MARXIST ROLE OF EDUCATION

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Questions and answers on the Marxist perspective on the role of education - includes the view of Althusser, Bowles and Gintis and Willis

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Question Answer
According to Marxists, society is divides into what two classes? - The ruling class; capitalists; bourgeoisie - The subject class; working class; proletariat
What do the capitalist class own? The means of production
How do capitalists make their profits? By exploiting the labour of the working class
Who describes the education system as an 'ideological state apparatus'? Althusser
Along with the ideological state apparatus, Althusser argues there is another element used by the state to keep them in power. What is this? Repressive state apparatus
What is meant by the ideological state apparatus? Controlling peoples ideas, values and beliefs
Give some examples of ISA's Education system, religion, mass media
What does the repressive state apparatus do? State use of force when necessary to control and repress the working class
Give some examples of RSA's Courts, police, army
Althusser argues the education system performs two functions as an ISA. What are these two functions? Reproduction and legitimation
What does Althusser mean by reprodution? The education system reproduces class inequalities by failing each generation of working class pupils to ensure they end up in working class jobs like their parents
What does Althusser mean by legitimation? Education legitimates class inequalities by producing ideologies that disguise its true cause - i.e inequality is inevitable and failure is the fault of the individual
Who argues that capitalist society needs a passive docile labour force? Bowles and Gintis
How do they argue this is achieved? Reproduction - the successive generations of workers need the ideas of submission and acceptance of low pay firmly planted in their minds
Bowles and Gintis argues there is a corresposdence principle between what two institutions? School and work
What does this similarity produce? New generations of workers ready to accept their lot and serve capitalism
Give some examples of the correspondence principle Hierachy of authority - extrinsic satisfaction (merits and wages) - fragmentation of knowledge and tasks - competition and divisions among workers and pupils
Bowles and Gintis argue that the correspondence principle operates through what? The hidden curriculum
What is the hidden curriculum? Lessons that are learnt in school without directly being taught
What does this mean pupils passively accept? Hierarchy, competition, alienation
What is 'meritocracy' and which 2 perspectives argue that it is the case in the education system? Everyone has an equal chance & individuals' success is based on their own efforts - Functionalists and New Right
Why do Bowles and Gintis argue this is a myth? Success is not based on ability or achievement; is is based on class background
What does this do to working class pupils? Persuades them to accept inequality and their subordinate position as legitimate
In their studies, who did Bowles and Gintis argue got the best grades? The obedient students
Who does this mean the education system rewards? Those who conform to the qualities required by the future workforce
Who did Willis study? 12 working class boys 'the lads'
What view of Bowles and Gintis did Willis reject? The correspondence principle
Why was this? The boys resisted the schools attempt to indoctrinate them rather than passively accepting the ruling class ideology
What type of subculture did the lads studied by Willis form? Anti-school
How did they act in school? They broke the rules e.g smoking, distrupting lessons, truanting
What was this anti-school subculture similar to? The shop floor subculture of male manual workers
What did this explain? Why the lads saw themselves as superior to females and conformist pupils (earoles)
For Willis, what was the irony in his study of the lads? By resisting the schools ideologies, the lads subculture guarantees they will fail - ensuring they end up in the manual work capitalism wants them to perform
So, what does their resistance to school end up reproducing? Class inequalities
Name some policies which Marxists believe have resulted in more direct capitalist control over education Marketisation policies, the privatisation of some educational services, business sponsorship of state schools (academies)
According to these Marxists, what do capitalists also gain while the education system provides a willing workforce? Profits
What do Postmodernists say the Marxist perspective is? Out of date
Why do postmodernists argue that class divisions are no longer important? in the post-Fordist economic system we are much more diverse and fragmented
What do postmodernists say is really there where Marxists see inequality? Diversity and choice
Feminists argue that schools also reproduce what? Patriarchy
What does McRobbie point out about Willis' study? There we no females present
However what has Willis' study been the model for research into? Gender, ethnicity and sexuality inequalities within the education system
Give an example of how Marxists argue among themselves Bowles and Gintis - deterministic view; pupils passively accept indoctrination Willis - pupils may see through indoctrination and resist the school yet still end up in working class jobs
Willis has been criticised for ______________ the lads Romanticising
How is it argued he does this? Presenting them as working-class heroes despite their anti-social behaviour and sexist attitudes
Also, what is Willis' study of only 12 lads criticised unlikely to be? Representative
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