An Outline of the Marxist Perspective on the Role of Education in Legitimizing Inequality

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An Outline of the Marxist Perspective on the Role of Education in Legitimizing Inequality In this essay I am going to examine the Marxist view that the role of the education system is to reproduce and justify the existing class structure. Marxists see capitalist society as being ruled by the economy. The minority, the ruling class or 'bourgeoisie' rule the majority, namely the workers or 'proletariat'. The bourgeoisie have the wealth and the power to rule. The proletariat is exploited because they are not treated fairly and this is the basis of class inequality During the nineteenth centaury there was much progress and support for the extension of education which was supported by those with a communist view point. Often, driven by economic change, from 1861-63 with the advent of the factory acts, "All persons under 16 years of age must be examined by the certifying surgeon. Children cannot be employed under the age of 8 years. Children between 8 and 13 years of age can only be employed for half-time, and must attend school daily.” (marxists.org) this was a key event in the extension of the educational franchise in the 19th centaury. Some of the events that led up to this included the replacing of labor with machines and the need by the factory owners to reduce costs. Writers in the Marxist perspective of sociology claim that there is a conspiracy in the education system designed to prevent children from working class backgrounds from realizing their true position in society this can be referred to as the hidden curriculum. The education system reinforces the ideology that the rich and powerful should control society and promotes an ideology or belief that our society is fair and just and that the proletariat should quietly accept capitalist society. In Advanced Industrial Societies the mains relationships are those of work. These are known as the
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