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· Society and education based on class division and
capitalist exploitation
· KARL MARX capitalism as a two-class system
class. Own production (land, factories, machinery, offices).
Make profits by developing/ making use of the labour of the
THE WORKING CLASS: forced to sell labour power to the
capitalist because they have no means of production and no
other source of income. Working conditions under
capitalism is poorly paid, alienating, unsatisfying and
something which workers have no control over.
· Creates potential for class conflict
· Key function of education is to prevent revolution and
maintain capitalism…read more

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· Two parts of state maintain ruling class in power
REPRESSIVE STATE (RSAs): by force or threat (physical
coercion) e.g. police, courts, and army
IDEOLOLOGICAL STATE (ISAs): controlling people's ideas,
values + beliefs e.g. religion, mass media + the education
· Education system is an important ISA and performs
two functions:
REPRODUCES class inequality by transmitting it from
generation to generation (failing each generation of
working-class students)
JUSTIFIES class inequality by producing sets of ideas and
beliefs that disguise its true cause (persuade workers to
accept inequality as inevitable + they deserve their position
in society ­ less likely to challenge capitalism)…read more

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· Capitalism requires a workforce with the kind of
attitudes, behaviour + personality-type suited to their
role: alienated and exploited workers willing to accept
hard work, low pay and orders from above
· Role of education system in capitalist society: to
reproduce an obedient workforce that will accept
inequalities as inevitable
· Study of 237 NY high school students + other studies:
Schools reward the kind of personality traits that make for a
submissive, compliant worker
Independent, creative students tend to get lower grades
Students with characteristics linked to obedience + discipline
(punctuality) tend to get higher grades…read more

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· Used questionnaires and observation to research
schools and student personally traits
· Found connection between personality traits valued by
employers e.g. docility, passivity + obedience, and high
scores at schools
· Strengths: Studied large samples ­ allowed them to
establish relationships/ correlations to support their
· Weaknesses: Questionnaires about attitude +
personality traits may lack depth or students may
interpret questions incorrectly…read more

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Parallels between school + workplace in capitalist society
Schools + workplaces are hierarchies with head teachers +
bosses at the top and workers + pupils at the bottom
Schools + workplaces are hierarchies with head teachers +
bosses at the top and workers + pupils at the bottom
Through the everyday workings of the school people
become accustomed to accepting hierarchy + competitions
and working for extrinsic rewards
· Education legitimates class inequalities by producing
ideologies that explain and justify why inequality is
fair, natural and inevitable…read more

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