Education Description of Education Education Is the Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


Description of education

Education is the learning and experience that impacts every individual in one way or the other. In fact, better education paves the way for better economic opportunities and this is one of the key areas that results in economic disparities in the society.

Education as a field of sociology is about understanding how different aspects such as public institutions, parental role, society and environment affect the learning abilities of individuals. It concentrates heavily on the role of schools and universities in the modern society (Ballantine & Hammack, 2011).

Education in the field of sociology

In sociology, education is viewed as a means towards better social equality and to overcome many social evils such as poverty. In that context, education is the path for acquiring social status and money. It is also seen as an area where the individual differences in terms of learning abilities is evident. The sociological aspect of education looks into the role played by parents, peers and the society at large on an individual and it analyzes the number of opportunities they get to reach their true learning potential. To better understand these sociological aspects of education, there are two main theories and they are the functionalist theory and the conflict theory.

Functionalist theory

Functionalist theory, also known as structural functionalism, believes that the society is in a natural equilibrium and every member of the society accepts the social norms that are established in it. It is based on Darwin's theory of evolution that is based on individual differences as well as the need to adapt to existing rules to survive.

The crux of this theory is to educate children to the existing and established rules of the society so that they grow up to be part of it and it places this responsibility on the public education system to achieve this objective. Also, this theory encourages the society to identify talent and prepare them for the higher end jobs while the ones with lesser talents end up with the least paying jobs. This is a process of the continuity and through this process, the social order and the norms are maintained (Bessant & Watts, 2002).

Conflict theory

The conflict theory opposes the functionalist theory because it promotes inequality in society by giving opportunity to the talented ones to dominate those that remain at the bottom. The education system is believed to promote this social inequality and provide different classes of workers who are at different economic levels, thereby allowing the society to adhere to its fundamental ideology of inequality (Andersen & Taylor, 2007).

Known and unknown aspects of education

There are many known and unknown aspects of…

Sources Used in Document:


Wells, Gordon. (1999). Dialogic Inquiry: Towards a Sociocultural Practice and Theory of Education. Boston: Cambridge University Press.

Bessant, Judith; Watts, Rob. (2002). Sociology: Australian Connections. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

Ballantine, Jeanna; Hammack, Floyd. (2011). The Sociology of Education: A Systematic Analysis. New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Andersen, Margaret; Taylor, Francis. (2007). Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society. Farmington Hills, MI: Cengage Learning.

Cite This Essay:

"Education Description Of Education Education Is The" (2012, May 30) Retrieved October 16, 2018, from

"Education Description Of Education Education Is The" 30 May 2012. Web.16 October. 2018. <>

"Education Description Of Education Education Is The", 30 May 2012, Accessed.16 October. 2018,