Marxist perspective on education

What kind of perspective is Marxism?
Conflict
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What three functions does the education system perform?
Reproduces class inequality, legitimises class inequality, works in favour of capitalist employers
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Outline how education reproduces class inequality
The higher classes use their wealth to enhance their children material and cultural capital to ensure their children get to the best schools and sets, this translates to them getting the higher jobs and the lower classes get the lower jobs
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Outline how education legitimises class inequality
Marxists argue that the system spreads the 'Myth of meritocracy' which disguises the fact that money actually determines educational achievement. This myth means we blame ourselves if we fail instead of blaming the corrupt system.
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Outline how education works in favour of capitalist employers
Bowles and Gintis suggested that the values learnt at school which help children in the workplace are taught through the hidden curriculum which are things taught subliminally that are useful in menial manual jobs
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Outline how passive subservience to teaches relates to working in a capitalist society in the future
This teaches them to be subservient to their future mangers
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Outline how acceptance of hierarchy relates to working in a capitalist society in the future
This will continue in to accepting the hierarchy in the work place
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Outline how motivation by external rewards relates to working in a capitalist society in the future
This will mean workers remain motivated by things like money over enjoying the job they are doing
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Give a strength of Marxist ideas of education (1)
There is a lot of evidence that schools are quite responsible for reproducing class inequalities as middle class does have more cultural capital and were benefited by 1988 education act
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Give a strength of Marxist ideas of education (2)
w/c children are less likely to go to university because of debt fear (Connor et al)
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Give a limitation of Marxist ideas of education (1)
The theory is to deterministic, the SFP does not always work the way they say it does as Ball found with some black girls
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Give a limitation of Marxist ideas of education (2)
Open education that we have today can actually be harmful to the bourgeoise, many Marxist theorists were educated at university
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What did Willis research involve?
Willis observed 12 w/c lads over their last 18 months at school, he pointed out that these boys rebelling showed that a lot of children are not being brainwashed into being passive
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Outline the Willis criticisms of Marxism
He points out that children are not necessarily directly injected with the ruling class ideology as some actively reject these. But he still believes that this counter-school culture is still open to manipulation in the future by employers
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Name another Marxist education theorist
Althusser
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What did Althusser say about education?
In 1971 he developed the idea of the ideological state apparatus, this the use of government institutions to produce a obedient and efficient workforce
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What two aspects did Althusser say this involved?
1. The reproduction of the necessary skills 2. The reproduction and socialization into accepting the ruling class ideology, rules and beliefs
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What is False conscientiousness?
The failure of a social class to recognize their own interests, beliefs, values and identities
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What function did Althusser say the ideological state apparatus performed?
To prevent the working class from rebelling by socializing them into accepting the ruling classes ideology by winning their hearts and minds using societal institution
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What two things did he say educations specifically passed on?
1. Passing on the ruling class ideology justifying the capitalism system 2. Sifts people into their place in society by teaching the values and beliefs which sort them into their place they believe they deserve
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What was Bourdieu's main idea?
He developed the idea each social class has its own Habitus
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Define Habitus
A cultral framework of a classes ideas in taste, ideologies, values and beliefs
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Where did he say these habitus were?
In most societal institutions, in the family they are picked up through primary socialization
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What was the problem with them in schools?
In schools the ruling class can impose their own habitus meaning they can impose their own ideas about what should be valued, meaning they can create an advantage for the higher classes
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Whose idea does he link his to?
Schultz, Human Capital (1971).
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in what way did he link this theory?
He said that cultural capital is present in schools and that most of thge w/c will never have enough as the ruling class set what is valued in society and what constitutes cultural capital
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How does this contradict the functionalist view?
They say that education and wider society are meritocratic which Bourdieu says is incorrect as the w/c are mostly inevitable to fail
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What points did Bourdieu summarize out of his theory?
The education system legitimizes and reproduces class inequalities form generation to generation
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What did Illich say about schools?
They are repressive institutions that promote conformity and are tools of passive socialization which force children to accept existing inequalities and the interests of the ruling class instead of teaching them to think critically
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How does he suggest they do this?
Rewarding those who accept the schools regime with qualifications and access to higher levels of education
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How do they try and deter people from not following the schools regime?
By punishing and alienating them
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What three functions does the education system perform?

Back

Reproduces class inequality, legitimises class inequality, works in favour of capitalist employers

Card 3

Front

Outline how education reproduces class inequality

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Outline how education legitimises class inequality

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Outline how education works in favour of capitalist employers

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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