Modern civilizations place a high importance on education as a means of passing along knowledge, skills, values, and standards from one generation to the next.
Sociologically speaking, education is viewed as a social institution that significantly influences how people and communities behave in terms of their social and economic well-being.
Functionalism, which sees education as a way to socialise people into the norms and values of society, is a significant viewpoint on education.
According to functionalist theory, education acts as a system for categorising people and assigning them to various tasks and positions in society in accordance with their skills and talents. By passing on a common cultural heritage and fostering social integration, education is also seen as a means of fostering social cohesiveness and stability.
Contrarily, conflict theory places a strong emphasis on how education contributes to the perpetuation and reinforcement of social inequality.
Conflict theorists contend that education advances the interests of the dominant classes by legitimising their beliefs and values as well as their power and dominance.
In addition, it is believed that through reproducing patterns of advantage and disadvantage based on class, race, and gender, education helps to maintain social inequality.
In contrast, symbolic interactionism focuses on how education shapes people’s identities and experiences. This viewpoint holds that education serves as a forum for cultural and social interchange, where people can learn to understand and function in social settings.
Along with offering chances for social mobility and personal development, education is also considered as a way of creating and reaffirming social roles and identities.
In general, the sociological viewpoint on education places an emphasis on how education shapes both individual and group identities, fosters socialisation and social integration, and reproduces and reinforces social inequalities.
Sociologists can assist in determining how education might be improved and changed to provide greater social fairness and justice by understanding the social and cultural components of education.