Assess the view that the education system serves to maintain a capitalist society.

Topics: Marxism, Karl Marx, Socialism Pages: 3 (797 words) Published: December 17, 2013
Assess the view that the education system serves to maintain a capitalist society.

A capitalist society is about making profit and the exploitation of the working class. There are several different theories that may state or criticise that the education system serves to maintain a capitalist society. Marxist agrees because the education system teachers individuals to accept that someone would always have a higher position than them. Whereas functionalist believes that the education system does not serve to maintain a capitalist society but it bridges the gap between home and society.

Marxist thinkers such as Althusser (1970) believe that the education system serves to maintain a capitalist society. He views the education system as an ideological state apparatus. This is how the ruling class are able to pass on their ideas and beliefs onto the working class. He believes that the education system teaches working class students basic skills needed to perform within a capitalist society. For example, punctuality, attendance and accepting orders. This would prepare them for their future exploitation, and would produce an obedient workforce.

However functionalists such as Willis (1970) disagree and think that the education system does not help maintain a capitalist society. Willis conducted a study of 12 working class lads in their last year of school found that there was no simple relationship between education and work. He found that the boys actively chose to fail so that they could land their ‘dream jobs’ of manual labour in a factory with their friends and have as little responsibility as possible. This shows that the education system are not able to make all students abide by their rules and expectations, as some students make their own decisions about their future and the kind of work they would like to go into.

On the other hand Marxist thinkers Bowles and Ginits (1976) believe that work and education are linked. For example at school students are...
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