Higher Education

Topics: Sociology, Higher education, Education Pages: 3 (906 words) Published: March 4, 2014
SOC R100
Karen McPherson
26 January 2014
Scrapbook One
The act of seeking higher education has become more and more necessary for the average American to acquire a stable job in the work force. Likewise, the men and women applying to become collegiate students have in turn drastically increased, which reinforces the importance of higher education in American society. As a whole, college can be analyzed through three sociological perspectives which include the structural-functional, social-conflict, and symbolic-interaction approaches. Moreover, the structural-functional approach is the best perspective that can be utilized to analyze college because every aspect is based on a purpose to change society through education. Although the social-conflict approach to analyzing college predominately highlights the negative aspects of college, there is much to be understood from the perspective. Furthermore, the social-conflict approach produces an image of society as operating to “benefit some categories of people and harm others” (Sociology 22). To be sure, college serves as an aspect of society that benefits students who successfully graduate through the system while negatively impacting those who are not able to participate in the system or are not able to successfully graduate. Indeed, it is projected that approximately 60 percent of all job openings in America will require higher education by the year 2018 (Admur 1). Therefore, anyone who chooses not to attend college, cannot afford college or are not accepted into a college is automatically limited to the minority of the job market. In addition, college serves as a system where students with higher performance and intelligence reap the benefits of the most valuable degrees while those with lower levels of performance and intelligence are not allowed the same benefits and often, as a result, earn a lower salary.

While the social-conflict perspective produces an outlook on college as only positive for some...

Cited: Amdur, Eli. "By 2018, 60 Percent of Job Openings Will Require College Education." Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media, 2014. Web. 24 Jan. 2014.
Sociology; 15th edition; John J. Macionis; Pearson
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