Sociological Perspective of the Relationship Between Education and the Economy
There seems to be a direct link to what goes on in schools and what
takes place at work.
The functionalist approach to education and economy is that through
socialisation education helps maintain society by introducing young
people into values and beliefs such as achievement. They argue that
education teaches what is needed within the world of work like
numeracy and literacy skills or specific skills for particular jobs.
The education system allocates people to the most appropriate jobs,
which suits their abilities using examination results. Through the
eyes of the functionalists this is seen to be fair because there is an
equal opportunity for everyone, everyone has the chance to succeed in
society on the basis of their ability. If they work hard and try hard
at school then they will succeed and climb the social ladder obtaining
a higher social status. They see education as turning pupils into
model citizens that the most able pupils will succeed and obtain the
most important jobs.
Durkheim stated that education performs the function of making
individuals feel they are members of a social group. This can be done
through lessons such as history. He believes that school teaches
pupils how to co-operate and work with others. The subjects that are
taught in schools are related to skills that are required for work.
The education system sifts and sorts the people according to their
ability and that those who want to achieve can do so despite social
class or background.
Parsons thinks that the school is the first place where they are
taught universal values and rules. School helps introduce a consensus;
this is where everyone agrees on the same basic values. Schools
challenge pupil’s abilities and their talents so that they can be
issued into specific jobs.
Davis and Moore explained that some people have greater talents than
others and to ensure that society functions efficiently the most able
individuals are allocated the most efficient jobs. The education
system is responsible for this, targeting the people who are most able
then training them for important jobs.
However, some people would argue that this is far too optimistic. This
idea of meritocracy is untrue does not exists. There are certain
barriers that get in the way the main one being social class. An
example of this is careers such as medicine and law where certain
firms will not accept you if you have been to a university that was
previously a polytechnic college. There is nothing wrong with these
universities but certain people and groups see them as lower class and
therefore less likely to employ them. This is a barrier that gets in
the way. There is a lack of evidence that schools teach work specific
skills, an example of...