Outline and Evaluate That the Main Function of the Education System Is to Maintain a Value Consensus Within Society

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Assess the claim that the main function of education is to maintain a value consensus in society (20 marks) Iesha Acklan Functionalists argue that education provides us with a universal bridge that every single individual needs to cross before entering into wider society. The start of the bridge is our family, which is our source of primary socialisation. Our families teach us the norms and the values. However, they may not be the same norms and values exist in wider society and thats when education comes into the picture. Education is in the middle of the bridge. Education is an agency of secondary socialisation, it teaches us the norms and values within wider society and it also teaches us the skills we need for future occupational roles as well as providing us with qualifications. Functionalists argue that society is an organic analogy, meaning that society works like a human body and that everything is in consensus with each other. For example, the human organs work together to achieve consensus, just like society does with citizens, authority, norms, values etc. Durkheim argues that there are two main functions of education, these are social solidarity and specialised skills. Social solidarity means that we work together because we are part of a community, and that education provides us with with a shared set of norms, beliefs and values. It is through education that we learn to adapt to wider society.Specialised skills are the qualifications that we earn by the end of our time in education. These qualifications sift and sort everyone into specialised occupations. It is through education where we earn an achieved status. We also achieve this through meritocracy. Meritocracy means that if we work to the best of our ability, we will be rewarded with what we deserve. Parson’s is in consensus with Durkheim. He also argues that there is a bridge
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