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Questions and answers regarding the functionalist view of the role of education. Including Durkheim, Parsons, Davis and Moore and criticisms

Created by ashiana121 about 4 years ago
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Question Answer
What are the two basic functions education performs according to Durkheim? (FUNCTIONALIST) Promoting social solidarity & teaching specialist skills
What is meant by teaching social solidarity? (DURKHEIM) Transmitting the norms and values of the culture, teaching a common history and shared rituals, teaching universalistic values
What is the benefit of promoting social solidarity? Binds people together and enables them to cooperate
What is meant by teaching specialist skills? Preparing young people for work as modern industry has a specialised division of labour
What is Talcott Parsons view on the function of education? School is the 'focal socialising agency' of modern society, providing secondary socialisation
What is the difference between primary and secondary socialisation? Primary socialisation - each child is treated under particularistic values. Secondary socialisation - child is taught by universalistic values to enable society to run
Parsons describes education as the bridge between what two institutions? The family and wider society
What is meant by a meritocratic society? Achievement and success based on individual efforts, equal opportunities for everyone
Why does Parsons say that school is a "mini-society"? Both are meritocratic. Pupils succeed or fail depending on their own efforts. Modern society is similar - it is competitive and individualistic
What is the main function of education according to Davis and Moore?(FUNCTIONALISTS) Role allocation
What is meant by role allocation? The selection and allocation of individuals to their future work roles
According to Davis and Moore, why are higher rewards offered for the most important jobs? To motivate people to strive for them
According to Davis and Moore, why do some people get better jobs? Some people are naturally more talented than others and education allows the most talented individuals to compete for the best jobs
Why does this make society more productive? The most able people do the most important jobs
Describe "human capital theory" Modern industrial society is very advanced so the skills of the workforce are its main economic asset. A meritocratic system is the best way to develop a skilled workforce and therefore create greater economic efficiency and higher living standards etc
Give one Marxist criticism of the Functionalist role of education. The values transmitted are those of the capitalist ruling class, not those of society.
Give another general criticism of the Functionalist view Schools discriminate against some groups (e.g working class pupils, black pupils) so the system is not meritocratic
What is Hargreaves' criticism of Durkheim's view, specifically social solidarity? Schools place more value on competition and developing individuals than on developing a sense of social solidarity
Why might education not properly equip people for their future work roles? Because it is sometimes hard to see a direct link between the subjects studied at school and what is required of workers in their jobs
What is the interactionalist's criticism of the functionalist view? It is too deterministic - not everyone passively accepts the schools values. Some reject and rebel against them
What is meant by someones ascribed status? Class background, gender, ethnicity