The essay is for Functionalist and Conflict Approach by Karl Marx by offering worldly perception that defends oppression

Home, - Functionalist and Conflict Approach

Functionalist and Conflict Approach

The conflict approach by Karl Marx views religion as a phenomenon of human behavior which functions with the aim of upholding social discrimination by offering a worldly perception that defends oppression. Functionalists think that religion is a conservative force which operates as an agency of socialization. Conflict approach states that education aims to promote social inequality and conserve the power of the people who rule the nation while functionalists view educational institutions as socialization agencies. This paper will describe the religious and educational institutions using the functionalist and conflict approach.

Functionalists outlook education as the most significant social bodies in the community. They think that education promotes the manifest and latent functions. The manifest are the seen and intended roles in school while the latent are the invisible and unplanned tasks in schooling. The visible duties in education include socialization and Emile Durkheim believes that educational institutions are socialization agencies which help students relate to each other and prepare them for adulthood. Through socialization in the schools, children can learn the rubrics and various cultural norms of the society. Education institutions also teach students on the conformism of the law and respect for authority. The respect students give to the teachers helps them live in harmony in the school surrounding, and this prepares the students for the world and workplace relations with others. An instructor’s authority to the students is one of the ways which education institutions achieve the social control function ((Levinson, et al. 267). Education institutions also teach college students on the social placement where they are motivated to study the areas which will be of more advantage to their social ladder.

The latent functions in the education system include the introduction to social media platforms which will help students search for jobs after their studies. Working in small groups is a latent function which will help the students in their workplaces. One of the essential values which students in the United States education system learn is individualism. The education institutions in the United States promote self-esteem rather than social esteem (Levinson. et al. 268). Students are taught patriotism, and they are also prepared on how to deal with competition in life. The functionalist perspective on religion by Emile Durkheim works on the social roles of religion.

 Durkheim states that religion is a self-worship celebration of human society. He continues to describe the functions of religion as; it offers social unity to assist in maintaining social cohesion through collective rituals and values, social control that implements religious meaning and drives to reaction to any existential queries. Functionalists think that religion is a conservative force which operates as an agency of socialization. According to Durkheim, he believes that when people worship a religion, they are also worshipping a society. Religion gives a sense of belonging to the people in the community, and religious symbols reminded people that they are a portion of a more significant part of the society (Strenski 129).

 There is no society with no religion, and religion acts as an expression of a particular community.  The more multifaceted a society is, the more compound their religious systems are, and most religious structures accentuate on universalism extensively. Although the dissection of labor in the community makes people appear significant, the religious organizations emphasis on conscience and personal salvation. The main disapproval about religion is, it oversees religion's dysfunctions like it can be used to defend violence. Religions have been seen to motivate and justify wars, and the functionalism approach provides social cohesion among members of a particular party in a conflict. Emile argues that the world is divided into profane and sacred. To justify his belief, Emile studies the totemism culture, and he realizes that the society and the religion are the same. Bronislaw Malinowski aspect on religion are similar to Durkheim in that; religion strengthens social standards, values and indorses social unity. Malinowski also links religion with anxiety and emotional stress situations in the society. He concludes by stating that religious rituals provide a feeling of control and decreases anxiety (Strenski 118). Talcott Parsons, another functionalist, believes that religion is an institute which gives the customs and standards of society. Parsons claims that religion is a way for people to accept that dying is a normal way of life and that religion provides answers to situations. Functionalists perspective on religion is that religion helps in the fulfillment of social stability and order in the society.

The conflict approach views and explains the battle which exists between different competing groups. Karl Marx views religion as a source of conflict and a divisive power in the society (Marx and Engels 20). According to Marx and Engels (20), religion is a device which helps the quo status in the community through making the low-class people believe in the great gifts in life after a person dies. He believes that individuals should focus on the rewards currently in life and abandon all the other worldly values and promises. Marx thinks that religion promises people gifts which are an illusion and that religion justifies oppression of people and promotes terrible behaviors in the society. He continues to state that religious institutions are the primary leaders in social inequality and social injustice practices.

The conflict analysis theorists say that religion maintains and supports the status quo by creating legitimization for oppressive social situations. Religious values and practices define group boundaries within the society and therefore, creating a negative mentality among people. Marx continues to say that religion deals more on social aspirations and needs rather than spirituality. The conflict theorists believe that religion is created to fulfill the basic requirements of people and to act as a power center. Although functionalist can agree that religion in a way meets the needs of people, they view this point from a different perspective. Conflict theorists emphasize that religion functions to maintain the rich and the powerful in their winning positions.

The conflict theorists view educational institutions negatively as they believe that the education system promotes social inequality. They think that the social inequalities in institutions arise from the differences in gender, race, ethnicity, and class. The educational institutions are places where the individuals in power stay in power while the people of the lower status are pushed into obedience. The conflict theorists believe that educational institutions teach subordinate groups that they are inferior, they discourage alternative societal paradigms and class inequality within social stratification (Sarup 105).

  They believe that education upholds an exclusive class system by supporting the hidden curriculum in the education system. The hidden curriculum is not a section of the school system, but it is taught through reinforcement of attitudes and behaviors which are believed to be appropriate in the society. According to the conflict approach, the base that education gives status to persons helps to promote social stratification. Conflict theorists also believe that education systems naturally repudiate the disadvantaged learners from getting an equal education, resultant job opportunities as the others. Tracking is another way through which social stratification is supported and reinforced in the education system.

Tracking is when learners are placed according to their academic achievements especially based on their test scores, and therefore conflict theorists believe that tracking reinforces and perpetuates the difference between social classes rather than offering equal chances to the learners. They also think that tracking is meant to meet capitalists societies’ needs through preparing the skilled labor force required for capitalist societies to go on. Instructors believe that learners do better when classes are tracked because learners with the same abilities get more personal attention from teachers. Sociologists believe that tracking creates self-fulfilling prophecies. The tracking classes also make learners live either up or down based on the society's or teachers expectations (Sarup 112). Conflict theorists believe that the learning reform can be valuable through reforming the capitalist economic system.

In conclusion, the functionalist and the conflict approach view the society as a system of social structures. The two theories see the purpose of the structure differently because Marxism believes that the use of the system of the social structure depends on the power and wealth of the people involved. On the other hand, functionalism sees the social system structure as an entity where people can work together for the benefit of all in the society.

Leave a comment


Related :-