Marx’s view on functions of education:
1. School as agencies of ideological transmission
They are responsible for socializing pupils into an ideology that serves interests of a
capitalist ruling class
2. The correspondence between work and education
Schools mirror the workplace through its hierarchical structures.
Teachers give orders pupils obey. Students have little control over their work, just as
the workers in the majority of jobs.
3. Hidden Curriculum
Students learn through the experience of attending school rather than the stated
Dulls the lower class into obedient workers.
Education maintains social inequality and preserves the power of those who dominate
Maintains ideology and status quo that benefit the elites.
Durkheim’s view on functions of education:
1. Preparing individuals for their adult (workrelated) roles
People are socialized into the knowledge and skills that a industrialized society
requires; in which work in highly complex and specialized.
2. Promoting social solidarity
Promotes experience of collective behavior and collective consciousness among future
adults that are necessary for the integration of individuals into society.
Weber’s view based on theories
Confers status and prestige
Education is a system of rationalization.
Bureaucracy of education is efficient at producing degrees, BUT takes away individual
creativity in the process.
WHAT DOES EDUCATION DO? The purpose of degrees (Beaver article)
1. Human capital model
Education is a form of capital good that increases individual’s future income and
opportunity for secure jobs.
Assumed that skills and knowledge obtained at schools are transferable to jobs.
Students attend university to get knowledge and skills, 72% od US freshmen went to
school to be able to obtain “better jobs”.
2. Screening & Sorting
Degrees work as heuristics, mental short cuts for employers to save time and effort.
Social closure (max weber), credentials are more about providing occupational and
professional groups, and a way of excluding people.
Credential society (Randall Collins), rather than job training, there is a reliance on
formal educational credentials