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What exactly is the function of educating individuals in our capitalist society Are we really educated individually or is the system there simply to churn out a workforce to meet our societys growing needs I plan to look at the views of this matter from different sociologists perspectives and examine the ideas behind the function of education - whether it really is a fair an just system offering us all the chance to succeed regardless of our background What is education Is it merely the act or process of acquiring knowledge From a sociological perspective there is a lot more to it Education can be looked at as a method of socialization - preparing us for life in society and a system used to sort sift and grade us on terms of ability But is education unpretentiously doing this Or are there factors of inequality to be accounted for In Britain the state became involved in education in 1833 where some funding was provided for religious schools The industrial revolution had come about long before this and children up until this point were used as factory workers In 1844 the Factory Act required children in employment aged 8-13 to spend half the week in education In 1880 attendance to publicly funded schools was made compulsary up until the age of 10 and eventually in 1944 free secondary education for everyone was introduced and the school leaving age raised to 15 in 1947 and again in 1972 to the age of 16 the current leaving age Emile Durkheim a famous French sociologist looked at education from a functionalist perspective He felt that the major function of education was to transmit the norms and values of society Society can only survive if there exists amongst its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity education perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by fixing in the child from the beginning the essential similarities which collective life demands Durkheim meant that which
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