Social Solidarity Essay

Submitted By Jenny8295
Words: 574
Pages: 3

How can items A and B be used to illustrate the view that education helps to unite members of society?

Education helps unite its members in various forms ranging from teaching the history of their country to teaching children specialised skills. The typical sociological term used for uniting members of society is known as ‘social solidarity’. Item A shows typical American school children pledging loyalty to their flag and country. Similarly to this, Item B is showing a picture of Davy Crockett accompanied with some text explaining his heroic actions for his country. Looking closely at Item A we can see that they are all pledging loyalty to their country in the classroom which gives them a sense of social solidarity because, as the Functionalist Emile Durkheim suggested, they will feel part of a nation. Durkheim stated that social solidarity is based on ‘essential similarities’ between members of society. One of the main functions of education is to develop these similarities and so bind members of society together. Pledging allegiance to their flag is binding the children together as members of society as they all have common traits, for example, they share the pride they have for their country. This is because USA has a population drawn from all over the world and a common educational system has helped to weld this diverse mass into a nation providing them with common norms and values. Item B shows that a shared history provides children in education with social solidarity because they are learning the history of their country and look up to these heroes. Durkheim sees a common history as vital for uniting members of society. Again American school children grow up with stories of their founders and their country’s heroes e.g. Davy Crockett who “was elected three times as a Congressman”. With a shared history, people feel part of a wider social group – it is their country made up of people like themselves. In this way, education contributes to the development of social solidarity. Items A and B have their similarities and differences. Item A like Item B are showing how education teaches children to unite. They do this through simple things the children have in