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Effect of racism from a functionalist’s point of view Essay

One of the most identifiable effects of racial discrimination in education and training is the negative impact it has on the performance of children at school. The failure to address the needs of minority children and those of migrant workers through, for example, combating racial stereotyping or through formulating school curricula that include modules on minority languages and cultures, can lead to school curricula which lack relevance for those children. As a result, children may lose interest and become bored at school which in turn increases the risk that children will drop out early or even fail to attend school at all.

The failure to provide curricula adapted to the specific needs of the children of minorities and migrant workers can also lead to low literacy rates amongst these groups. Similarly, where a child does not have an adequate grasp of the official language, the failure to provide additional language classes in the official language and to provide classes in minority or migrant languages could have the effect of retarding the progress of those children through school.

Another long-term effect of racial discrimination is that children learn to accept acts of racial discrimination as the norm. Such learnt behaviour can lead to the consolidation of racial discrimination within society as the norm, with children of minorities or migrants growing up and discriminating against the newest influx of migrants. Thus, a vicious cycle of discriminatory behaviour is produced which reinforces racially discriminatory behaviour.

The forced segregation of children of minorities and migrant workers from other children can have serious negative effects on the capacity of these children to integrate with other children and into the society in general. In particular, segregation of children into schools for mentally handicapped children can severely retard the child’s progress through school and can affect his or her self-image.

Education is arguably the basis of a functionalist’s beliefs, where children learn social skills and behaviours, these skills help build towards unity in society. Therefore racism is abhored in their beliefs.

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