Functions of School: Socialization, Cultural Innovation, Integration & Latent Functions

  • 0:05 Functions of School
  • 1:14 Manifest Function:…
  • 2:07 Manifest Function:…
  • 3:02 Latent Functions of School
  • 4:48 Hidden Curriculum
  • 5:52 Lesson Summary
Create An Account
To Start This Course Today
Used by over 10 million students worldwide
Create An Account
Try it free for 5 days
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Erin Long-Crowell
Schools serve a number of functions in our society beyond just transmitting academic knowledge and skills. In this lesson, we differentiate between manifest and latent functions of schools and discuss examples of each.

Functions of School

If I were to ask you 'What did you learn in school?' what would you say? Would you tell me about the subject knowledge you gained and the classes you attended? Would you talk about the time you spent with friends and your participation in extracurricular activities? Schools certainly act as a transmitter of knowledge and academic skills like reading, writing, and arithmetic. But they also serve other functions in our society as well, and these can be categorized as manifest or latent functions.

A manifest function of school is a function that people believe is the obvious purpose of school and education. Manifest functions of education are those that are intended and that most people think about. For example, in elementary school, parents expect their children to learn new information but also how to 'get along' with other children and begin to understand how society works. So, two of the most significant manifest functions of schools beyond teaching subject knowledge are socialization and the transmission of cultural norms and values.

Manifest Function: Socialization

Socialization refers to a process by which individuals acquire a personal identity and learn the knowledge, language, and social skills required to interact with others. Again, students don't only learn from the academic curriculum prepared by teachers and school administrators. They also learn social rules and expectations from interactions with others. Students in America receive rewards for following schedules and directions, meeting deadlines, and obeying authority. They learn how to avoid punishment by reducing undesirable behaviors like offensive language. They also figure out that to be successful socially, they must learn to be quiet, to wait, to act interested even when they're not, and to please their teachers without alienating their peers.

Manifest Function: Culturization

Besides socialization, another significant manifest function of school is the transmission of cultural norms and values to new generations, which is known as culturization. Schools help to mold a diverse population into one society with a shared national identity and prepare future generations for their citizenship roles. Students are taught about laws and our political way of life through civic lessons, and they're taught patriotism through rituals such as saluting the flag. Students must also learn the Pledge of Allegiance and the stories of the nation's heroes and exploits. Because America is a capitalist nation, students also quickly learn the importance of both teamwork and competition through learning games in the classroom as well as activities and athletics outside the classroom.

Latent Functions of Schools

In addition to manifest functions like socialization and culturization, schools also serve latent functions in society. A latent function is a function that people are not aware of or doesn't come to mind straightaway and usually is not intended. For examples, schools often play a matchmaker function: they put together individuals of similar ages and backgrounds, and this results in many of us finding romantic partners and mates in primary, secondary, or post-secondary school.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member

Already a member? Log In

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 100 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,900 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

You now have full access to our lessons and courses, watch the lesson now or keep exploring.
You've watched a video! Now you are officially smarter, check out the next video or take the quiz to keep learning.
You took a quiz! Getting a perfect score on a quiz is how you gain course progress. If you aced it, great job! If not, don't worry, you can try again.
You now have full access to our lessons and courses, watch the lesson now or keep exploring.
You just finished your first lesson. Study.com has thousands of lessons to help you meet your educational goals.
You're making great progress. Aim to watch at least 30 minutes of lessons each day and you'll master this before you know it!
You've learned so much, but only scratched the surface. Wait until you see what we have in your next lesson!
Getting a perfect score on a quiz is how you gain course progress. If you aced it, great job! If not, don’t worry, you can try again.
You're getting the hang of this! Keep taking quizzes to make progress on your learning goals.
Look how far you've come! Take all the quizzes in a chapter and you'll master this topic in no time.
Keep clicking that 'next lesson' button whenever you finish a lesson and its quiz.
You're 25% of the way through this course! Keep going at this rate and you'll be done before you know it.
Two days in a row, nice! Keep your streak going to get the most of your learning and reach your goal faster.