Identity and Ideology: Sociocultural Theories of Schooling

By Stanley William Rothstein | Go to book overview

6
The Social Relations of Educational Production

In the advanced industrial nations, educational systems are involved, not with knowledge, but with ideological practice. It is in the theory of ideology that educational systems can best be understood. This follows from schooling's preoccupation with language and values, which must be transferred from one generation to the next in an orderly and predictable fashion. For as we have shown, the role of schooling in capitalist society is to produce individuals who cannot understand their relationship to the social order within which they live, learn, and work. To do this, a cultural arbitrary and pedagogic practice are used to reproduce a stratified economic and social system. Every attempt of schools to represent the world is, by definition, doomed to failure. Such attempts are ideological, or imaginary in nature, and cause individuals to misrecognize themselves and their relations to others. All attempts to use language to represent the real world necessarily misrepresent that World. As this is the essence of schooling in mass society, educational systems, which rely upon such representations, must be labelled as ideological state institutions. The product is socialized individuals who sees themselves and the world ideologically. Students are encouraged to believe that what they are taught in classrooms represents valid knowledge of the economy, the state, and the society. Educational systems pretend to be steeped in realism and empiricism, seeking to generate in students an acceptance of their teachings as legitimate and correct. 1 Thus teachers talk about how the world is and evaluate how successful students are in their ability to comprehend that world. Such teachers form a hierarchy in their profession and in schools. At the top are those who teach the higher grade levels and at universities; at the bottom are

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Identity and Ideology: Sociocultural Theories of Schooling
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - Sociocultural Theories of Schooling: An Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Role of the State 19
  • 3 - Reproduction: Symbolic Violence in Educational Systems 45
  • SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION 63
  • 4 - Ideological State Apparatuses 67
  • 5 - The Social Relations of Production 87
  • 6 - The Social Relations of Educational Production 109
  • 7 - Separating Theory from Practice: A Scholastic Question 129
  • Notes 151
  • Selected Bibliography 157
  • Index 159
  • About the Author 163
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