Assessment on the view that the education system serves to maintain a capitalist society.
Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership of capital, such as businesses and organisations. This means there are two types of people the bourgeoisie (the rich business owners) and the workers, one group of people hold the wealth. The question suggests that the education system moulds its students into maintaining a capitalist society. I shall asses points for and against this argument and conclude.
Karl Marx (a Marxist sociologist) believes that the education system preforms two main functions in a capitalist society. Firstly, Marx believes the education system reproduces the inequalities and social relations of production of capitalist society. In contrast, the government claim that the education system provides equality and education to all which surely would not serve to maintain a capitalist society. Marx’s first point suggests that education surely does not provide equality, this is for reasons being that education is a meritocratic institution that only benefits the student which conform with the desired qualities, such as doing as they are told and being high academic achievers. This brings me on to the second part of the point of social relations in a capitalist society. Education is said to mimic a capitalist working life in which the teachers are the respected bosses and the students are the workers who must conform and do as they are told. Marx’s second function states that education serves to legitimate (justify) these inequalities through the myth of meritocracy. This points suggests that schools aim to legitimise inequalities between students and say that meritocracy is a myth and that students are not rewarded on the basis of merit though examinations and qualifications, although many qualities of the education system suggest it does.
Bowels and Gintis (1978) are both Marxist sociologists. The two sociologists came up with a theory called...