Compare and Contrast the Marxist and Functionalist Interpretations of Education in Society

1581 words 7 pages
Carrie-Anne Hall 05007672 Sociology Essay

Compare and contrast the Marxist and functionalist interpretations of education in society.

The role of education is to educate individuals within society and to prepare them for working life in the economy, also to integrate individuals and teach them the norms, values and roles within society. There are many different sociological theories that differ within the role of education within society that attempt to try and explain how society or aspects of society work together. Different theories try and attempt to understand social behaviour at different levels of investigation. There are several perspectives on the sociology of education that are important. The two perspectives which
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He believed these were necessary for producing society's goods. There were two types of class in society. The capitalists or bourgeoisie were the ones that owned a means of production and the class of non-owners who he called the working class or proletariat. He believed that the working class were exploited by the bourgeoisie as they had no means of production and had no other option but to work for the capitalists. He believed that poor would become poorer and the rich would become richer. Marx believed that society should be run in the interest of everyone in society not just the capitalists and this equal class would be called communism.


Marxists believe that education is apart of a superstructure of society. Marxism is concerned with the different experiences within the world of education. They are concerned how some groups often lose out than others. In education they note the different experiences of society. For example different class groups, ethnic minority groups, age groups and different roles, norms, values, culture etc. Also recognise that individuals have different hopes, interests and expectations. They also note the values transmitted by schools however it's not always the values that are important to all groups that attend schools; they draw attention to the different culture of groups that make up the schools population. Sociologists also draw attention to he different links between the education

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