Education with methods in context (Marxist perspective (Criticisms of the…
Education with methods in context
Macro (large-scale) structural approach.
Four main functions:
Passing on society's culture (secondary socialisation) and building
- The integration of people into society through shared values, a common culture, shared understandings and social ties that bring them together and build social cohesion.
- The bonds or 'glue' that bring people together and integrate them into a united society.
- A widespread agreement around the main values of a society.
Passing on society's culture (through secondary socialisation) and bonding and integrating people through a widespread agreement around the main values of a society.
Parsons saw education as providing a bridge between the
of the family and the
Durkheim saw the school as a society in miniature, preparing young people for life in a wider society based on meritocratic values where everyone achieves their position through skills and qualifications.
- Rules and values that give a priority to personal relationships.
- Status which is given at birth and usually can't be changed.
- Rules and values that apply equally to all members of society, regardless of who they are.
- Status which is achieved through an individual's own efforts.
Parsons saw education as providing a bridge to help recognise the difference between family life and life outside of the family.
Schultz sees education as developing
- A trained and qualified labour force, benefiting the economy.
- The knowledge and skills possessed by a workforce that increases a workforce's value and usefulness to employers
Davis and Moore see education as selecting and allocating people for roles in a meritocratic society in which everyone has equality of opportunity - Fitting the most able and qualified people into the hierarchy of unequal positions in society.
Criticisms of the functionalist view:
Marxists argue schooling passes on not shared values, but those of the dominant class.
Feminists argue schooling passes on patriarchal values, disadvantaging girls and women.
Society is not based on universalistic values - Inherited wealth and social characteristics like social class background, gender and ethnicity still affect access to the highest positions.
Schooling and educational qualifications have a weak relationship with the jobs people eventually get.
Employers often complain schools do not provide a well-disciplined and qualified work force.
Education is not meritocratic - Social class, gender and ethnicity are still major barriers to success in education and the development of talents, even for those with the same ability.
Marxists argue education simply reproduces the inequalities that exist outside school.
Functionalists exaggerate the role of education and ignore wider influences on socialising young people such as the family and the media.
New Right perspective
Mostly shares the functionalist perspective.
Education should be concerned with training the workforce (Chubb and Moe).
Education should run on meritocratic lines, with fair and open competition ensuring the most talented are recruited into the most important jobs.
New Right has had importance influences on education policy:
Limiting the role of the state - Schools run more independently, like academies and free schools.
Wider parental choice of schools.
More competition between schools (Marketisation, league tables, etc.)
Education is a form of social control, encouraging young people to be conformists, to accept their social position and current patterns of inequality in power, wealth and income.
Althusser argues the education system is an
ideological state apparatus
passing on ruling class ideology justifying the capitalist system, selecting people for different positions in the class structure and ensuring they have the right conformist attitudes.
Ideological state apparatus
- Agencies which serve to spread the dominant ideology and justify the power of the dominant social class.
Education reproduces and legitimises the existing class structure, and confirms pupils' class of origin (the one they were born into) as their class of destination (the one they end up in as adults).
Those who fail in education are blamed for their own lack of ability and effort, rather than considering material and cultural barriers they face in schooling.
Bourdieu argues the culture of education is the culture of the dominant class.
The middle and upper class have access to
helping them to succeed.
School devalues working class culture making it harder for those from working class backgrounds without cultural capital to succeed in education.
- The knowledge, education, language, attitudes, values and network of social contacts and lifestyle possessed by the upper and upper middle class which give students who possess them an inbuilt advantage in a middle class controlled education system.
Illich and Freire see schools as repressive, promoting conformity and passivity, discouraging criticism and encouraging acceptance of existing inequalities and the interests of the powerful.
Illich suggests abolishing schools - deschooling society.
Bowles and Gintis argue schooling prepares young people for work by the hidden curriculum which operates in "the long shadow of work".
Pupil experiences and the hidden curriculum at school correspond with/mirrors the culture, values and organisation of the adult workplace - eg, pupils' lack of power and control mirrors that of workers; grading by ability and exam success reflects differences in pay and status at work.
Criticisms of the Marxist view
Much of the Marxist work has little research to back up its conclusions.
Pupils often rebel against the school and aren't always the passive conformists Marxists suggest - Eg, Willis' research into the counter-school subculture among working-class 'lads'.
Marxists place too much emphasis on the role of education, and often ignore wider influences on young people, such as the family and the media.