There are three main theoretical perspectives (or theories) that represent the views of sociologist and educators, these views are the conflict perspective, symbolic interactions, and functionalism. Although all of these theories are important to education and society, I have chosen to focus my research or theoretical perspective on functionalism also including the effects functionalism and education.
The Functionalist perspective is one of the most dominant core perspectives in sociology and is an analysis of social and cultural phenomena in terms of the functions they perform in a social system. In functionalism, societies are conceived of as a system of interrelated parts in which no part can be understood in isolation from the whole.
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Education is important in society; the structure and processes of education systems are related to the general process of socialization (Van Krieken 2000, p.191). Many sociologists may agree with this statement, but different sociologists have many views about how societies are structured, and they have different views about the role of education in society. In all perspectives, schools are seen as social institutions, but these perspectives all have different ideas on how they socialize people and for what reasons. At first glance Marxist and Functionalist views seem very similar. This is because they are both social structuralism views, but Marxism is a conflict theory, and functionalism bases itself upon consensus, paying particular attention to the positive contribution that education makes to the overall maintenance of functioning of the social system. These very crucial differences mean that the two perspectives take on two different branches of the same tree.
Functionalists see education as a miniature society, a society that develops a sense of commitment to a social group. Functionalism is an aspect of society which is interdependent and contributes to society functioning and creating mechanical and organic solidarity. It is also based on the relationship between a school and a society. Functionalism