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April 28, 2018 / C H Thompson

Marxist perspective of education-revision notes

  • Bowles and Gintis’ study ‘Schooling in Capitalist America’ (1976) supported Althusser’s ideas that there is a close correspondence (relationship) between the social relationships in the classroom and those in the workplace
  • this is known as the correspondence principle and occurs through:
  • school processes which are very similar to those of offices and factories,
  • this creates a long shadow of work through a system of top-down control and
  • a hidden curriculum which encourages conformity (so for functionalists the hidden curriculum is a positive thing, while Marxists see it as an instrument of the ruling-class)
  • schools function is to promote the myth of meritocracy –
  • where schools legitimate the myth that everyone has an equal chance; so pupils think those people in the top jobs got there on merit when in fact those at the top are there due to their social-class background
  • through the myth of meritocracy social inequality is legitimized and justified as natural



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