Why do we go to college?

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateB, November 1996

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Why Do we go to college?


As we journey down this road called life, many of us face the rigors of academia during the early years of our life. One of the most critical junctures in this path is that of whether we should continue on with education into college, or veer off this path and one towards a job or other future prospects. For most technological and industrial advanced societies, going to college has become an integrated part of the learning process. But the fact that it is not done everywhere or by everyone makes it questionable if it is necessary and brings up the question of what function does school and going on to college, in particular, really serve for society as a whole. To resolve this dilemma, it is important to approach the question, not just from one view, but from all of the major schools of thought: the functionalist, the conflict-theorist, and the symbolic interaction.

By looking at how each one views how going to college serves our society, a better assessment can be made of the question at hand, especially since all three are feasible ways of looking at and studying our society.

Before understanding what each of the schools of thought would have to say, it is important to first see how they view our society, which would determine what they have to say. The functionalist and conflict-theorist, using the big-picture, macro-level view, would look at society as the sum of its parts, rather than just the parts individually. But the functionalist, while viewing it as a whole, deems that society can be representative of an organism, and all the parts work together for the good of the whole. The conflict-theorist, on the other hand, while also seeing society as a...