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Asses The View That The Main Function Of The Education System Is To Reproduce And Legitimise Social Inequalities

752 words - 4 pages

Asses the view that the main function of the education system is to reproduce and legitimise social inequalities.

Functionalist writers such as Parsons have suggested that social inequality in contemporary societies is based on the principal of meritocracy and equality of opportunity. In meritocracy, social inequality is based on the different abilities, talents and skills individuals have. For most people today, their abilities and talents are demonstrated by their educational qualifications, and everyone should have an equal opportunity to develop and achieve these educational qualifications, regardless of their social class background, ethnicity or disability.
However, there is ...view middle of the document...

There are major differences between the levels of achievement of the working class and middle class and, in general, the higher the social class of the parents, the more successful a child will be in education. Waldfogel and Washbrook found many children from disadvantaged background were already up to a year behind more privileged children educationally by the age of 3 before many had even started school. The degree of social class inequality in education begins even before children enter primary school and becomes greater as children move upward through the education system, with the higher levels of the education system controlled by middle-class and upper- class students.
Althusser disagrees that the main function of the education is the communication of common values. He thinks that education is an ideological state apparatus and its main function is to maintain, Legitimate and reproduce, generation by generation, class inequalities in wealth and power by spreading capitalist values hidden as common values. Althusser also believes that ideology is done subconsciously through the hidden curriculum. He thinks that the way schools are organized and the way the curriculum is taught means that working-class people are encouraged to follow to the capitalist system and accept disaster and inequality within their class.
Bowles and Gintis’s correspondence theory suggests that what...

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