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Marxism and
Past Exam Essay Questions:
1(d)Assess the claim that `the main function of education is to maintain
a value consensus in society (20 Marks) ­ May 2009
*…read more

Slide 2

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Marxism Recap
Marxism is a Structural Conflict Theory ­ human
behaviour is shaped by society through socialisation.
Bourgeoisie (Capitalists) ­ owners of means of production
Proletariat (Workers) ­ sell their labour to the bourgeoisie
Society is made up of interdependent and interrelated parts
(e.g. Education, religion) known as the super structure.
These parts are controlled by the infrastructure…read more

Slide 3

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Marxism and
In school Children learn:
o Knowledge and skills
o Obedience and accept authority (hidden curriculum)
o Routine, boring and meaningless work
o Values and beliefs of the ruling classes (work hard)
Getting them ready and useful to start work for the
o Education is not meritocratic­meaning working class
are disadvantaged - why many fail at school…read more

Slide 4

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Sociologists -
Bowles and Gintis
· Purpose of education is to produce a willing subservient
workforce which will continue to make profits for the
ruling class and not challenge the order of things.
- key values taught subservience, accepting and
motivation, Plodders created
· Preparing to take orders
· Learning materialistic reward, prepares for monstrous
work and looking forward to being paid is motivation
*…read more

Slide 5

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Sociologist ­
Paul Willis
· 12 Working class boys from last year in
school to work
­ develop counter school culture ­ no effort to
succeed and `want a laugh'
­ Priority enjoying life today ­ immediate
­ Develop shop floor culture ­ treated jobs like
*…read more

Slide 6

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o (Criticism of Willis) ­ Small study, world of
work has changed since study ­ macho
anti- school culture
o Hickox ­ curriculum doesn't create
o Too academic, not work related
o Do not accept equality of opportunity -
o Humans are not passive or always
accepting, (willis) in control of own destiny
o Integrationists ­ in control of own destiny *…read more

Slide 7

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