In the United States, from kindergarten until we are sixteen, it is required by law that we attend school full time. Some people go on to further their education by attending a college, University or trade school after high school. School comes easier to some people than to others. This is the problem with our country’s educational system, not everyone is getting a good enough education. The major social problem that the current educational system breeds is establishing and then reinforcing social stratification. In sociology, functionalism is known as a structural theory. Functionalists see society as a whole being structured like the anatomy of a human body with many interconnected systems that function together to sustain a healthy body. Functionalists argue that in order to have a strong society, each individual must obey the social norms and standards of the society. Each person is socialized into obeying these “social norms” that are at the core that makes up the social structure. Society needs to convey social coherence and education plays a vital role in working to accomplish this. To understand America’s education system, we must first contemplate how it adds to the healthy conservation of the entire social system. French sociologist Emile Durkheim, who primarily expressed a functionalist perspective in many of his theories, argued that the primary function of education was the dispersal of society's norms and standards in certain regions (Durkheim, 1895). One of these regions focused on the rules society constrains on people. In school setting, children must learn to interact with others with a fixed set of rules. These include, respect for authority, cooperation, sharing with others, along with other necessities. These rules are engrained early in children because this sets forth how people are to behave in society. School can be considered a miniature society in itself because it stresses that children must follow rules of...
Bibliography: Bowles S & Gintis H (1976) Schooling in Capitalist America, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul
Emile Durkheim; http://www.relst.uiuc.edu/durkheim/
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