Social Context of Education

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Role of Education in the Caribbean

Sheldon Hope

Student ID# 201103063

Erdiston Teachers’ Training College

In partial fulfillment of the

Associate Degree in Education Programme (Secondary)


Ms. D. Browne

12 November 2011


“Sociology according to the American Sociological Association defines it as the study of social life, social change and the social causes of human behavior. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to that of the sociology of sports”. The two perspectives which I will seek to explore and examine in this paper will be Functionalism and Marxism. Functionalists have four major views which include the transmission of cultural values, Social control, Economic Training and Social Selection. Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) believes that society should be viewed as a whole and they look at all the facets in the society like family, education and the political system. Education is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels or acts. Functionalist will examine the transmission of society’s norms and values, social solidarity and homogeneity. Culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization and of course socialization refers to the disseminating of norms. In contrast to Functionalist the conflict theory or Marxist approach argues that this is not the case as it relates to education will suggest that rather education should be seen as part of the apparatus that legitimises and reproduces societies inequalities and divisions, the...