American Schools: Institutions Struggling with Expanding Expectations, Cultural Contradictions, and Persistent Inequalities
Jefferson’s legacy--education as the foundation of democracy <ul><li>Creative and rational thought is democracy’s cornerst...
Horace Mann’s legacy--the common school as “great equalizer” <ul><li>common curriculum in a common place </li></ul><ul><li...
Ever increasing 20th-century expectations <ul><li>1900-- cultural preservation--Americanizing immigrants </li></ul><ul><li...
Sociological theory in the early 20th century--explaining school’s social role <ul><li>Structural theories of how society ...
Functionalism <ul><li>In the social sciences, specifically sociology and sociocultural anthropology, functionalism (also c...
Functionalism <ul><li>Functionalists see society as being structured like a human body with many interrelated parts that f...
<ul><li>Functionalists argue that for a healthy society, individuals must obey society's norms and values.  </li></ul><ul>...
Quick Group Discussion <ul><li>What contributions does the education system make to the maintenance of value consensus in ...
The originator of the functionalist perspective, Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) argued that the main function of education is ...
Talcott Parsons (1902-1979) argued that Education is like a BRIDGE between the family and wider society - preparing us for...
<ul><li>For Parsons schools operate on meritocratic principles.  This means that everyone is treated in the same way and t...
Parson’s Assumptions <ul><li>Schools Reinforce   </li></ul><ul><li>The value of achievement </li></ul><ul><li>- by rewardi...
<ul><li>1)  Are the 'Values and Norms'  being transmitted by the education system really those of society or could they be...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>Introduction  </li></ul><ul><li>The structural-functionalist school of thought portrayed  societie...
Founder of Conflict Theory <ul><li>Karl Marx (1818-1883), founder of conflict theory, argued that the competition of indiv...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>What is Conflict Theory? </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theory is a macro-sociological theoretical per...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>What is Conflict Theory? </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theorists do not deny that certain types of so...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>Social Institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theorists object to the implication that  outcome  ...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>The  functionalist perspective  view portrays contemporary education a...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>The hidden curriculum </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Children must not speak un...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Credentialism </li></ul><ul><li>Fifty years ago, high school diploma w...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Credentialism </li></ul><ul><li>However, in many cases, employers rais...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>Social Change </li></ul><ul><li>The functional perspective minimizes change.  It emphasizes the pe...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theory counterbalances the op...
Conflict Theory <ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Problems </li></ul><ul><li>The conflict approach tends to ignore the ...
<ul><li>1)  Are the 'Values and Norms'  being transmitted by the education system really those of society or could they be...
 
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Functionalism

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Transcript of "Functionalism"

  1. 1. American Schools: Institutions Struggling with Expanding Expectations, Cultural Contradictions, and Persistent Inequalities
  2. 2. Jefferson’s legacy--education as the foundation of democracy <ul><li>Creative and rational thought is democracy’s cornerstone </li></ul><ul><li>All citizens need basic literacy, the talented need far more </li></ul><ul><li>The common good must be balanced with individual liberty </li></ul>
  3. 3. Horace Mann’s legacy--the common school as “great equalizer” <ul><li>common curriculum in a common place </li></ul><ul><li>knowledge and habits of citizenship, as well as the basic literacy </li></ul><ul><li>the “creator of wealth undreamed of”--eliminate poverty and crime </li></ul><ul><li>shape the destiny of a wise, productive country. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ever increasing 20th-century expectations <ul><li>1900-- cultural preservation--Americanizing immigrants </li></ul><ul><li>1910--workforce preparation--staffing the factories </li></ul><ul><li>1950--national security--beating the Russians in space </li></ul><ul><li>1960--the “great society”--eliminating poverty and segregation </li></ul><ul><li>1980--economic competitiveness--beating the Japanese; first in the world in math and science </li></ul><ul><li>2000--“Leave No Child Behind”--creating a more literate domestic workforce in a global economy where unskilled work can be “outsourced” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Sociological theory in the early 20th century--explaining school’s social role <ul><li>Structural theories of how society works </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Durkheim (Functionalism) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marx (Conflict Theory) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cultural beliefs, values, norms: Belief in Meritocracy </li></ul><ul><li>--MERITOCRACY: social status is gained by academic achievement and not by ascribed characteristics. This achievement is by individual effort and innate ability .It could be viewed thus: - </li></ul><ul><li>I.Q + Effort = MERIT </li></ul>
