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Using information from the items and elsewhere, assess the Marxist view that education benefits the ruling class.

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  • Essay length: 1107 words
  • Submitted: 27/02/2004
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AS and A Level Work & Leisure

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Using information from the items and elsewhere, assess the Marxist view that education benefits the ruling class.

Society is represented by a social class hierarchy. The ruling class ideologies are filtered down through the hierarchy by stratified diffusion. Marxists focus on the Social system and the structuralist theory; they believe that the individual is less important than the social structure of society. They also believe that the ruling class (bourgeoisie) exploit the working class (proletariat). The beliefs of Marxists are apparent in education.

Althusser (1972) is a French Marxist. He believes that the main function of education is not the transmission of common values, but the existence as an ideological state apparatus. He believes that the Education institution justifies and reproduces class inequalities through the hidden curriculum. These inequalities include the opinions of capitalists and the norms and values of the bourgeoisie. Proletariat children are taught through socialisation to accept the knowledge they gain in school, including these class inequalities. This supports the Marxist theory that the proletariat are being exploited.

Bowles and Gintis (1976) argue that education exists to the benefit of the bourgeoisie as it reproduces capitalist relations of production, by

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