Marxist Theorists + Evaluation

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  • Created by: Tom
  • Created on: 12-04-14 14:54

Paul Willis Learning To Labour(1977)

Paul Willis Learning To Labour(1977): How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs

  • observed + interviewed 12 w/c boys in their final school year + first year factory labour
  • boys formed anti-school subculture & had realistic view that they were innevitably going to be factory workers, so saw no point in education
  • Fatalism made it impossible for them to succeed and rise above their class position, so their failure resulted from working class culture rather than the way the school operated
  • Marxist as it recognised the influence of class inequalities on the attitudes of the boys and their families
  • correlation between school+work = lads messed around to alleviate boredom
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Bowles and Gintis - Schooling in Capitalist Americ

  • Hidden Curriculum - unnoficial values learnt at school
  • Correspondence principle - correspondence school + workplace
  • school discourages questioning of what teachers tell you
  • school tasks dull and repetitive like factory work
  • rewards are extrinsic, not intrinsic. Only benefit of schoolwork is the qualifications - like a pay packet
  • tasks fragmented by bells - labour on a production line is broken up into little unfulfilling processes
  • Identical uniforms + punishment for lateness is humbling
  • constant supervision prepares students for factory work
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evaluation of Marxist views

  • Bowles + Gintis studies contradict - one says w/c are failing due to being docile, the other because of their failure to conform.
  • Willis criticised for small sample size - although was a long and in-depth study + he interviewed parents.
  • Bowles and Gintis study similar to Paulo Friere's 'Pedagogy of Freedom(1998)' - wrote that teacher's role should be to help poor students and help change society by questionning it. He was imprisoned for his beliefs and the U.S withdrew his funding - feared his radical ideas would cause revolution
  • Marxists, like functionalists, focus on how schools shaped students' attitudes and prepare them for work. Marxists see it as class based, promoting bourg students and restricting proleteriat students
  • functionalists view the sorting of students as meritocratic and necessary for a society in which workers perform different functions. Emphasise cohesion between students instead of the social divisions.
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