Marxist perspective of Education

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  • Marxist perspective on family
    • Intro/basics
      • Focus on how nuclear family maintains capitalism and inequality
      • Economic relations effect socia; relations
    • Legitimation of class inequaility
      • In school we are taught we all have an equal chance to succeed
        • If we fail it's our own lack of ability or effort
          • This is why w/c accept lower-paid jobs
          • Pupils aren't taught the truth- that w/c are at an disadvanatge due to social class
      • Schools teach the 'myth of meritocracy'
    • The reproduction of class inequality
      • In reality- social influences educational achievement in addition to intelligence and effort
      • Middle class children get better qualifications
        • Then go on to get higher paid 'middle class' job
      • Working-class children end up with lower qualifications
        • They end up with lower paid w/c jobs
    • Ideological state apparatus
      • Louis Althusser
      • School creates false consciousness it controls people's minds
        • Encourages pupils to passively accept their future work roles
          • Create a passive and subservient workforce
        • It presents the capitaliist system as just inevitable, presents other systems as unrealistic
    • Correspondence principle
      • What students learn in school corresponds to what future employers need
        • Acceptance of hierarchy at school
        • Passive subservience of pupils to teachers
        • Motivation by external rewards
    • Neo-Marxism (Paul Willis)
      • Participant observation- study of lads who formed a subculture
        • Purpose of school was to rebel
      • They saw school as pointless- irrelevant to the factory jobs they wanted, they also realised it was unfair
        • They'd seen through the 'myth of meritocracy'
      • working-class 'lads' still ended up with w/c jobs
    • Positive evaluations
      • Culture capital benefits m'c pupils
      • Wealth of statistical evidence show w/c pupils disadvanatged by material + cultural deprivation
      • The existence of private schools unfairly benefit m/c pupils
        • 7% of private schools pupils get >50% of top jobs
    • Criticisms
      • The class structure/education system are more complex today
      • Some pupils don't just accept authority passively)
      • Too deterministic- not every w/c pupils fails


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