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Why Do We Go To College?

1452 words - 6 pages

None NoneWhy Do we go to college?SociologyAs we journey down this road called life, many of us face the rigors of academia during the early years of our life. One of the most critical junctures in this path is that of whether we should continue on with education into college, or veer off this path and one towards a job or other future prospects. For most technological and industrial advanced societies, going to college has become an integrated part of the learning process. But the fact that it is not done everywhere or by everyone makes it questionable if it is necessary and brings up the question of what function does school and going on to college, in particular, really serve for society as a whole. To resolve this dilemma, it is important to approach the question, not just from one view, but from all of the major schools of thought: the functionalist, the conflict-theorist, and the symbolic interaction. By looking at how each one views how going to college serves our society, a better assessment can be made of the question at hand, especially since all three are feasible ways of looking at and studying our society.Before understanding what each of the schools of thought would have to say, it is important to first see how they view our society, which would determine what they have to say. The functionalist and conflict-theorist, using the big-picture, macro-level view, would look at society as the sum of its parts, rather than just the parts individually. But the functionalist, while viewing it as a whole, deems that society can be representative of an organism, and all the parts work together for the good of the whole. The conflict-theorist, on the other hand, while also seeing society as a whole, views it differently from the functionalist by seeing how the different parts of society try to gain from each other by exploitation and inequality. The symbolic-interactionist, differs completely from the other two completely by taking a micro-level approach rather than the macro-level approach taken be the functionalist and conflict-theorist. In doing so, the symbolic-interactionist would go within society instead of viewing it from abroad, and would, in turn, see society from its parts rather than the whole and see how the parts work and interact together to get a clearer picture of the situation.Understanding what type of views that each of the schools of thought carry, it is now easier to determine how they would go about analyzing the question in hand. The functionalist would determine how the furthering of education into college has been integrated into society, how it affects society by its continued existence, and how it relates to and with the other parts of the organism (society). Looking at societies where getting a college education has become a part of life, mostly growth oriented countries, the functionalist would be able to determine that a college education has become an essential part of the structure, otherwise those societies...

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