Sociological perspectives on education a comparison of structural theory and conflict theory

Each has a different view on social institutions. Symbolic interactionismDramaturgy sociologyInterpretive sociologyand Phenomenological sociology Symbolic interactionoften associated with interactionismphenomenological sociologydramaturgyand interpretivismis a sociological tradition that places emphasis on subjective meanings and the empirical unfolding of social processes, generally accessed through analysis.

One example of this process involves the function of social placement. Students who had been in the smaller classes continued to have higher average test scores in grades 4—7.

In this way, they are presumably prepared for their later station in life. Each system institution--family, church, education, economics, etc--adds to the equilibrium of the whole system. Simply put, schools are unequal, and their very inequality helps perpetuate inequality in the larger society.

Students who had been in the smaller classes were more likely to complete high school and also to attend college. A third critique of conflict theory involves the quality of schools. Functionalists see education as a beneficial contribution to an ordered society; however, conflict theorists see the educational system as perpetuating the status quo by dulling the lower classes into being obedient workers.

Functionalists believe that society is held together by social consensus, or cohesion, in which members of the society agree upon, and work together to achieve, what is best for society as a whole. Likewise, schools overtly teach patriotism, a preserver of political structure. In this view, social institutions are some of the most important organs.

Theories of Education

The functionalist perspective achieved its greatest popularity among American sociologists in the s and s. It states clearly that the objectivity of the researcher is necessary and can be accomplished.

They argue that the tests, which claim to test intelligence, actually test cultural knowledge and therefore exhibit a cultural bias.

Three Major Perspectives in Sociology

Conflict theorists contend that not only do the economics favor the white affluent, but so does school testing—particularly IQ testing, which schools can use to sort students. Structure and agency Structure and agency, sometimes referred to as determinism versus voluntarism, [9] form an enduring ontological debate in social theory: The most important value permeating the American classroom is individualism—the ideology that advocates the liberty rights, or independent action, of the individual.

The latter tend to lose self-esteem and begin to think they have little academic ability and thus do worse in school because they were tracked down. Each of these parts has a function in maintaining the society as a system on the whole.

Functionalism does not encourage people to take an active role in changing their social environment, even when such change may benefit them.

Unlike functionalists who defend the status quo, avoid social change, and believe people cooperate to effect social order, conflict theorists challenge the status quo, encourage social change even when this means social revolutionand believe rich and powerful people force social order on the poor and the weak.

These studies help us understand what happens in the schools themselves, but they also help us understand how what occurs in school is relevant for the larger society. Explain the problems that conflict theory sees in education. Latent functions include child care, the establishment of peer relationships, and lowering unemployment by keeping high school students out of the full-time labor force.

As "actors," we have a status, which is the part that we play, where we are given various roles. Once one group wins in a conflict, it uses its dominance to set up rules and traditions that will help it stay in power.

The conflict perspective The conflict perspective, which originated primarily out of Karl Marx's writings on class struggles, presents society in a different light than do the functionalist and symbolic interactionist perspectives.

A final critique is historical and concerns the rise of free, compulsory education during the nineteenth century Cole, Following Saussure, synchrony would refer to social phenomena as a static concept like a language, while diachrony would refer to unfolding processes like actual speech.

Education also involves several latent functions, functions that are by-products of going to school and receiving an education rather than a direct effect of the education itself. Therefore, while the primary role of education is to preserve and pass on knowledge and skills, education is also in the business of transforming them.

Since then, sociological theories have come to encompass most aspects of societyincluding communitiesorganizations and relationships. Symbolic interactionism has less to say about social institutions. But it turned out that the researchers had randomly decided which students would be designated bright and less bright.

Conflict theorists see education not as a social benefit or opportunity, but as a powerful means of maintaining power structures and creating a docile work force for capitalism. Conflict Theory and Functionalism This paper will focus on two of those theories, functionalism and conflict theory.

The objective is to delineate the assumptions of two out of the three theoretical perspectives and apply these assumptions to an analysis of social stratification. Theories of Education Today, sociologists and educators debate the function of education. Three main theories represent their views: the functionalist theory, the.

Structural functionalism and conflict theory are theoretical perspectives forming main theories of sociology of education. Sociology of education is the study of how individual experiences and public institution experiences effects education and outcomes.

Modern sociological theory descends predominately from functionalist (Durkheim) and conflict-centered (Marx and Weber) accounts of social structure, as well as the symbolic interactionist tradition consisting of micro-scale structural and pragmatist (Mead, Cooley) theories of social interaction.

Sociological Perspectives on Education – Summary Grid. The New Right View of Education.

Conflict Theory and Functionalism

The Functionalist, Marxist and New Right Views of Education – A Comparison. Related Online Sources. 21 Responses to The Functionalist Perspective on Education. Pingback: The Marxist Perspective on Education | ReviseSociology.

Explain the problems that conflict theory sees in education. Describe how symbolic interactionism understands education.

The major sociological perspectives on education fall nicely into the functional, conflict, and symbolic interactionist approaches (Ballantine & Hammack, ).

Sociological perspectives on education a comparison of structural theory and conflict theory
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Conflict Theory and Functionalism, Sociology -