Present Bowles and Gintis views on the role of education in capitalist society


The American economists Bowles and Gintis argue that the major role of education in capitalist society is the reproduction of labour power. In particular, they maintain that education contributes to the reproduction of workers with kinds of personalities, attitudes and outlooks which will fit them for their exploited status.

The economic role of education is not so much the reproduction of technical skills needed by neither the economy, nor the selection and grading of individuals in terms of their talents and abilities for allocation to appropriate jobs. Rather in the words of Bowles and Gintis, ‘To capture the economic import of education, we must relate its social structure to the forms of consciousness, interpersonal behaviour and personality it fosters and reinforces in students.’

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