Rothstein argues that schools in capitalist societies, and in all societies, inculcate students with understandings of themselves and their economic systems. Using a Freudo-Marxian approach, he shows how educational systems reproduce themselves and the social systems which fund them. Grounded in studies of American and European capitalist societies, this text traces the formation of the public and private identities, and illustrates how individuals are indoctrinated with capitalist ideology through linguistic and cultural transmissions. Rothstein concludes that education must be liberated from ideological effects by focusing learning on the processes which create them, thus giving students deeper insight into their own identities and roles in the social system.
The book begins with an overview of sociocultural theories of schooling, in which the author demonstrates that schools reproduce social structures and values through the use of arbitrary ideological understandings and values. Rothstein then suggests that the State intervenes and regulates education in order to propagate politically and economically correct learnings and behavior. This inculcation of values and world views is an act of symbolic violence in which those in authority gain ideological mastery of their students from one generation to the next. This education of the individual also takes place in the worlds of the family and, later, at work, where the student or worker becomes a commodity who can be bought and sold. He or she exists as a cost of production. Rothstein concludes that to free the individual from the shackles of ideological and economic domination, families and schools must be liberated from their arbitrary practices and links with the labor market. Educators will find Rothstein's use of ideology and language valuable and provocative as they struggle to reform educational systems today.
About the Author
STANLEY WILLIAM ROTHSTEIN is a Professor of Education at California State University, Fullerton. He is especially interested in the sociology of education and multidisciplinary approaches to the study of human identity in capitalist systems. He brings to his work many years of experience as a teacher and administrator in the New York City school system. He has published several books and numerous articles on urban education and sociology.
Table of Contents
Sociocultural Theories of Schooling: An Introduction
The Role of the State
Reproduction: Symbolic Violence in Educational Systems
Ideological State Apparatuses
The Social Relations of Production
The Social Relations of Educational Production
Separating Theory from Practice: A Scholastic Question