Education is an important social institution. How do conflict and functionalist perspectives view education as an institutionalized activity? Which of these approaches can best describe the system of education in Pakistan and how?

Education-is-an-important-social-institution.-How-do-conflict-and-functionalist-perspectives-view-education-as-an-institutionalized-activity

CSS Solved Sociology Past Paper 2023 | Education is an important social institution. How do conflict and functionalist perspectives view education as an institutionalized activity? Which of these approaches can best describe the system of education in Pakistan and how?

The following question of Sociology is attempted on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. This solved past paper question is uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

Question Breakdown

In the aforementioned question, Education Institution is focused concerning for to sociological perspectives. It implies the significance of education and its role in the societal framework. Education is an important social institution that controls and maintains the status quo of a society. There are three parts to the question:
1. The first part requires education from the perspective of functional structuralism, which defines education as the factor behind the structure and function of a society
2. The second part notions education with the perspective of conflict in society, which enunciates the division of society based on class and caste, and 3. the third part demands to describe of the system of education in Pakistan concerning the suitable perspective.

                                                                                         Outline                                                                                                                                 

1- Introduction

 2- Significance of Education

  • ✓ source of social control
  • ✓ articulation of innovation
  • ✓ provision of acknowledgements

A- Institution of Education w.r.t. Conflict Perspective

  • ✓ elite class vs middle class
  • ✓ private sector vs public sector
  • ✓  social stratification vs constant conflict perpetuation

B- Institution of Education w.r.t. Functionalist perspective

  • ✓ architects the social organization
  • ✓ channel of social integration
  • ✓ bolster social equilibrium

C- Which approach can best describes the education system in Pakistan?

  • ✓ Marxism in the education system of Pakistan
  • ✓ How elite class operates the ideological state through the institution of education?
    • through military
    • through religion
    • through curriculum transmutations

3- Conclusion

Answer to the Question

Introduction

Education is a momentous social institution. It imparts a significant impact on society through its innovative implications. The functional structuralism perspective of education gives a subtle approach to control and bolster the social balance. Demonstrably, the conflict perspective illustrates the realist perception of education in a society where it turns into a weapon of biased control outrightly. In the case of Pakistan, education has a wide spectrum of implications interestingly. The structure of Pakistani society depicts the education institution as the societal divisions illustrate the multiple curricula prevalent in the country that is behind the social inequalities and casteism agendas, whereas education institutions have also propagated innovation as well as the acknowledgements in the Pakistani society. Education institution in Pakistan has a potential role in their evolution with the changing dynamics of the world.

Significance of Education Institution

Education is a multifaceted institution that encompasses the functions of social control, social placement, innovation, and social integration:

  1. Source of Social control:
    It implies social etiquette through positive social sanctions and legitimizations. Owing to this application, helps the individual to internalize the norms and values as well as establishes a prudent social contract through social interaction via socialization.
  2. Articulation of Innovation:
    Cultural inventions and discoveries via acknowledgements escalate the cognition and evolution process of society. The socio-cultural changes regulate the phenomena of multicultural dynamism by the exchange of information across the globe and speed up the development of cognition in social individuals. It helps to eradicate dysfunctional elements and to adopt modern means for social growth.
  3. Provision of acknowledgements:
    Inculcation of the knowledge about the past, present, and prospects is imparted by the institution of education. This sequel is maintained by the human generations through the transfer of knowledge. Similarly, it produces social capital by imparting professional and traditional knowledge like doctors, engineers, philosophers, scientists, and accountants. Along with this,  skill-based education is also pivotal in the upgradation of society like chefs, interior decorators, fashion designers, and freelancing.

Institution of Education w.r.t. Conflict Perspective

KARL MARX, The father of communism, has connoted the conflict perspective, that implicates the social class divisions into a capitalist class( Bourgeoisie) and a labour class (proletariat). This triggers a social class conflict on the accord of unequal distribution of resources, and so is the case with education in society. He elaborated on the dysfunctionality of society via social conflicts that are repugnant to social progression as it engulfs social solidarity. A continuum of power conundrum between the social classes diverts society to the rat race for resources and cutthroat competition in various fields of social life.

For example, the High unemployment rate of 6.20% in 2022 as per the Trading Economics Global Macro model and analysts gives the idea about the rise in crime deviation like street crimes in Karachi. On the other side, person-centric politics has grasped the middle class via false promises where society is entangled by political polarization.

Henceforth, a devastating and never-ending tug and pull of the elite class and the middle class is the landmark in the slow progression of Pakistani society as well as the cultural lag between Pakistan and its counterparts, ultimately leading to a dearth of scientific temperament.

  1. Elite class vs. Middle class:
    Unequal education creates the elite class and middle class in which the prior takes control by power and resources while the other serves the elitist agendas in the society. It demonstrates a class against class and a state within a state.
  2. Private sector vs. Public sector:
    Along the same vein, at the macro level, monopolization of the private education sector due to power and resource mobilization dominates the public education sector. On one side, it cuts the way of public cognitive growth, and on the other side, it distorts the education machinery. In this manner, purposive education becomes an unattainable milestone.
  3. Constant perpetuation vs. social stratification:
    The difference between means of production and means of distribution escalates the constant perpetuation of power in society. Societal inequality due to different education values and norms devastates the social stratification cycle that empowers and enlightens the rich by depriving the poor and lower class in society and thus a vicious cycle continues to engulf the social equilibrium.

Institution of Education w.r.t. Functionalist Perspective

As per the view of EMILE DURKHEIM and HERBERT SPENCER, society operates by structuralism and functionalism. Every society has a definite structure and function of its own with a sui generis context. It is a group of people with certain values and belief systems heading toward a common goal. In this scenario, education has a significant function that brings about the structure of a society. As a matter of subject, education is an organ of society that coordinates social activities and regulates society by social sanctions, i.e. dos and DON’T. A society demonstrates the structure imparted by education, and it functions accordingly.

