The Functionalist and Marxist Views on the Purpose of Socialisation

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The Functionalist and Marxist Views on the Purpose of Socialisation

Functionalists and Marxists have very similar theories as to the socialisation process. I intend to show this and compare these similarities.

There are many well-known functionalists but I am mainly focusing on the views of Talcott Parsons and Emile Durkheim in particular.

There are many aspects of the socialisation process to cover both concerning functionalist and Marxist views, these include cultures (made up of many different branches), values (peoples beliefs), and norms (patterns of behaviour). Also primary and secondary socialisation.

Functionalists and Marxists both share similar views on the socialisation
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"Within its peer group the young child, by interacting with others and playing childhood games, learns to conform to the accepted ways of a social group and to appreciate the fact that social life is based on the rules"(2). Then on to secondary socialisation this is usually taught by more external influences on a bigger scale such as; schools, religion also local governing bodies such as the police then one of the biggest influences the media. (3)

Both functionalist and Marxists agree that this is how the individual identity is shaped, but as I stated earlier they do not share the same views as to why these socialisation processes take place.

Functionalism is based on consensus theory. This is also known of and thought as common values. Functionalists believe there must be common values placed so that society can function correctly and that people must conform to the "norms", "values" and " cultures" as to which is expected of them in society. People who are non-conformists and refuse to be socialised in such a way are known as the deviants of society. This could range from something as simple as dressing differently, or possibly wearing ones hair in an outlandish way. Also people who commit crimes are known as deviants. Emile Durkheim saw crime as normal in

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