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ntroduction to the Social Dimensions of Education

Introduction to the Social Dimensions of Education


(SUMMARY)

What is Consensus and Conflict Theory?

Consensus is a general or widespread agreement among all members of a particular society. A concept
of society in which the absence of conflict is seen as the equilibrium state of society based on a general
or widespread agreement among all members of a particular society.

Conflict is a clash or disagreement between ideas, principles and people

Consensus theories see shared norms and values as fundamental to society; focus on social order
based on tacit agreements, and view social change as occurring in a slow and orderly fashion. In
contrast, conflict theories emphasize the dominance of some social groups by others, see social order
as based on manipulation and control by dominant groups and view social change as occurring rapidly
and in a disorderly fashion as subordinate groups overthrow dominant groups (Ritzer, 2000). It is a
theory or collection of theories which places emphasis on conflict in human society (Jary and Jary,
2000:105).

Is it possible in such society to have no conflict?

Dahrendorf recognizes that society can not exist without both conflict and consensus, which are
prerequisites for each other. Thus, we cannot have conflict unless there is some prior consensus.

What is the focus of Conflict Theory?


According to Horton and Hunt (1984), conflict theory focuses on the heterogeneous nature of society
and the differential distribution of political and social power. A struggle between social classes and class
conflicts between the powerful and less powerful groups occur.

What is the larger issue for conflict theorists?


The larger issue for conflict theorists is the role that education plays in maintaining the prestige, power,
and economic and social position of the dominant group in society (Ballantine & Spade, 2004).
Where the conflict theory did came from?
Grew out from the work of Karl Marx and focuses on the struggle of social classes to maintain dominance
and power in social systems.
They explained change as emerging from the crisis between human beings and their society.
They argued the theory characterized by class conflicts: bourgeoisie (rich owners) and proletariat (poor
workers).
What is status culture?
Refer to groups in society with similar interests and positions in the status hierarchy.
Max Weber argues that schools teach and maintain particular status cultures
Education systems may train individuals in specialties to fill needed positions or prepare cultivated
individuals (those who stand above others because of their superior knowledge and reasoning abilities
(Sadovnik, et. Al, 1994).
What is structural functionalism?
States that society is made up of various institutions that work together in cooperation.
Structural functionalism was for many years the dominant sociological theory in the works of Talcott
Parsons, Robert Merton and their students and followers. However in the last 3 decades it has declined
dramatically in importance (Chris, 1995).
Parsons Structural functionalism has 4 Functional Imperatives for all ACTION SYSTEMS, embodied in
his famous AGIL scheme. These functional imperatives that are necessary for all systems are:
1. Adaptation- a system must cope with external situational exigencies. It must adapt to its environment
and adapt environment to its needs.

2. Goal attainment- A system must define and achieve its primary goals

3. Integration- a system must regulate the interrelationship of its component parts. It must also manage
the relationship among the other 3 functional imperatives (AGL).

4. Latency- (pattern maintenance) a system must furnish, maintains, and renews both the motivation of
individuals and the cultural patterns that create and sustain the motivation.

Parsons designed the AGIL scheme to be used at all levels in this theoretical system:
o Action System- handles the adaptation function by adjusting to an transforming the external world.
o Personality system- perform the goal-attainment unction by defining system goals and mobilizing
resources to attain them.
o Social System- copes with the integration function by controlling its component parts.
o Cultural System- performs the latency function by providing actors with the norms and values that
motivate them for action (Ritzer, 2000).

Functional Requisites of a Social System

1. Social system must be structured so that they operate


compatibly with other systems.
2. To survive, the social system must have the requisite
from other systems
3. The system must meet a significant proportion of the
needs of its actors
4. The system must elicit adequate participation from its
members
5. It must have at least a minimum of control over
potentially disruptive behavior
6. If conflict becomes sufficiently disruptive, it must be
controlled.
7. Finally, a social system requires a language in order to
survive.
- Talcott Parsons
Key Principles of the functionalist theory:
o Interdependency
o Functions of social structure and culture
o Consensus and cooperation
o Equilibrium
The component parts of a social structure:

Families
Neighbors
Associations
Schools
Churches
Banks
Countries

What is the role of structural functionalism to education?

