Describe The Functionalist (Emile Durkheim), Conflict (Marxist) And Interactionist Approach To The Socialization Of Education.

895 words - 4 pages

Describe the Functionalist, Conflict and Interactionist approach to the Socialization of Education.Education - A Functionalist PerspectiveEmile Durkheim proposed an explicitly functionalist explanation of the role of education in society. The major function/task of education was, according to Durkheim, the transmission of society's norms and values. Durkheim considered that all societies must have means of passing on their norms and values to the young. If they did not, they could not continue. Such transmission then is a "functional prerequisite", and it is the educational system which has the job of carrying it out. Or at least this is so for modern industrial societies, says Durkheim. (In "traditional" societies - in pre-industrial societies, where no formal educational systems existed, this transmission was carried out by the family).For Durkheim, a vital task which must be fulfilled in all modern, industrial societies is the welding of a mass of individuals into a collective whole - in other words, "social solidarity" must be created. This means that individuals must become capable of co-operation with each other, of working harmoniously in the modern complex division of labor; of conducting themselves for the good of society as a whole. If this necessity is not achieved, so Durkheim argues, modern social life would be impossible. It would become little but a war against all, as individuals, united by no common aims, norms and values pursued their own selfish interests to the detriment of society itself.The family cannot promote the social solidarity of individuals. It is only the modern educational system which can do so. Why? Essentially because the family, says Durkheim, is based on principles other than those required to promote social solidarity and integration.Modern education, Durkheim continues, teaches those basic rules of co-operation necessary to the continuation of modern society. In school, the child must learn to interact with others in terms of a fixed set of rules - punctuality, respect for authority, and all manner of other requirements. Indeed, the school is society in miniature; as such it demands that individuals follow rules of conduct so that the organization / school can continue to function and to carry out its responsibilities.SummaryFor Durkheim, modern education has two functions:- The MAJOR function is the transmission to the young of cultural norms and values. Here are included all manner of beliefs.- The teaching of skills so as to occupy a position in the modern division of labor.Education - A Conflict Perspective (Marxist)For Marxists, the analysis focuses upon the workings of the CAPITALIST economic system and the degree of conflict within society between social groups, notably between the ruling, capitalist class and the working class. The Education System is seen as a tool by which the working class are kept in their place, in a position of subservience, exploited and...

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