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Flashcards in Functionalism Deck (14)
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What is the functionalist view?

Consensus =

- Society is based on shared norms and values, which help maintain social order.


Functionalists identify 2 main functions of education...

1). Maintaining value consensus = through transmitting shared heritage and sustaining social solidarity.

2). Preparing young people for work = secondary socialisation, meritocracy.


Who are the 3 functionalists?

1. Durkheim.

2. Parsons.

3. Davis and Moore.


What does Durkheim say the role of education is?

1). Social solidarity =

Education transmits shared norms and values which bind people together - it teaches universalistic rules.

2). Prepares young people for work (skills) =

Skills needed to participate in society, creates a division of labour.


What does Parsons say the role of education is?

1. Secondary socialisation =

Education acts as a bridge between particularisation standards and universalistic standards, society can only function if people are governed by the same rules.

2. Meritocracy =

Education teaches us shared values of a meritocratic society (individual achievement, equal opportunity).


Why does Durkheim emphasise the importance of teaching societies shared history?

Gives new members of society a sense of shared identity based on the past --> helps maintain value consensus.


According to Parsons, how is education a bridge between the family and wider society?

The families particularisation values are replaced with societies universalistic values.

- This creates value consensus - everyone shares the same values.


According to Parsons, how is school a 'society in miniature'?

Both school and society are meritocratic =

- in school, success and failure based on ability prepares them for society's competitiveness.


What does Davis and Moore say the role of education is?

1) Role allocation =

Meritocracy 'sifts and sorts' people to their appropriate role according to their ability --> thus, creating a division of labour.

E.g. If you aren't successful in school, you don't deserve talented jobs, vice versa, over wise society would disintegrate.


What are the evaluations of functionalism?

1). Meritocracy is a myth.

2). Values transmitted represent the ruling-class.

3). Education may not equip people for work.

4). Too deterministic.


How is meritocracy a myth?

Bowles and Gintis argue achievement is based on social class, not ability.

- Meritocracy convinces people that failure is there own fault, not societies.


How do Marxists criticise functionalists?

Values transmitted through education aren't societies shared values, they represent the ruling-class.


How can the link between education and workers be criticised?

It's sometimes difficult to see a direct link between the subjects studied and the requirements of workers.


How is the functionalist view too deterministic?

Interactionism =

- Not all pupils passively accept school's values, some reject them and rebel.