Education Topic 1 – Perspectives on the Role of Education – Knowledge Check- List

This is normally the first topic taught as part of the sociology of education module within A-level sociology,

Main Sub Topics

  • The Functionalist Perspective
  • The Marxist Perspective
  • The Neoliberal and New Right Perspective
  • The Post-Modernist Perspective
  • The Impact of Globalisation on Education
  • The relationship between education, the economy and work

Key concepts – You need to be able to define the following key concepts, explain how they are related to class and educational achievement, and asses their relative importance in explaining ethnic differences in educational achievement

  • Organic analogy
  • Value consensus
  • Role allocation
  • Particularistic
  • Universalistic
  • Specialist skills
  • Social solidarity
  • Meritocracy
  • National identity


  • Ideological state apparatus
  • Repressive state apparatus
  • Ideological tool
  • Dominant ideology
  • Correspondence theory
  • The hidden/informal curriculum
  • Marketisation
  • Parentocracy
  • Voucher System


 Selected Short Answer Questions

  • Outline the role of education according to Marxists.
  • Identify and briefly explain how education transmits the dominant ideology according to Marxists.
  • Outline how education benefits males according to feminists.
  • Outline the main functions of education according to functionalists.
  • Identify and briefly explain two ways in which the New Right are similar to functionalists
  • Outline two ways in which the education system has changed in response to globalisation


Possible Essay Questions
·         Assess the Marxist Perspective on the Role of Education in Society (20)

·         Assess the point of view that education creates inequality in society. (20)





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