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The Marxist Sociology of Education: A Critique

M. S. H. Hickox
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Dec., 1982), pp. 563-578
DOI: 10.2307/589362
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/589362
Page Count: 16
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The Marxist Sociology of Education: A Critique
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Abstract

Many of the central elements in the Marxist approach to the sociology of education reiterate themes present both in functionalist theories of education and in the 'new sociology of education'. The present vogue for Marxist approaches among educators can be seen as reflecting the current reaction against educational progressivism in as much as this paradigm appears to offer an explanation for the continued strength of educational traditionalism. The 'traditional' educator fulfils the purpose of Capital in reproducing the 'relations of production'. The main features of the Marxist model are outlined and subjected to criticism. It is argued that no real evidence has been offered to support the contention that systems of education have any central role in reproducing capitalist production relation. In consequence educational debates cannot be seen as directly expressing wider socio-economic conflicts.

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