Marxist perspetive on the role of education.

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  • Marxist perspetive on there of education. (Topic 6 - Education)
    • Althusser: ideological state apparatus.
      • State consists of 2 elements or 'apparatus' that keep the bourgeoisie in power.
        • Repressive state apparatus - maintains real of bourgeoisie by force or threat. (police, courts and army)
        • Ideological state apparatus - maintains rule of bourgeoisie by controlling peoples ideas, values and beliefs.
      • Education performs 2 functions.
        • reproduces class inequality by passing it on from generation to generation, failing each generation of working class students each time.
        • Legitimates class inequality by making ideologies that disguise the true reason for the inequality. function of ideology to persuade workers to accept inequality and that they deserve their subordinated position making them less likely to challenge or threaten capitalism.
    • Bowles and Gintis: Schooling in capitalist America
      • Argue that capitalism requires a workforce with attitudes, behaviour and personality-type suited to their role as alienated and exploited workers willing to accept hard work, low pay and orders from above.
      • Schools praise students with the personality traits that make a submissive, compliant worker, they found that students who showed independence and creativity gained lower grades, while those who were obedient and disciplined tended to get higher grades.
      • Correspondence principle and the hidden curriculum.
        • schools and workplaces have hierarchies, with head teachers or bosses at the top making decisions and giving orders.
        • the parallels between school and the workplace are an example of the 'corresponding principle'. relationships and structure found in education mirror or correspond to those of work.
        • correspondence principle operates through the hidden curriculum - all the 'lessons' that are learnt in school without being directly taught. this prepares working class pupils for their role as exploited workers of the future, reproducing the workforce capitalism needs and perpetuating class inequality from generation to generation.
      • The myth of meritocracy: the legitimization of class inequality.
        • Meritocracy - everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve what they want. rewards are based on ability and effort and those who gain the highest rewards deserve them because they are the most hardworking.
        • the myth of meritocracy helps to persuade the working class to accept inequality as legitimate.
        • the education system justifies poverty. Bowles and Gintis describe as 'poor are dumb' theory of failure. working class blame themselves for being dumb instead of the capitalism for making them poor.
    • Willis learning to labour.
      • studied 12 working class boys in their transition form school to work.
        • boys were used to boredom and find ways of amusing them self, do not except satisfaction from work and are good at finding diversions from their tedious unskilled jobs.
        • their acts of rebellion at school guaranteed that they will end up in unskilled  jobs, by ensuring their failure to gain good qualifications.
        • ultimately ironic as their rebellion against school ideology, has led them to unskilled labour jobs that the capitalist need someone to perform.
    • evaluation of Marxist approaches.
      • post modernists argue that education produces diversity, not inequality.
      • Willis rejects Bowles and Ginitis view that school brainwashes pupils into following capitalist views. willis shows how pupils may reject school but how this still leasds them into working class jobs.
      • critical modernists like Morrow and Torres argue society is more diverse.
      • Feminists, for example Macdonald argues, Bowles and

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