempt to explain the role of education in modern society. Functionalism is based on the view that society is a system of interdependent parts held together by a shared culture or value consensus. Each part of society such as the family, economy and education system performs functions that help to maintain society. Functionalists such as Durkheim and Parsons seek to discover what functions that educations performs and what is does to meet society’s needs. Marxists such as Althusser and Bowle & Gintis disagree with functionalists and argues that education in modern society continues to uphold the capitalist system. The French sociologist, Durkheim (1903) argued that education provided two main functions. Firstly, social solidarity; some of the subjects taught as part of the national curriculum such as History and Citizenship helps students to understand the complexity of British culture. This sense of shared culture between children creates a strong sense of unity and commitment to a wider social group. Without social solidarity, society would fall apart as there would be no cooperation as each individual would pursue their own selfish desires making education a vital role for modern society. The second function that education has is that it prepares young people for work. Industrial......

Words: 306 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Assess the Functionalist View of the Role of Education

...Introduction Assess the role of education form the functionalist perspective Functionalists believe that education performs very important roles for individuals, the economy and the wider social structure. It provides secondary socialisation, passing on shared culture enables individuals to develop their potential and regulates their behaviour. Functionalists argue that education has three broad; socialisation where education helps to maintain society by socialising young people in to key cultural values, such as achievement, individualism, equality of opportunity, social solidarity and democracy. The second one is skills provision in which education teaches the skills required by a modern industrial society. These may be general skills that everyone needs such as literacy and numeracy or the specific skills needed for particular occupations. And the final function is role allocation, where education allocates people to the most appropriate jobs for their talents using examination and qualifications. This is seen to be fair because there is equality of opportunity, everyone has the chance to achieve success in society on the basis of their ability. ...read more. Middle Educational mechanisms such as grades, examinations, references and qualifications are used to sort individuals. Society is this a meritocracy in which people are rewarded for intelligence, ability and effort. Functional importance is decided by length and specialist training required for particular......

Words: 1367 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

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

...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 society which he calls social solidarity. The way to reach this stage of harmony in society is to have norms and values which everyone agrees on. A way to criticise this idea is that the UK has become a multi-cultural society in which different people from different parts of the world live together. This means that we all have norms and values from our cultures which might lead to a conflict rather than value consensus as our values will go against each other. Another function of education in the case of Durkheim is that the school is a miniature version of school in which we are taught things in that prepare us for the future when we are in employment. Aspects such as ‘register’ throughout our school life teach us that punctuality is very......

Words: 1370 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Sociology

...Item 2B Marxists see all social institutions as serving the interests of capitalism. They argue that institutions such as the family help maintain the system of class inequality and exploitation. One way in which the family does this is by socialising children into accepting hierarchy. The family is also an important market for consumer goods. Alternatively the functionalists argue that the family performs vital functions for society. For example, it benefits family members by offering mutual support and emotional satisfaction. Using the material from Item 2B and elsewhere assess the Marxist view that the main role of the family is to serve the interests of capitalism. (24 Marks) Each group in society has a different idea on what the main role of the family is. Marxists do not believe that society is based on value consensus, and rejects the view that it operates for the benefit of all. Instead, they see a basic conflict of interest between a small powerful ruling class and the mass of the population, the subject class. They therefore believe that the family is one of a number of institutions which serves to maintain the position of the ruling class. Similarly to Item 2B, “they argue that institutions such as the family help maintain the system of class inequality and exploitation”. For example, both Functionalists and Marxists see the family as a unit which reproduces and socialises children. However, Marxists also see the family as a means for reproducing ‘labour......

Words: 1104 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Assess the Claim That the Main Function of Education Is to Maintain Social Inequality

...Assess the claim that the main function of education is to maintain social inequality Some sociologist such as functionalist argue that the inequality of education teaches children the skills needed in the workplace and economy whereas Marxist believe education passes on ruling class ideology that supports capitalism, and femmist say that the education system is patriarchal. Some sociologist may also be argue that the education system doesn’t prepare people adequately for work e.g. lack of graduates in engerineering this indicated the education system is failing. Functionalists say that education has three main functions to help society, not to maintain social inequality. Education sifts and sorts people for the appropriate job this is called the allocation function, also teaches the skill need in work and plays a part in secondary socialisation by passing on the core values. However it may be argued that education is mainly ''who you know'' than what you know in some parts of society so allocation isn’t working properly. Durkheim said that education helps to create social order based on cohesion and value consensus and parson also describes school as a bridge between the family and adult roles of society as they pass on a universal value of achievement. Parson also states education selects children into appropriate routes because it is a meritocracy. Meritocracy is when social rewards are allocated by talent and effort rather than because of a position some was born in......

