Role and function of education in society

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  • Created by: birds
  • Created on: 27-09-15 19:47


Marxist believe that education system works to serve the interests of the ruling class. Marxist believe that the ruling class exploits the proletariat and that the education system helps to maintain this, by allowing the ruling class to pass on wealth and privilege, also helps to justify inequality that develops as a result of capitalism.

Bowles and Gintis, believe that education has a number of important roles. They argue that education has a close corrospondence to work. Particularly, education system must produce subservient workforce that will work for long hours for little pay. Education system achieves this through the use of the hidden curriculum. This is a set of values and habits that the school teach due to the way it is organised, whereby students come to accept it and see it as normal. Such things include the acceptance of hierarchyauthority and competition. However, ruling class expereince a very different hidden curriculum that teaches/trains them for leadership and control, thus able to occupy these positions when older.

Education has another role where it reproduces and legistimises inequality, this is supported by the work of Bowles and Gintis, who found that IQ had very little connection to educational attainment. The most important factor in determining educational acheivement is parental background. Bowles and Gintis found that IQ did not have a significant affect on earnings and occupation. The most important factor that determines a persons position in the labour market is their social class background. Thus education system is not meritocratic, but rather maintain inequality, also justifies it by creating an illusion and making people beleive that everyone has


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