What is the point of education? A functionalist perspective


functionalist perspective by Sam Cook a former student

In same way the Family module has competing perspectives so too does the education unit.

The first perspective we’ll look at is the functionalistperspective. As you will remember functionalists look at the function or role of an institution in society in keeping the social body ‘functioning’ (working) properly. Functionalistshumanbody; body parts usually begin their sociological analysis with the following questions:

  1. How does education contribute to the maintenance and wellbeing of society?
  2. What are the relationships between education and other parts of the social system?

Emile Durkheim (functionalist) – writing over 100 years ago that one of the main functions of education is to bind members of society together – this creates social unity and solidarity. Therefore like the family, education is seen as functional prerequisite because it passes on the culture of a society particularly its core values.

Talcott Parsons (a functionalist)

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