Words: 561 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Assess the View That the Main Function of the Education System Is to Reproduce and Legitimise Social Inequalities

...Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that the main function of the education system is to reproduce and legitimise social inequalities. 20 State education began in 1870 and a significant feature of education in Britain is the difference in achievement between pupils from different social classes. Despite many improvements to the education system, social class differences continue. Social class background has a powerful influence on a child’s success in the education system. For example, children from middle class families on average perform better than working class children. Functionalists see education as based on value consensus where as Marxists see it as based on class division and capitalist exploitation. Althusser saw schools as part of the ideological state apparatus, where people are persuaded to accept their exploited position in society. This maintains the rule of the bourgeoisie by controlling people’s ideas, values and beliefs. Althusser also argues that the bourgeoisie do not need to use the repressive state apparatus, this includes the police, courts and army. The bourgeoisie does not need to use the RSAs because they are used to maintain the rule of the bourgeoisie by force, therefore can manipulate the ways in which people think. Therefore the main function of the education system is to reproduce and legitimise social inequalities as in Althusser’s view education transmits class inequality from generation to generation and......

Words: 785 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Assess the Functionalist Views of the Roles of the Family (24 Marks)

...Assess the functionalist views of the roles of the family (24 marks) Functionalists believe that society is based on value consensus; a set of shared norms and values. The value consensus helps to socialise member of society to create social order, by allowing the members to work with each other and meet the needs of society. The functionalist definition of a family is a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as one unit; the roles of the family are simply what the family actually provide for both the children and society as a whole. Murdock believes that the nuclear family has four essential functions within society; first key function is socialisation, which suggests that the family is needed to teach the norms and values to children to help integrate them into society, before they move onto secondary socialisation within education and later life. The second function is sexual; Murdock views this as an important part of the family because a healthy sex-drive is a key to reducing family disruption as the parents will be less likely to have affairs, and therefore helping to maintain a stable family structure. The third function is reproduction; this allows for the next generation of society to be born, which is essential as it helps the continuity of society. The last function is economical so the family can provide food, shelter, etc., for the children and the other members. Although Murdock’s theory is based on the nuclear family, he does......

Words: 719 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Assess Functionalist Views of the Role of Education in Modern Society (20 Marks)

...Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess functionalist views of the role of education in modern society (20 marks) The consensus functionalist approach is just one of many that attempt to explain the role of education in modern society. Functionalism is based on the view that society is a system of interdependent parts held together by a shared culture or value consensus. Each part of society such as the family, economy and education system performs functions that help to maintain society. Functionalists such as Durkheim and Parsons seek to discover what functions that educations performs and what is does to meet society’s needs. Marxists such as Althusser and Bowle & Gintis disagree with functionalists and argues that education in modern society continues to uphold the capitalist system. The French sociologist, Durkheim (1903) argued that education provided two main functions. Firstly, social solidarity; some of the subjects taught as part of the national curriculum such as History and Citizenship helps students to understand the complexity of British culture. This sense of shared culture between children creates a strong sense of unity and commitment to a wider social group. Without social solidarity, society would fall apart as there would be no cooperation as each individual would pursue their own selfish desires making education a vital role for modern society. The second function that education has is that it prepares young people for work. Industrial......

Words: 1181 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Outline and Assess Functionalist’s Explanations of the Role of the Education System in Society

...Outline and assess functionalist’s explanations of the role of the education system in society. As a theory which places heavy emphasis on the analysis of institutions and their relationship with society, especially with regards to the functions of institutions, Functionalists place a significant amount of focus on the education system. Functionalists believe that education has 3 basic roles. The first being socialistion, the second being to teach skills required by a modern industrial society and the third being to role allocate. However, this perspective is not always accepted, it’s macro theory approach is often seen as too wide bearing to be applied to the study of the education system as well as critics which dispute the functions of the education system as portrayed by functionalists.  Nevertheless, its macro theory approach puts the education system in context and is therefore a theory which is notable when discussing the role of the education system. Firstly, it cannot be ignored that one of the main principles of the theory is that society is based upon consensus, - agreement between norms and values. As an institution of secondary socialisation, Functionalist theorists see the education system as one of the main institutions which help to achieve value consensus within society, allowing society to operate in a smooth manner. Durkheim suggested that the education system is an institution which helps to create a “collective consciousness”, uniting society into one......

Words: 1573 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Functionalism

...Thursday By: Zainab Zaidi Q. Assess the strengths and limitations of the functionalists theory in sociology. In the study of sociology, the functionalist perspective is a view of society that focuses on the way various parts of society have funtions and live in a consensus that maintain the stability and social order of the whole society. Functionalism is seen as a macro scale approach to society; it sees society as a whole rather than just focusing on some parts of it. Because of this, functionalism views society as a body (organic analogy), all institutions works together to make the society. This is particularly useful when observing the society in order to understand the way it functions and how all the institutions work together to sustain society as a whole. This can also be denoted as one of its strengths. Functionalism is also seen as a consensus theory, it sees society as fair and just, and it acknowledges that many societies including the majority of western ones, have democracy and all individuals within a particular society share the same or similar norms and values. This also could therefore be seen as a strength as it acknowledges that democracy does exists in many societies. Functionalism emphasizes a societal equilibrium. If something happens to disrupt the order and the flow of the system, society must adjust to achieve a stable state. According to Durkheim, society should be analyzed and described in terms of functions. Society is a system of......

