Education Legitimises Education Essay

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Examine the Marxist view that the role of education system is to reproduce & justify the existing class structure (20 marks) According to Louis Althusser (1971), the state consists of two ‘apparatuses’, both of which serve to keep the bourgeoisies in power; the repressive state apparatus (RSAs), which maintain the rule of the bourgeoisies by force or the threat of it. The RSAs include the police, court, and the army. When necessary, they use physical force to repress the working class and the other apparatus is ISAs. Education prepares children for the world of work by giving them skills and values they’ll need. The neo-Marxist Althusser sees education as part of the “Ideological state apparatus”. In other words, education reproduces inequality by transmitting it through generation to generation, by failing each successive generation of working class pupils in turn. Education’s a tool of capitalism which is used to pass on the belief that society is fair. Althusser thinks education is produces a docile and obedient workforce. Whereas functionalism believes that education teaches the skills needed in work and by the economy. Durkheim said that education passes on norms and values in order to integrate individuals into society. Education helps to create social order based on cohesion and value consensus. As most people think they have a chance to move higher up the hierarchy by getting into high class jobs whatever their class is. Education justifies inequality. Bowles and Gintis (1976) say that there is a close link between school and work. They say there’s a correspondence between pupil’s experiences of school and adult work; pupils are taught to accept the hierarchy at school. Work also has a hierarchy. Pupils are motivated by grades to do boring work. Workers are rewarded with pay to do boring work. The school day is broken up into small units. So is the
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