Marxist & Functionalist views of education ; A01+A02 points

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  • Created by: emily997
  • Created on: 09-11-13 12:30

Marxist view


1) Prepares children for work

2) Justifies inequality in society

3) Encourages ruling class ideology that supports capitalism

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Marxist studies & sociologists


ALTHUSSER: Education provides “docile” “obedient” workforce (neo-marxist)

BOWLES AND GINTIS:  school linked to work, hierarchy, capitalism promoted with good grades & attitudes rewarded, people motivated by (good) grades. (1976)

WILLIS: no obedient workforce, some students form anti-school subculture which is prolonged into labour work/working class jobs. Case study.(1977)

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Marxist theory evaluation


1) Assumes people are passive & victims

2) Most people are aware of inequality in education

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Functionalist view on education


 1) Teaches skills needed; work and economy

 2)  Sifts and sorts into appropriate job roles; allocation

3) Plays part in secondary socialisation

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Functionalist sociologists & studies

DURKHEIM: education passes norms & values

PARSONS:  bridge between family & adult roles in society –meritocracy

DAVIS AND MOORE: function is to sort people into positions-stratification (1945)

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Functionalist evaluation


1) Education not meritocratic

2) Who you know more important than what

3) Not fully prepared for work-vocational jobs etc

4) Explanation doesn’t explain conflict

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