Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Asses the View That the Education System Exists Mainly to Select and Prepare Young People for Their Future Work Roles

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Functionalism is based on the view that society is a system of interdependent parts held together by a shared culture or value consensus. Item A says, "while the family can provide young people with basic values and some useful practical skills." Functionalists believe that families socialise their children and teach them the values and norms of society and the item supports this as it talks about the family providing values. However, the item goes on to say,"it cannot equip individuals with everything they need in order to become fully functioning members of a large-scale society". This supports the functionalist view that the education system prepares young people for their future work roles. Functionalists believe that the role of education is to create a sense of solidarity which will benefit society; they say the purpose of education and it's relationship to the economy is to provide specialist skills to equip people for the workforce. If people are well prepared for work after leaving school, this will benefit society as a whole. They believe that the brightest will take the top jobs and the rest will be allocated a job role that suits their skills. Furthermore, item A also says, "sociologists see the education system as performing a vital role in modern societies." One functionalist called Durkheim holds this view; he believes in social solidarity and specialist skills. Durkheim argues that society needs a sense of solidarity so that it's individual members feel themselves to be part of a single community. He argues that without social solidarity, social life and cooperation would be impossible because each individual would pursue their own selfish desires. The education system helps to create social solidarity by transmitting society's culture from one generation to the next. School also acts as a society in miniature, preparing us for life in wider
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