  6. 6. Functionalism <ul><li>In the social sciences, specifically sociology and sociocultural anthropology, functionalism (also called functional analysis and structural theory) is a sociological paradigm that focuses on the ways in which social institutions fill social needs to maintain social stability. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Functionalism <ul><li>Functionalists see society as being structured like a human body with many interrelated parts that function together to maintain a healthy whole. So as a body has a heart, lungs, liver etc....society has Education, the Family, the Economy etc.. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore to understand the education system we must consider how it functions to contribute to the healthy maintenance of the whole social system. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Functionalists argue that for a healthy society, individuals must obey society's norms and values. </li></ul><ul><li>We are socialized into these 'normative behavior's that are the core of the social structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Society’s need to transmit social solidarity and value consensus through education plays a vital role in this. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Quick Group Discussion <ul><li>What contributions does the education system make to the maintenance of value consensus in this country? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the relationship between education and the economy, and how does this relationship help/hurt society as a whole? </li></ul>
  10. 10. The originator of the functionalist perspective, Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) argued that the main function of education is the transmission of society's norms and values in three mains areas: <ul><li>1. SOCIAL SOLIDARITY - </li></ul><ul><li>For example the teaching of history provides social continuity. </li></ul><ul><li>2. SOCIAL RULES - </li></ul><ul><li>At school we learn to co-operate with strangers and to be self-disciplined. </li></ul><ul><li>3. DIVISION OF LABOUR - </li></ul><ul><li>Education teaches individual skills necessary for future occupations. This is a most important function in advanced industrial society with its complex division of labor. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Talcott Parsons (1902-1979) argued that Education is like a BRIDGE between the family and wider society - preparing us for our adult roles in society. <ul><li>The family is the PRIMARY agent of SOCIALISATION - : “It is because the human personality is not &quot;born&quot; but must be &quot;made&quot; through the socialisation process that in the first instance families are necessary. They are factories which produce human personalities” (Parsons, 1955: 16) </li></ul><ul><li>Education is the main SECONDARY agent of SOCIALISATION. In advanced industrial society we are judged in terms of ACHIEVED status and universalistic values. That is to say we are judged in terms of what we achieve and schools prepare us for this. At school our conduct is measured against the universal school rules and our status is achieved through examination. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>For Parsons schools operate on meritocratic principles. This means that everyone is treated in the same way and that everyone has the same chances to succeed. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore those that achieve the most in school do so on merit. For Parsons Ability + Effort = Merit. </li></ul><ul><li>Schools operate on this principle and reward the most ability and those who try hardest with exam success. </li></ul><ul><li>This is important as it ensures that these best people will fill the most important jobs in society. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore schools ensure that the best people will perform the most important jobs - and this will benefit society as a whole. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Parson’s Assumptions <ul><li>Schools Reinforce </li></ul><ul><li>The value of achievement </li></ul><ul><li>- by rewarding those who achieve through exam success. </li></ul><ul><li>b) The value of equality of opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>- by offering everyone an equal chance to succeed. </li></ul><ul><li>c) Role allocation by testing and evaluating students, schools match the students' talents and capacities to the jobs they are best suited for. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>1) Are the 'Values and Norms' being transmitted by the education system really those of society or could they be those of a ruling class or elite? </li></ul><ul><li>2) Do schools really operate on meritocratic principles? What about Public and Independent schools, do they not have advantages over the state sector schools? And even within schools there may be banding or streaming - that will mean all children do not have equality of opportunity. </li></ul><ul><li>3) Do examinations really grade pupils in terms of ability and ensure that the 'best' people fill the most important jobs? It could be argued that exams only test pupil's ability to remember and regurgitate facts and have very little to do with ability in any other areas. </li></ul><ul><li>4) It may well be that ascribed status such as sex, race, class is a more important factor in educational success and that the meritocratic principles of the education system may be ideology to legitimate actual inequalities in society that the education system helps to reproduce. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Conflict Theory <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>The structural-functionalist school of thought portrayed societies as governed by a consensus of values . </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theorists argued that functionalist sociology disregarded conflict of value and interest in society . </li></ul>
  16. 16. Founder of Conflict Theory <ul><li>Karl Marx (1818-1883), founder of conflict theory, argued that the competition of individuals and groups for wealth and power is the fundamental process shaping social structure. For conflict theorists, basic questions about a social structure are &quot;Who gets what and why?” </li></ul><ul><li>In the 1960's, the rise of conflict theories, stressing the importance of stratification, class, conflict and material interests led to increased interest in Marx. Many conflict theorists are not Marxists, and there are many different varieties of Marxism, but virtually all conflict theorists recognize that Marx's theories raise fundamental questions about inequality, social structure and social dynamics. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Conflict Theory <ul><li>What is Conflict Theory? </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theory is a macro-sociological theoretical perspective which assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tension between competing groups . </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of interpreting social life as normally cooperative and harmonious, conflict theorists view society as an arena in which different individuals and groups struggle with each other in order to obtain scarce and valued resources. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict theory tends to argue that many social struggles are zero-sum games in which, if one party wins, the other(s) lose. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Conflict Theory <ul><li>What is Conflict Theory? </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theorists do not deny that certain types of social arrangements are functional, but they insist that we must always ask for whom they are functional. </li></ul><ul><li>The conflict perspective suggests that change, not stability is normal . </li></ul><ul><li>Social order is more commonly the result of the exercise of elite power rather than a reflection of true consensus . </li></ul>
