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Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess the contribution of Marxism to our understanding of the role of education.

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Introduction

´╗┐Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess the contribution of Marxism to our understanding of the role of education. Marxist argues that education is only in the interest of the ruling class in the capitalist society, the society is about exploitation of the working class for the needs of capitalism. Education satisfies the ruling class as it provides a labour force which are obedient and easily exploitable. Althussers argues the bourgeoisie uses ideology to control people. As it wins over people?s minds and avoids having to use force to control society. This happens through two main ways 1) repressive state apparatus - this is where the ruling class maintain control by force and enforcing the order of society e.g. using the police and courts. 2) Ideological state apparatus- this is where they rule by controlling people?s ideas, values and beliefs by manipulating functions of section of society, e.g. ...read more.

Middle

They studied a school in America and found that students are rewarded for behaviours which comply with submissiveness and compliance. For example those who show independence and creativity get low grades where as though who are discipline and obedient achieve high grades. They believe education dissuades students from developments and stunts it to be obedient. Due to the poor being abused and exploited there is a high risk of revolt and to overcome this bourgeoisie legitimate the class inequalities and produces false class consciousness through ideologies. They argue that the evidence shows the main factor determining what a person?s achieve is based on the educational achievement. The myth of meritocracy makes it seem the ruling of the higher classes it due to the open and fair competition at school. This helps legitimate the inequality of schools and make revolution unlikely Willis also argued that capitalism wouldn?t able to function without a workforce that is willing to accept exploitation but Willis didn?t see it as a straightforward process. ...read more.

Conclusion

All this helps to legitimate lack of achievement. He is criticised for his study not being representative of all working class pupils and their experiences. However postmodernists criticise that Bowels and Gintis? correspondence principle because today?s post-fordist economy needs school?s to produce a different type of workforce than the one described by Marxist. Postmodernist believe that the education system produces more diversity instead of inequality which Marxist believe. Also Marxists have many disagrees within their theory for example Bowles and Gintis assume that students have no free will and passively accept being controlled and indoctrination. This approach only explains those who accept and follow the values and beliefs they are taught through the hidden curriculum but doesn?t explain those who reject the values and beliefs. Whereas Willis combines the Marxist and interactionist approach and shows how pupils resist the school and rejects their values and still end up with a working-class job, this idea contradicts Bowels and Gintis therefore showing the disagreements within Marxist. ...read more.

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