Outline and Assess the View That Vocational Education Simply Trains Workers for Exploitation.

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Outline and assess the view that vocational education simply trains workers for exploitation. [50]

The idea that vocational education allows workers to be exploited is a view held by Marxism. Vocational education is that which gets an individual ready for the workplace, either through a course directly complimenting a skill, like hairdressing, or that which has a broader area of learning. Whilst functionalism sees a great system underlying vocational education, Marxists have a more cynical view of the idea. Vocational education will inevitably have an effect on the economy- hopefully for the better, but Marxists would deny the benefits as overall wealthy, insisting education is a tool in capitalist societies, which control and pacify the working classes. Marxists Bowles and Gintis (1976) suggested that there is a correspondence between educational institutions and the workplace- the working class will stay working class, and characteristics such as self-image, social class identification, demeanour and presentation, will be paralleled within the workplace. Bowles and Gintis also maintained that whilst in school, the teachers were formed in a hierarchical system in which older students seem to be of a higher status than those who are younger; in the workplace, not all workers will be on the same salary in the same department. The overall belief is that the whole system has made it so that the ‘hidden curriculum’ enforces social order, and it marginalises worker, making them struggle for power, and this will create a subservient pool of workers. Durkheim, would disagree along with Davis and Moore, and Parsons, who collectively state that a skilled workforce is a product, and occupational allocation can be a defining outcome of vocational education. This really drives the core values of functionalism, as it seeks to work for the benefit of a consensus society, just trying to get the people back into work and off of welfare. Bowles and Gintis, however can be...
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