Assessing the Role of Education From the Functionalist Perspective

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Assessing the Role of Education From 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

middle of document…

An example of this is in

American schools where pupils sing the national anthem and pledge

their allegiance to the flag everyday by making tem feel part of the

American society.



According to functionalists, school is society in miniature, where

pupils have to get on with strangers and where they learn that status

is to be achieved not ascribed as in the family. Parsons argues that

the school acts as a bridge between the family and wider society, that

is between childhood and adulthood, where children stop being judged

by the particularistic norms of their families and are judged instead

universalistic norms of society. Parsons also believe that the role of

education is also to promoter these universalistic values such as

achievement, individualism, competition and equality of opportunity.



Davis and Moore argue that education plays a selection/ allocation

function, selecting individuals for the role that their abilities best

suit them for and slotting the most talented in to the most

functionally most important jobs in society, differentiating between

pupils. 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
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