  19. 19. Conflict Theory <ul><li>Social Institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theorists object to the implication that outcome is necessarily efficient and desirable. </li></ul><ul><li>From a conflict perspective, major institutions help to maintain the privileges of the most powerful individuals and groups within a society, while contributing to the powerlessness of others. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theorists argue that social institutions have an inherently conservative nature. </li></ul><ul><li>Why should we preserve the existing social structure if it is unfair and discriminatory? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Conflict Theory <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>The functionalist perspective view portrays contemporary education as basically benign. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Schools rationally sort and select students for future high-status positions, thereby meeting society’s need for talented and expert personnel. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The conflict perspective views education as an instrument of elite domination. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Schools convince subordinate groups of their inferiority, reinforce existing social class inequality, and discouraging alternative and more democratic vision of society. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Conflict Theory <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>The hidden curriculum </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Children must not speak until the teacher calls on them and must regulate their activities according to the clock or bells. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In a classroom overly focused on obedience, value is placed on pleasing the teacher and remaining quiet rather than on creative thought and academic learning. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This process may result in habitual obedience to authority in a broader social context. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Conflict Theory <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Credentialism </li></ul><ul><li>Fifty years ago, high school diploma was a minimum requirement for entry into the paid labor force of the US. Today, a college diploma is virtually the bare minimum. </li></ul><ul><li>The change reflects the process of credentialism – a term used to describe the increase in the lowest level of education needed to enter a field. </li></ul><ul><li>Functionalist perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Such changes are a logical response to the increasing complexity of many jobs. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Conflict Theory <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Credentialism </li></ul><ul><li>However, in many cases, employers raise degree requirements for a position simply because all applicants have achieved the existing minimum credential (Collins 1979). </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theorists observe that credentials may reinforce social inequality . </li></ul>
  24. 24. Conflict Theory <ul><li>Social Change </li></ul><ul><li>The functional perspective minimizes change. It emphasizes the persistence of social life and sees change as a means of maintaining the equilibrium (or balance) of a society. </li></ul><ul><li>By contrast, conflict theories contend that social institutions and practice continue because powerful groups have the ability to maintain the status quo. Change has crucial significance, since it is needed to correct social injustice and inequality. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Conflict Theory <ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theory counterbalances the optimism of functionalism by emphasizing the significance of power and struggle in social life. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Conflict Theory <ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Problems </li></ul><ul><li>The conflict approach tends to ignore the many areas of social life in which most people really do arrive at an uncoerced consensus about important values. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theorists also sometimes fail to emphasize the fact that much struggle is institutionalized through such consensus – building procedures as elections or collective bargaining between labor and management. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict theorists often violate the principle of scientific objectivity . </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>1) Are the 'Values and Norms' being transmitted by the education system really those of society or could they be those of a ruling class or elite? </li></ul><ul><li>2) Do schools really operate on meritocratic principles? What about Public and Independent schools, do they not have advantages over the state sector schools? And even within schools there may be banding or streaming - that will mean all children do not have equality of opportunity. </li></ul><ul><li>3) Do examinations really grade pupils in terms of ability and ensure that the 'best' people fill the most important jobs? It could be argued that exams only test pupil's ability to remember and regurgitate facts and have very little to do with ability in any other areas. </li></ul><ul><li>4) It may well be that ascribed status such as sex, race, class is a more important factor in educational success and that the meritocratic principles of the education system may be ideology to legitimate actual inequalities in society that the education system helps to reproduce. </li></ul>
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