Marxists believe that the education system is part of the structure that the capitalist society imposes.
By socialising children, the interests of the economy and ruling classes are served.
From the Marxist point of view, education and success within it are dependant on social class.
Education fulfils the role of producing workers to benefit the ruling classes.
Bowles and Gintis found in america in the 1970's that school was another place where young people faced inequality.
They found that educational achievement was dependant on parents' social class and the length of time that pupils stayed at school.
They found that children who attained a high IQ (the ability to reason and problem solve) were considered to have attained a good level of education.
However, people with similar IQs but different social backgrounds do not have the same success.
If the pupil's parents were of a higher social class and wealthier, the pupil stayed in an education institution longer and therefore gained more qualifications and developed their IQ still further. This, the researchers felt, had little to do with intelligence but far more to do with social background.
They concluded that education was producing inequality and that the idea that it was baded on equality was false.
They too argued that education served the ruling classes. This was described as the 'correspondence principle.
Education produces an obedient workforce.
Pupils are encouraged by offering them rewards for success - i.e. qualifications just as at work they are offered incentives - salary, promotion.
For Marxists, the overwhelming problem is capitalism that uses schools to bring about a thriving economy
Both approaches relate education to society.
Both approaches see the link between education and the economy.
Marxism sees education supporting capitalism; functionalists see education as helping to meet the needs of the workplace.
Both approaches identify culture as part of education.
The functionalists see education as a means of training and allotting roles to individuals , as well as transmitting consensual values. Marxists see the ruling classes transmitting their ideology to the workers.