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Example Answer for Question 3 Paper 1: AS Sociology, June 2017 (AQA)

AS, A-Level

Last updated 17 May 2017

Question 3. [6 marks]

Functionalists would argue that school provides a labour force which is trained and qualified for work in capitalist society. For example, by teaching and assessing pupils in Health and Social Care, schools are catering for the needs of employers in the health sector.

Bowles and Gintis perceived schools as operating in a ‘long shadow of work’, known as the correspondence principle. They argued that schools operate to meet the needs of the capitalists by producing a docile and obedient workforce who are trained to follow rules through the hidden curriculum.

Pupils compete against each other for the best positions. Competition between pupils, and indeed schools, through policies like compulsory GCSE exams and Ofsted, is a key part of the capitalist economy. Functionalists would see this as meritocratic.

Please Note:  These answers have been produced without the knowledge of the mark scheme and merely reflect our attempt at producing an example answer on the day of the exam. Naturally, there are many different possible answers to this questions and students should not worry if their answer(s) is different to ours.

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