As cited by Ballantine and Spade (2004), Parson believes that education is a vital part of a modern
society, a society that differs considerably from all previous societies. From this perspective, schooling
performs an important function in the development and maintenance of a modern, democratic society,
especially with regard to equality of opportunity for all citizens. Thus, in modern societies education
becomes the key institution in a meritocratic selection process.

What is Interaction Theory?

Interactionist theory has its origin in the social psychology of early 20 th century sociologists George
Herbert Mead and Charles Horton Cooley.
Mead and Cooley examined the ways in which the individual is related to society through ongoing
interactions.
This theory attempt to make the commonplace strange by turning on their heads everyday taken-for-
granted behaviors and interactions between students and students and between students and teachers.

Basic Forms of SOCIAL INTERACTIONS

Symbolic interaction which require mental processes and views the self as socially constructed in
relation to social forces and social structures. (Ritzer, 2000)
- Meads approach to symbolic interaction rested on 3 basic premises:

1. People act toward the things hey encounter on the basis of what those things mean to them.
2. People learn what things are by observing the things they encounter people respond to them that is
through social interaction.
3. As a result of ongoing interaction, the sounds (or words, gestures, facial expressions and body postures
we use in dealing with others acquire symbolic meanings that are shared by people who belong to the
same culture.
- Another important concept that has long been used by symbolic interactionist is the Looking-Glass
Self. This concept was developed by Charles Cooley according to him, We see ourselves as others see
us.
- In Cooleys terms, you use other people as a mirror into which you look to see what you are like (Farley,
1990).

Non-symbolic interaction which does not involve thinking (Blumer, following Mead)

o Symbolic gestures, extends beyond the act itself. A handshake, a hug, a bow expresses both parties
shared understanding that a social interaction is beginning.
o This also shows respect and love for one another.

Socio-Drama

Task: What you are going to do is to create a drama with conflict, climax and resolution from the given characters
below. You can either add some characters in the story or give it a twist. Its up to you. Applying also the different
kinds of theories: Consensus and Conflict Theories, Structural Functionalism Theories and Interactionist/Interaction
Theories, make sure you are to correlate it in your story. The better flow of story and creativity the GREAT
TEAMWORK you have. Remember to apply cooperation in your work. Your output reflects who you are. Remember
that TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK! Fight-o-Oh!

CHARACTERS

Abueles Family:
(POOR HOUSEHOLD)
Simon- The father in the family. He is a farmer.
Teresa- The mother in the family. She is a housewife.
Gabriel- the son of Simon and Teresa who strives hard to finish his studies, very hardworking, helps his parents in
the farm and accidentally fall in love to Isabel
Chichay- the sister of Gabriel very bubbly and cheerful. Loves to smile. A talented and bright girl in their school.

De La Cruz Family:
(WEALTHY HOUSEHOLD)
Don Juan- The father of Isabel and is the owner of the land where Simon (father of Gabriel) is working.
Sisa- the wife of Don Juan. Silent when with his husband.
Isabel- the only daughter of De La Cruz Family, a pure hearted girl and accidentally falls in love to Gabriel.
Conchita- their housemaid who takes good care of Isabel since her childhood.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Socio-Drama

Task: What you are going to do is to create a drama with conflict, climax and resolution from the given characters
below. You can either add some characters in the story or give it a twist. Its up to you. Applying also the different
kinds of theories: Consensus and Conflict Theories, Structural Functionalism Theories and Interactionist/Interaction
Theories, make sure you are to correlate it in your story. The better flow of story and creativity the GREAT
TEAMWORK you have. Remember to apply cooperation in your work. Your output reflects who you are. Remember
that TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK! Fight-o-Oh!

CHARACTERS

Abueles Family:
(POOR HOUSEHOLD)
Simon- The father in the family. He is a farmer.
Teresa- The mother in the family. She is a housewife.
Gabriel- the son of Simon and Teresa who strives hard to finish his studies, very hardworking, helps his parents in
the farm and accidentally fall in love to Isabel
Chichay- the sister of Gabriel very bubbly and cheerful. Loves to smile. A talented and bright girl in their school.

De La Cruz Family:
(WEALTHY HOUSEHOLD)
Don Juan- The father of Isabel and is the owner of the land where Simon (father of Gabriel) is working.
Sisa- the wife of Don Juan. Silent when with his husband.
Isabel- the only daughter of De La Cruz Family, a pure hearted girl and accidentally falls in love to Gabriel.
Conchita- their housemaid who takes good care of Isabel since her childhood