Compare And Contrast Functionalism And Conflict Theory

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As with any essay discussing the comparison of Functionalism and Conflict Theory, opinions on this subject are based predominantly on perspective. The subject of education and how it fits into American society is no different. Young people who attend public school in a wealthy neighborhood would likely believe that the countries current education system fits nicely into the functionalism role it fills and offers all citizens an equal opportunity to succeed and pursue their eventual life goals. Others, specifically the older generation, may have an entirely different perspective and may view the American education system as a tool of limits and control. No matter ones perspective on America's current education system, it cannot be argued that …show more content…
Functionalism says that education serves several main purposes in our culture, but they essentially all deal with human development. Functionalism states that education serves as a tool of socialization, teaching young people how to become a good citizen which will fit in well and contribute to society in a meaningful way. By developing human capital, the education system supports all other functions of society. It provides the economy with the labor force it so desperately needs and in return it receives additional tax revenue from the newly created workers. The education system works to decrease crime for the justice system by promising opportunity and developing empathy in its students. Legislatures are able to measure the success of these functions through student testing and use this information to make changes where necessary. These views, in and of themselves, are hard to argue against. Education clearly does fill these roles. Conflict theory, however, asks the deeper question. A more important question of whether or not the education system is filling these roles equally for all