Words: 1176 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Beliefs Essay Plans

...“Religion today is more about believing than belonging.” Assess this view. Beliefs – religiosity, do you have to attend a place of worship to believe? Grace Davie – you can believe without attending a place of worship Religious organisations – some religious organisations are happy for people to follow without belonging - NRMs membership is increasing scientology, televangelism, NAM’s- crystal therapy, tarot card readings etc Believing: (people are believing, their practices have changed, not necessarily secular) • Decreasing church attendance – however people have private practice (David Voas) Grace Davie • Religious education • Laws are based on 10 commandments • NRM’s – people believe but don’t necessarily go for formal worship. Wallis • Rise in world faiths – their attendance stats aren’t considered • Postmodernist – religion is changing – televangelism, spiritual shopping, jesus in Disneyland, supply led religion, civil religion eg USA • Methodological evaluation of church stats – are they valid indicator of secularisation? Belonging: (secularisation is happening) • Wilson – secularisation – religious beliefs, practices and institutions are declining • Brierly • Bruce • Attendance, membership, age, women, social class • Rationalisation • Disengagement • Technological worldview – Weber • Structural differentiation – parsons • Social and cultural diversity • Religious......

Words: 959 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Sociology

...elsewhere, assess the functionalist explanations of the causes and extent of deviance. (21marks) Functionalism is based on the idea of each members of society sharing a common culture and one value consensus, which provides solidarity and binds individuals together by directing them what to strive for and how to conduct themselves. In order for solidarity to be achieved, society must have two main mechanisms; socialisation which instils the shared into its members and social control mechanisms which include positive sanctions for conformity and negative sanctions for deviance. Functionalists view crime and deviance as a positive feature of society which is inevitable and universal. They argue that every known society has some form of crime and deviance, a crime free society would be a contradiction according to Durkheim ‘crime is normal… an integral part of all healthy societies’. Functionalists maintain that there are two main reasons why crime is found in all societies. Firstly not everyone is equally effectively socialised into the shared norms and values thus some individuals are prone to deviate. In addition to this, in complex modern societies there is a diversity of lifestyle because different groups develop their own cultural norms and values what each subculture see as normal, mainstream culture may see as deviant. For example; in parts of Africa polygamy is allowed where as in mainstream western culture it is illegal. Durkheim’s develops this further and......

Words: 1745 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Sociology Answers

...Section A: Education 0 1 Explain what is meant by the term ... (2 marks) • Meritocracy: such as equal opportunity or a system in which rewards are based on achievement/ability or similar. Partial answer: [fair rewards] • Immediate gratification: wanting rewards now, or leaving school as soon as possible to get a job, or similar. • Cultural capital: the values, etc that the middle class transmit to their children or that confer advantage in the education system. • Compensatory education: additional educational opportunities/resources directed at deprived or under-achieving pupils. • Cultural deprivation: a lack or deficit of values (or of norms, attitudes, skills or knowledge). Partial answer [immediate gratification / a lack of culture] • Vocational education: relating to a career or specific work roles. • Ethnocentric curriculum: the subjects taught in school being biased towards one particular culture. One mark for a partially satisfactory answer. 02 Suggest three ways/reasons ... (6 marks) Two marks for each of three appropriate ways. One mark will be awarded where there is a partially appropriate answers. Marxists see school as being similar to the world of work: • A hierarchy of authority • Fragmentation of work/learning • Extrinsic rewards • Based on competition • Alienation • Status differences. Boys’ educational under-achievement: • Lack of male teacher role models •......

Words: 3122 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Sociology

...Q- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the functionalist approach to society. A Functionalism is a macro, structuralist theory. This means they see human behaviour being shaped as an influence of social forces. It is also seen consensus theory, as functionalists’ argue that, individuals are socialised into a shared value to ensure conformity and social order. However, this functionalists approach is criticised by action theorists, as they argue that individuals create society through their interactions. Unlike other functionalists, Parsons argues that individuals are integrated through socialisation and social order. He sees some similarities between society and a biological organism i.e. body parts are inter-related, so is society, as different institutions assist in socialisation. However, over socialization, as Durkheim argues, could be a motive to suicide as individual tends to put others before themselves. One of the main objectives of functionalism is to find out, how social order is possible. Parsons identifies that social order is possible only if its members adhere to society’s norms and values. He argues that for this to happen, individuals have to be integrated into the social system. Primarily, the social system has its needs and to ensure that they are met, it requires the different agencies of socialisation i.e. media and family, to teach its individuals the systems norms and values so that it becomes part of their personality structure. Another is......

Words: 818 - Pages: 4