Marxism and the Role of Education

Gap-fill exercise

This lesson takes helps you generated some basic notes on the Marxist view of the role of education in society. At each stage print your notes when they are complete and then read them through carefully

There are 3 stages to the lesson to complete. Use the navigation at the top of the page to access each part

Bourgeoisie Education Meritocracy own Proletariat shape superstructure value work workers
In Advanced Industrial Societies the mains relationships are those of work. These are known as the Relations of Production, that is, the relations between those who the Means of Production (machines, factories etc.) and those who operate or these means of production. Capitalism therefore is divided in terms of class bewteen owners and .
For those who own these means of production; to make money the relations of production must be unequal, the worker must be paid less than the of the product he or she produces. This is how the owners of the means of production make a profit.
MARX called the owners of the means of production ('Capitalists', or ruling class') and the workers ('working class').
The means of production and the relations of production form what Marx termed the Economic Infrastructure (the Base of Society). This means that the economic relations form the heart of any society. But not only do they form the heart of they also every other part of society. However this is a two way relationship as the other parts of society then serve to legitimate and maintain the economic infrastructure. These other parts of society are known as the Superstructure. Like a house built on its foundations the is built on the base.

Marx Base and Superstructure

is an important part of the superstructure.
For Marx then education performs two main functions in capitalist society:-
1. It reproduces the inequalities and social relations of production of Capitalist Society.
2. It serves to legitimate these inequalities under the guise of .