We have already talked about some of the other key concepts in education in sociology, but now we will consider two of the important approaches to education – the Marxist Approach and the Functionalist Approach.
For GCSE Sociology, it is important to understand the following .
The Marxist Approach argues that the education system has a critical role in a capitalist society. It claims that the education system benefits privileged groups and reinforces social inequalities. The Marxist approach argues that education:
In the Marxist approach, the education system is thought to socialise children to accept their lower position with the capitalist society – they learn to obey rules and accept the hierarchy at school and later at work.
However, the Functionalist Approach views education as having a positive function in society. It argues that education has positive benefits such as:
The Functionalist approach sees secondary socialisation in terms of education teaching future workers the knowledge and skills they need to work in a capitalist workforce within the global economy.
If you are studying AS or A2 level sociology, we will cover the Marxist and Functionalist Approaches to education in more detail in a later blog.
GCSE exams questions on the Marxist and Functionalist approach could be: