Marxism: education

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  • Marxism: role + function of education
    • education serves the ruling class. it justifies the vast inequalities that develop under capitalism
    • Key sociologists: Bowles and Gintis
      • correspondence theory: education mirrors the workplace
      • education system produces a subservient workforce
      • there is a hidden curriculum alongside the formal curriculum
    • Key concept: hidden curriculum
      • teaches a respect for hierarchy and authority. this mirrors the world of work where workers have to defer to the authority of the employer
      • teaches workers to accept motivation through external reward. students study not for the joy of learning but for exam certificates
      • helps students develop a passive and dependent personality
      • teaches students that they should accept that they are only responsible for a small part of the production process. fragmentation is accepted
      • this is the education for the working class. ruling class are trained for leadership and control; they're groomed for the positions of power they will later occupy
    • the most important factor in determining educational success is parental background
    • the class system is reborn generation after generation and meritocracy is a myth
    • justifies inequalities by creating the illusion that everyone has an equal chance, the same opportunity
      • everyone appears to have the same teachers and textbooks, and take the same exams
        • this means that poor people who fail believe their failure is their own fault and that the rich deserve their wealth
    • Key sociologist: Bordieu
      • education helps maintain wealth of the ruling class
      • ruling class possess cultural capital (the values, knowledge and skills of the ruling class)
      • education is based on cultural capital as it tests the values and knowledge of the ruling class
        • teachers use language that is familiar to the ruling class
      • working class culture is devalued by the education system
    • Evaluation
      • narrow focus that only look as class inequalities; what about gender and ethnic inequalities?
      • sees students as passively waiting to be filled by capitalist ideology, however some do reject it
      • if education is controlled by the capitalist system it wouldn't make sense to teach sociology or show that capitalism has negative effects


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