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

What Is The Role Of Education From A Marxist Point Of View?

Extracts from this document...


What Is The Role Of Education From A Marxist Point Of View? Marxism bases its view of education much around the notion that an individual is shaped by the education system through ideology. Ideology is the 'body of ideas and beliefs of a group or nation' and is the most subtle and effective way of control. For the control of people's thoughts implicitly affects their actions and behaviour. It is a common belief that intelligence determines the success of a person but Marxism would challenge this in saying that it is purely an ideological belief. Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis have written 'Schooling in Capitalist America' (1976), possibly, the most well known Marxist account of the education system, they provide evidence in stating that intelligence is merely a product of success rather than a cause. If success were due to intelligence then it would be expected that people with similar I.Q. ...read more.


Karl Marx makes the following observations on the workplace: 'Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, are organised like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy officers and sergeants' (Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx) In schools pupils are punished or rewarded according to their behaviour, this encourages them to conform to the hierarchy. Schools reward and promote punctuality and discourage certain independent reasoning, for example, a pupil will think how they can improve their performance on a certain task but they will not question the merits of the task. This is because it is required in the workplace by many employers. These employers do not want the worker to question authority or to be unpunctual or even how to improve and organise the unfair economic system. Schools are also much alike jobs in the respect that they offer little intrinsic satisfaction to the individual. ...read more.


In addition to this, inequality is transmitted as inevitable and acceptable social act. The education system claims that it is a meritocratic one but this is purely ideology, as the social class of the parents determines educational qualifications. I have observed some flaws and criticisms in the Marxist view such as the portrayal of people as mere 'creatures' of the education system and the idea that school is so necessarily closely related to work but capitalism survived for a long period of time before compulsory education. Also, teachers are viewed as 'agents' of ideology but many teachers do so because they wish to express their ideas freely. In conclusion I believe that the Marxist view on education is a very critical but valid one. I would like to acknowledge the use of the following resources: * http://www.msherrard.freeserve.co.uk * Sociology in Focus by Paul Taylor et al * 'Schooling in capitalist America' by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis (1976) * 'Communist manifesto' by Karl Marx * * * * By Lee O'Brien ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Teaching 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 University Degree Teaching essays

  1. To what extent is the Irish Education system meritocratic?

    Marx believed that in this way the bourgeoisie succeed in keeping the proletariat quiet and suppressing a revolution. Another theoretical bases, which takes the approach that education systems are meritocratic, is the neo-Weberian view. Trovey and Share quote Drudy and Lynch as having stated that the neo-Weberian approach " draws

  2. How does the work of Paul Willis differ from that of Bowles and Gintis? ...

    It disguises the unfairness of the system and tries to make you accept it. It tries to legitimate inequality and make it seem normal. It makes them experience what Marxists describe as false class-consciousness and that they are not aware of their true identity.

  1. This study sets out to investigate the evolving educational role of the academic librarian ...

    in order to become recognised as committed educators and gain some credibility with academic staff. Even though UK librarians have not quite reached this level of integration or recognition yet, it does highlight how much more progressive the research is in Australia and how much higher professional morale profession is compared with the UK.

  2. Both Functionalist and Marxist writers emphasise the social purposes of education. Compare and contrast ...

    This form of solidarity was thought by Durkheim to be a characteristic of traditional societies where there is a simple division of labour and people feel a sense of solidarity because they are similar to one another. Sociologist Talcott Parsons developed this approach further by stating that the school acts

  1. globalisation merits and demerits

    Greater interdependence of nation-states * Reduction of likelihood of war between developed nations * Workers in less developed countries should see an increase in wages and living benefits. If they do, their rising standard of living should help them consume products from developed nations.

  2. The role of politics in South Africa's educational system.

    Most importantly, the commission recommended that the missions maintain control of the schools, because missionaries rejected the notion of African culture as a basis for political differentiation. Understandably, considerable political criticism followed and the commission's recommendations were later deliberately manipulated and misinterpreted.

  1. Analysis of the Education System of Bangladesh.

    18 17 n/a n/a n/a Total 16 17 16 58 63 61 This table shows that only 60% of children that enroll in Class 1 reach the final grade of primary school. This implies that at least 40% of primary school entrants fail to complete primary education and to achieve even basic literacy.

  2. Discuss the role of primary schooling in the production and regulation of gendered and ...

    This is commonplace in primary schools and gives children a definite structure regarding gender roles and sexualities of males and females from a very young age, that the traditional patriarchal family is what is expected and what is classed as the norm.

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