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

Outline and assess the view that the role of the education system is to reproduce and transmit culture

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Outline and assess the view that the role of the education system is to reproduce and transmit culture. This essay will outline and asses the view that the view that the role of the education system is to reproduce and transmit culture. According to Bourdieu, the major of the education system is cultural reproduction. This does involve society as a whole, as Durkheim argued, but, instead, the reproduction of the culture of the ?dominant classes?. These groups have the power the power to ?impose meanings and to impose them as legitimate?. They are able to define there own culture as ?worthy of being sought and possessed?, and to establish is as the basis for knowledge in the educational system. The high value placed on dominant culture in society as a whole simply stems from the ability of the powerful to impose their definition of reality in other. The possession of dominant culture is referred to as cultural capital by Bourdieu. This is because via the education it can be translated into wealth and power. Children of dominant classes acquire skills and knowledge from pre-school which puts them in an advantage because they have the key to understanding what is being transmitted in the classroom. Bourdieu claims that, since the education system presupposes the possession of cultural capital, which few students in fact possess, there is a great deal of inefficiency in teaching. ...read more.


As a result the education system was creating and unimaginative and unquestioning workforce which could be easily manipulated by employers. Bowles and Gintis also believed that the hidden curriculum encourages an acceptance of hierarchy. Schools are organised on a hierarchical principle of authority and control. Students obey orders given to them by their teachers and they have little control over the subjects they study or how the study them. This prepares them for relationships within the workplace where, if workers are to stay out of, they will need to defer to the authority of supervisors and managers. At schools, students are taught to be motivated by extrinsic rewards which are the qualifications at the end of the process rather than intrinsic rewards which are enjoyment and interest in lessons. Lessons may involve dull exercises and worksheets. This prepares them for factory life which dull and repetitive. The wages are only thing that makes it worthwhile. Schoolwork is fragmented into different subjects. At the end of lessons students have to break off from unfinished tasks. Bowles and Gintis believe that in the factory the jobs have been broken down into very specific tasks carried out by separate individuals. In this way workers are denied knowledge of the overall productive process, which makes it impossible for them to set in competition with the employers. A fragmented and divided workforce is easier to control and it is easy to maintain this control because of the principle of divide and conquer. ...read more.


Bowles and Gintis (1976) argue that the major role of education in capitalist societies is the reproduction of labour power. According to them there is a ?close correspondence? between the workplace and the education system. Bowles and Gintis say that the major role of education is reproduce a docile, obedient and highly motivated workforce for the capitalist society. This workforce has to be divided and fragmented so it cannot challenge the authority of management. Bowles and Gintis can be criticised by saying that in Britain compulsory education was introduced long after the onset of industrialisation. Despite the fact that for a long time capitalists did not employ a workforce which had its attitudes and values shaped by education, the development of capitalism did not appear to be affected. Emile Durkheim was a French sociologist who said that the major function of education is the transmission of society?s norms and values. Durkheim can be criticized by saying that in recent decades both New Right and New Labour perspectives on education have tended to focus on the economic importance of education and have downplayed the significance of transmitting a shared culture. Paul Willis (1977) was a neo-Marxist who believed that the education system failed to manipulate the personality of the pupils and create the ideal worker. The Lads? also actively created their own subculture and voluntarily chose to look for manual jobs. This meant that education did not transmit culture to them and the ideal worker was not reproduced. ...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 Sociological Differentiation & Stratification 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 Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and assess Functionalist explanations of the role of the education system.

    4 star(s)

    to create a ?collective consciousness? through individual school ethos?s and uniforms, which are in operation to reduce conflict within society. Critically though, these could be seen as polices which aim to stabilise the school learning environment, as opposed to society.

  2. The education system is meritocratic

    They say that meritocracy is 'made yup' in order to legitimise the system they view the few working class kids in universities as letting a few through to keep the rest quiet as it means people accept their positions as if I would have worked harder I could have achieved this.

  1. Assess the claim that the main function of education is to maintain a value ...

    Black feminists argue that it is very different to be black and female in comparison to being white and female, which is seen in the experiences in schools/colleges in the way teachers treat both groups differently and books describe the groups.

  2. Is the Underachievement of Ethnic Minority Children due to a Racist School System?

    For example we had a been in touch with a young Black boy who saw his black teacher as an uncle, and it was very important to him that there was a black person here in a position of power to help him.

  1. Assess the view that the main function of education is to reproduce and legitimise ...

    A further reason is the labelling theory which adopts the idea that girls are seen as ?ideal? pupils, suggesting that they are generally more well-mannered, obedient and hard-working. The increasing amount of positive female role models present within the media and society in general means that pupils have high aspirations.

  2. Examine the Marxist view that the role of the education system is to reproduce ...

    Education forms The School, and it is seen as a ?bridge? between the family and ?the world of work?. It?s open to an equal opportunity for everybody so that they are liable to attain to their ability or performance and their effort to become ??inward mobile?.

  1. Examining the role of education- Functionalism and the New Right:

    His well-known dissertation was the ?division of labour? which means that jobs are split. Modern industrial economies have a complex division of labour where the production process of even a single item involves a variety of job roles which therefore involves specialisation.

  2. Examine the Marxist view that the function of the education system is to pass ...

    Bernstein suggested that working class students suffer from a language deficit and results in their failure in education system. Bernstein stated that middle class children had elaborated speech codes in which they have the ability to switch to from the

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