Annals of Educational Research and Reviews

Perspective Article - (2021) Volume 9, Issue 3

Education and social reproduction
Laura Garner*
Department of Education, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
*Correspondence: Laura Garner, Department of Education, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom,

Received: 07-Jun-2021 Published: 28-Jun-2021


The perspective of conflict theory, contrary to the structural functionalist perspective, believes that society is filled with vying social groups with different aspirations, different access to life chances and gain different social rewards. The conflict theory sees the purpose of education as a way to maintain social inequality and a way to preserve the power of those who dominate society. Relations in society, during this view, are mainly supported exploitation, oppression, domination and subordination. Many teachers assume that students will have particular bourgeoisie experiences reception, and for a few children this assumption isn't necessarily true. Some children are expected to help their parents after school and carry considerable domestic responsibilities in their often single-parent home. The demands of this domestic labour often make it difficult for them to find time to do all their homework and thus affects their academic performance.

Where teachers have softened the formality of regular study and integrated student's preferred working methods into the curriculum, they noted that particular students displayed strengths they had not been aware of before. However few teachers deviate from the normal curriculum, and therefore the curriculum conveys what constitutes knowledge as determined by the state - and people in power. This knowledge is not meaningful to several of the scholars, who see it as pointless. Wilson & Wyn state that the students realize there is little or no direct link between the subjects they are doing and their perceived future in the labour market.

Anti-school values displayed by these children are often derived from their consciousness of their real interests. Sargent believes that for working-class students, striving to succeed and absorbing the school's bourgeoisie values, are accepting their inferior social position the maximum amount as if they were determined to fail. Fitzgerald states that "irrespective of their academic ability or desire to find out students from poor families have relatively little chance of securing success". On the opposite hand, for middle and particularly upper-class children, maintaining their superior position in society requires little effort.

The federal government subsidizes 'independent' private schools enabling the rich to obtain 'good education' by paying for it. With this 'good education', rich children perform better, achieve higher and acquire greater rewards. In this way, the continuation of privilege and wealth for the elite is formed possible in continuum.

Conflict theorists believe this social reproduction continues to occur because the entire education system is overlain with ideology provided by the dominant group. In effect, they perpetuate the parable that education is out there to all or any to supply a way of achieving wealth and standing. Anyone who fails to achieve this goal, according to the myth, has only themselves to blame. Wright agrees, stating that "the effect of the myth is to stop them from seeing that their personal troubles are part of major social issues". The duplicity is so successful that a lot of parents endure appalling jobs for several years, believing that this sacrifice will enable their children to possess opportunities in life that they did not have themselves. Conflict theorists believe that the educational system is maintaining the status quo by dulling the lower classes into being obedient workers. These people that are poor and disadvantaged are victims of a societal bunco. They have been encouraged to believe that a serious goal of schooling is to strengthen equality while, actually, schools reflect society's intention to take care of the previous unequal distribution of status and power.

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