Hi Giants, here is first draft, I'll answer the questions more directly add cites and refs and post link to the completed word doc this pm...
The most important issues faced in functionalism in education may be a lack of understanding of how a problem with graduating successful students is can negatively influence the productivity and advancement of society. When a problem exists in higher education, this can be defined as a malfunction within the sociological institution. When society is functional the components that make up societal infrastructure work together collectively to produce a balance or state of equilibrium within the society. In order to bring balance there are necessary functions that must met for the society to thrive. An example would be the graduation of educated and well trained students in fields central to producing new advances in technology, agriculture, science, and other industries to contribute to the job market and economic growth. Any new innovations or anomalies created by the new professionals are made possible as a required function needed for society to continue (Holmwood, 2005).
The normal function for higher education is to graduate productive students to contribute to the economic development and future of the nation. With functionalism each year the new generation of workers enter companies all over the nation to fill positions in the workplace. Bringing with them the latest ideas and theories for improving products and services. Each of varied functions that these new workers perform help to fill a position within society to maintain and expand its development. Similar to how the various systems within the human body contribute to the function of a person. The function of education within society keep our country contributing to the world in multiple industries. The various industries depend on one another from every field of education. For example the health care field needs the researchers, technical experts, and pharmaceuticals to be successful in order to fulfill the role in society to bring comfort and health to those needing medical care. If there are problems in providing students with the financial aid needed to attend school, an imbalance is created. This could cause a conflict with society's ability to fill certain job skill requirements due to shortages of trained individuals. This will affect the ability of corporations to build new products to sell on the world market. The knowledge of those unable to get an education could result in the delay of a cure for aids or a solution to social security as function meant to affect society is cut off. Put another way, if there are no advances in medications, medical equipment or researching for cures, the level of care the medical institutions can provide will be limited. This could cause the death of those unable to gain access to life sustaining procedures and medicines. On the other hand when all of the educational workforce is able to advance in these positions within society and make a contribution using their skill, knowledge, new ideas and inventions then equilibrium can be reached as each function is utilized.
Sociological Theory Concerning Conflict
Education is required for society to function. The departments within an educational institution at a University could possibly have conflicts when it comes to the level of funding each receives based on merit, contribution, or some other characteristic. As each department works to gain attention of investors and Alumni to add more facilities, supplies, and other needs they may be in direct conflict with peers and colleagues. As each works to gain access to funding they must capitalize on the functions that they each contribute to education. At times the struggle or conflict can become politically charged as those in civil service get involved. For example barring minorities from affirmative action that allows them to get into college due to scarce funding resources. The problems with affirmative action being stopped in California and Michigan has limited opportunities for minorities to find quality jobs once they leave High School. This in turn could contribute to the number that cannot find employment therefore they may have to depend on government aid for additional training in order to prepare for the job market. The payment for their education eventually falls on the taxpayers. The problem behind the conflict theory is usually closely tied to the social economic status of a society. For the wealthy, sending their college age students to get a higher education is not a challenge or difficulty, however for those with limited incomes or no income, the conflict is quite apparent. Why limit the number of minorities able to pull themselves up from a mediocre job to the highest levels within a corporation simply because of a lack of funding. Those at the top of the pyramid are few and enjoy all the top job positions in management due to educational opportunity and preference based on economic background (Matcha, 2000). These same few at the top have authority to delegate decisions and funding at the educational institutions and influence decisions of affirmative action and other regulating policy. Those at the lower levels of the pyramid are many and simply support those at the top providing inexpensive labor and increased wealth to a few. However the conflict of the many supporting the needs of the few is a sort of functioning societal institution in itself, which does bring about some advancement of society as a whole.
When those at the top are challenged they simply label the offended as fundamentalists or extremists as they wield power to maintain their position at the top.
Is described in societal circles as human purpose. As people decide on careers and begin pursuing education based on those decisions, it is evident that they have a vested interest in the choice. As people relate in society to others they form opinions that shape interests and attract like minded colleagues, friends, and mentors that help to bring individual goals into reality (Blumer,1969).
A perspective discussed by Herbert Blumer a leading sponsor of this theory has three basic premises that make up a symbolic interaction. The first is that people are motivated through a reward system or getting something in return for their effort. The second is that this construct or way of reacting comes from the social interactions of the individual throughout their life with others. Lastly, how a person responds in sociological situations is based on their experience or motivational factors that promise benefits desired by the individual to gain progress in meeting personal goals or purpose (Blumer, 1969). For example many people complete their education, then take introductory positions in firms that they have no intention of staying long term, simply for the training or the pay. After they spend a couple years in this position and are trained, they tend to move on to the place of employment that interests them or for which they feel they can contribute and benefit in terms of recognition, advancement of career, or income for example.