  1. Architect the social organization:
    The education system holds the specific values and social sanctions in a society that shapes the society. For example, the scientific temperament of American society and inadequate innovation in Pakistani society exclaims the social organization vividly.
  2. Channel of social integration:
    Education is a common institution that sets the goals and ambitions for social individuals, which cannot be gained individually to accommodate this criterion; goal orientation of a nation towards a common goal serves as the channel of social integration through the vehicle of education.
  3. Bolster of social equilibrium:
    A society is like an organism that functions to maintain its status quo warranto where education is the instrument that injects social solidarity and an optimistic outlook that ultimately compels the society to the way of social equilibrium.

Which approach can best describes the education system in Pakistan?

 For Pakistan, education is a matter of life and death. In an era, where the globe has reached the top spot of innovation and empiricism, Pakistan is wresting among the private sector education, public sector education, and madrassah education system. This scenario has generated a constant conflict among the masses as the education system has dissected the society into various fragments; the rich, the poor, the Islamists, the liberals, and a major division i.e. the Elite class, the Middle class.

  • Marxism in the education system of Pakistan:

Ostensibly, the class divisions demonstrate the conflict in Pakistani society and the social gap ascertains the MARXISM in the education system of Pakistan. A nation within a nation resides in Pakistani society on the accord of quality education to the upper class and poor or low accessibility to the lower strata. About 22.8 million children are out of school (UNICEF). At the same time, inadequate infrastructure, ghost schools, unhygienic school conditions, and low or naught access to education have slowed down the process of social stratification in Pakistani society as the vitiation of the middle class at the hands of elitist agenda has clogged the evolution of social norms and values. Likewise, the gap between male and female education has ignited the gender inequality debate in society. 59% male and 21% female education proportion clearly define the social conflict in the terms of education. Hence, the upper class has access to good education and job opportunities, while the scenario is the opposite for the middle class.

  • How elite class operates the ideological state through the institution of education?

On behalf of the control of power and resources by the education institution, the rich are getting rich, and the poor are becoming poor as the elite class has held over the social structure and function. The conflict is generated on purpose by the device of ‘OPIUM OF THE MASSES’ ( a formula made and launched by the governing and non-governing elitists to retain the power and exploitation equation). The middle and lower social classes are kept wrangling for fundamental needs while the elite class achieves its personal goals. Instead of revoking the exploitation of society, the middle class becomes the instrument of the elite class to serve their agendas. In this manner, the sequel of exploitation is orchestrated via ideology and belief systems where a dummy system is induced to nurture the elite class by lower strata.

For example, the case study of Baluchistan in Pakistan represents the conflict perspective where resources are distributed in a controlled manner to the lower classes by the tribal leaders. In this frame, the vulnerable section of society is kept aloof of the acknowledgements (literacy rate=44%) and is administered by illegal power. The elite class gets the benefit of natural resources and human capital through the hierarchical support of governing elite. Meanwhile, the constant perpetuation of conflict in society decays social solidarity.

  1. Through the military:
    In Pakistan, the military is a glue to integrate the society which implicates the inculcation of their whimsical social sanctions by the instrument of education. The horrendous episode of Islamisation during General Zia-ul-Haq perpetuated extremism and sectarianism through the vehicle of madrassah education. Likewise, the transmutation of historical facts has confused the whole nation. Arguably, the textbooks of Pakistan studies describe the Pakistani nation’s history incepted by the Arabs and Turkish conquerors who came and rule the subcontinent, whereas the fact is that the origin of the Pakistani and Indian nation has its roots in the Indus civilization. This actualization is described by K.K. Aziz in his book MURDER OF HISTORY. On that wise, the fancy ideology has been propagated in society by martial administrators through a heroic outlook and regressive policy-making and an invader mentality is thus the pathetic outcome of it.
  2. Through religion:
    In a survey, about 90% of Pakistani polled for the establishment of the Shariah law system in the country, which depicts the impact of Madrassah education directing the masses towards xenocentrism and negating the changing dynamics of the globe.  At the same time, it is the causative agent behind counter-terrorism (an amalgam of corruption and extremism) in society. This education stream provides food, shelter, and religious education to middle-class and poor individuals and cultivates a false belief system. Owing to this machination, a conservative class against a liberal class has come ahead in a social conflict.
  3. Through curriculum transmutations:
    Distortions in the historical facts have demolished the thought process of the nation while at the same time, the insertion of Islamic education as a compulsory subject via a single national curriculum is dangerous for national integrity. This phenomenon was long ago enunciated by  K.K. AZIZ in his book MURDER OF HISTORY. After surpassing several decades of social inequalities, the revolutionary government of Prime minister Imran Khan designed the SINGLE NATIONAL CURRICULUM to muster the nation on one education platform for social integration. By a deliberate overview of SNC, it appears as a threat to social integrity because of the compulsory Islamic education that incepts hurdles for minorities to attain education. Meanwhile, the poor and outdated education machinery is incompetent to accept rapid changes. Inadequate infrastructure and faculty without pedagogical training are unable to overcome the competition of private sector education. In this way, SNC creates a conflict between the public sector and the public sector as well as disrupts the social stratification process due to its ineffectiveness.

Conclusion

The crux of the matter is that education is a significant institution with the purpose of socialization and empiricism in society. The functionalist approach defines the systemization of education as the building block to set society concerning structuralism and functionalism. Demonstrably, the conflict perspective explains education in the state of constant conflict between the elite class and the middle class, wrangling for the distribution means. In the case of Pakistan, the conflicted outlook enunciates the education system comprising a variety of curricula in the country which is imbibed by the opium of the masses.

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