In this assignment, an education institution would be tackled in depth to as the form of social institution; education would be viewed under the functionalism and symbolism theory. The assignment would go a notch higher and expound on how the society has been able to shape the institution so as to feed their respective needs.
The meanings and definitions of the keywords, that is, education, functionalism and symbolism would form part of the basis for the discussion. Moving forward, analyzing of how these theoretical perspectives of sociology affect the education institution would be taken into consideration.
The methodologies used by the individuals in the society to sharpen the institution would be the major criteria for evaluating the basis of the whole discussion.
Education Institution: Explained under Functionalism and Symbolism
Functionalism was basically developed under two common aspects of the society that acted interdependently to contribute towards the society’s role. In an education system, the state or rather the Government offers education for the children of the society involved. Families in return pay taxes to the Government that it solely uses in maintaining its operations. In this scenario, families are dependent upon the education system to assist their children in growing up and have good jobs that would aid them in raising and supporting their own families while the Government depends upon household taxes. The process commences when the children actually grow up to become law-abiding citizens that pay taxes, just like their parents, to support the state. Evidently, in functionalism theory, both parties’ acts towards assisting the other and in the process, stability, peace and high levels of productivity are reached.
In symbolism, people attach implications to symbols to represent certain features that they can identify with and it includes face to face interactions to assist the use of symbols. In the education system, symbols include: books, teachers, classrooms and uniforms. Books are symbols for gaining knowledge while teachers represent the medium through which knowledge is conveyed. In countries where uniforms are worn to schools, they symbolize the levels of education attained while others may perceive uniforms as symbols for beauty and harmony within an education environment. The major setback with this theory is that people attach different meaning and there is no uniform way of representation.
The society however fights so hard to make sure schools serve to fulfill the intended purpose for which they were created. Families will make sure that they pay taxes to facilitate the smooth running of the institution while expecting the Government to continue offering education system.