• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Evaluate the Marxist Perspective on Education.

Extracts from this document...


Evaluate the Marxist Perspective on Education Marxists such as Louis Althusser, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis refute the Functionalist view that industrial capitalist societies are meritocracies and that every ones' position in society is based on talent and hard work. They suggest ideas for why this is the case. Althusser bases his theory around the idea of education being an ideological state apparatus. Bowles and Gintis' theory is based on the 'long shadow of work' and the legitimation of inequality. When speaking of the 'long shadow of work', Bowles and Gintis are referring to the strong relationship between social relationships at school and at work - they believe this helps education to play it's major role in reproducing a labour force with hardworking, disciplined workers. ...read more.


This helps capitalism by preparing students for their future jobs. The working class are taught to accept their future exploitation in the workplace. Whereas the middle class are prepared for management roles supported by their academic qualifications. However, these views from the Marxists are merely ideas and theories, as none of them put forward evidence to prove their theory of education, this is a huge weakness in their argument. Neo-Marxism offers a counter argument to that of Bowles and Gintis and Althusser. Paul Willis did research in a school and he claims that schools do not produce an obedient and hardworking workforce. He studied a group of twelve working class boys and found they had a counter sub-culture. ...read more.


There are also many limitations to Bowles and Gintis and Althusser's arguments. Firstly it could be said that they exaggerate the supposed link between education and work. They perceive students as very accepting of what they are told and unable to think for themselves, which is not necessarily true as many students do misbehave and disrespect students. The Marxist approach to education is a very negative. Due to the complete lack of research it is easy to question the feasibility of their claims. They believe that education maintains and perpetuates capitalism as it creates the myth that society and the education system is meritocratic. However, it is difficult to believe that students accept everything they are told as Bowles and Gintis would like us to believe. This shows that although Willis' research may have some truth in it, it is too limited to be considered as entirely correct. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Work & Leisure section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Work & Leisure essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critically Evaluate the Functionalist Perspective on Education

    5 star(s)

    Also, it legitimises social inequality, as roles are allocated according to meritocratic criteria, such as the likes of educational qualifications from examinations. Allocation shows how inequality is functionally necessary in our society as if everyone was paid the same, regardless of effort or ability, then no one would be willing to undertake the more difficult and tiresome jobs.

  2. Assess Functionalist and Marxist approaches to the relationship between education and economy.

    There are many criticism are Bowles and Gintis, the critics tend to agree that they have exaggerated the correspondence between work and education and not providing sufficient evidence to support their position. Hickox (1982) said that compulsory education in Britain was introduced before industrialisation and capitalism prospered without an educated workforce.

  1. What are the strengths and weakness of the conflict perspective in Sociology? Illustrate how ...

    and the working classes (the proletariat). Marx saw society as struggle between different groups each with a different interest or goal. Change would come through conflict, political, legal and economic. He saw this struggle resulting in a communist system, which he regarded as the ideal for society.

  2. According to Marxist, the main aim of the education system is to provide capitalist ...

    traditional subjects, such as cooking, and domestic science. All of which were aimed at educating women in terms of their "main function" which was to "make a secure home for their children and husband" As a result of the belief held by the male members of society, that a "women's

  1. Compare and Contrast functionalist and marxist views on religion

    All of these crises are surrounded with religious ritual, such as death and a funeral. In Malinowski's eyes it, expresses the belief in immortality and comforts the bereaved. Also with the presence of all the family and friends at the funeral support the mourner and help them to control their stress through the expression of solidarity.

  2. Marxist and functionalist perspective on education

    example the younger a child is the more they are able to get away with bad behaviour. On the other hand, we are all judged the same in schools and the society, we are judged in terms of achieved status and universalistic values.

  1. Comment on the strength and weakness of the social security system in Hong Kong

    As a result, they cannot help to increase the social security in Hong Kong. Strength and Weakness We are now going to see the strength and the weakness of CSSA, SSA and MPF. i. CSSA Strength CSSA provides financial support to the needy ones, it ensures the people can enjoy basic living standard, so fewer people will commit crime.

  2. The recent rise in support for NRMS comes mainly from an increased desire to ...

    A reason for this may be that world-affirming groups offer solutions to problems such as unhappiness or disability, which many individuals may suffer from. World-accommodating new religious movements are usually variations of an existing church or denomination. These groups do not reject the world or accept it; they simply live within it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work