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Education System In The United States

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How would a functionalist look at the educational system? What is one commonality between these two perspectives? What is one important difference? Answer: A conflict theorists view on the US education system would be that the education system promotes inequalities in our society that arise from differences in race, ethnicity and class. They also see the education system as a way of maintaining power structures and creating a capitalistic future work force. A functionalist would look at the US Education system as a positive environment that teaches children skills needed for success. The one commonality of the two perspectives is that both of them think that education prepares pupils for their position in society whether it is fair or unfair.

The one important difference in the two perspectives is that “functionalists theorize that inequality is a necessary and beneficial aspect of society, conflict theorists argue that it is unfair and exists at the expense of less powerful groups.” Identify two subcultures within your society, one that you belong to and one that you do not. In your answer, use two of the following terms to describe how people think and behave within these subcultures: code switching, culture shock, material culture, nonmaterial culture. Answer: Two subcultures within my society are the LGBT subculture and the Gen-Z subculture. I am a part of the Gen-Z subculture. In terms of material culture, Gen-Z are well known for growing up on and heavily relying on technology, such as an iPhone.

Many older generations fault us for being on our phones too much. In terms of non-material culture, I believe that Gen-Z’ers are much more open to diversity (gays, blacks, etc.) than previous generations as we have grown up knowing no different. As for the LGBT subculture, culture shock can be very strong. Say a member of the LGBT community travels to the Maldives, the culture shock would be very strong as there are no outed gay people, as it is a crime there. When gay people move fluidly from the gay scene to “normal society,” they usually act differently due to code switching. According to George Herbert Mead, the final step in the socialization process is when a person has developed the concept of the generalized other. Explain this concept in your own words. List and explain two examples of how your perception of the generalized other affects your day-to-day behavior. Answer: Generalized other is the second step in Mead’s stages of social development.

Developing the concept of generalized other is learning about the expectations of other people. The concept of the generalized other helps us to realize what is and is not acceptable in certain social situations. Anytime you imagine what is expected of you, you are focusing on the perspective of the generalized other. Two examples of how our perception of the generalized other affects our day-to-day behavior is when we meet new people or are in a new situation. When you are comfortable around people, you may say stuff you might not say around new people. So, when you meet new people, you need to use to use your perception of the generalized other to make sense of what is acceptable to say to someone you just met. When you are in a new situation, the same thing goes. You may be uncomfortable and not know how to act, but again, using your perception of the generalized other will guide you on how to act in this new situation. Define what Emile Durkheim meant by social cohesion.  Distinguish between his two types of social solidarity, mechanical and organic, using an example of each.

In your view, which type of social solidarity best fosters human well-being, and why? Answer: What Emile Durkheim meant by social cohesion is “the way people form social bonds, relate to each other, and get along on a day-to-day basis.” In mechanical social solidarity, society is based on the sameness of individuals who perform the same jobs and have the same beliefs. An example of this is in a hunter-gatherer society or the Inuit’s. There is not a big reliance on each other as they all take care of their own families. In organic social solidarity, everyone performs a different, individualized task that allows society to work as a whole. They are united by mutual dependence on each other. An example of this is in a hospital. A surgeon must rely on the doctor to identify the problem, and the doctor must rely on the nurse to gather all the patient’s medical information/vitals. If they do not work together, patients will not receive the best care. I believe organic social solidarity best fosters human well-being because we learn to appreciate each other and our differences, and not always think about ourselves.

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