Embourgeoisment, immiseration, commodification - Marxism revisited: a critique of education in capitalist systems

Greaves, Nigel M., Hill, Dave and Maisuria, Alpesh (2007) Embourgeoisment, immiseration, commodification - Marxism revisited: a critique of education in capitalist systems. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 5 (1) . pp. 38-72. ISSN 2051-0969 [Article]


In this paper, we explore educational inequality through a theoretical and empirical analysis. We use classical Marxian scholarship and class-based analyses to theorise the relationship between education and the inequality in society that is an inevitable feature of capitalist society/ economy. The relationship between social class and the process of capitalization of education in the USA and UK is identified, where neo-liberal drivers are working to condition the education sector more tightly to the needs of capital. The empirical evidence is utilised to show how capital accumulation is the principal objective of national and international government policy, and of global capitalist organizations such as the World Trade Organization. The key ontological claim of Marxist education theorists is that education serves to complement, regiment and replicate the dominant-subordinate nature of class relations upon which capitalism depends, the labor-capital relation. Through these arguments we show that education services the capitalist economy, helps reproduce the necessary social, political, ideological and economic conditions for capitalism, and therefore, reflects and reproduces the organic inequalities of capitalism originating in the relations of production. We also note that education is a site of cultural contestation and resistance. We conclude that, whether in terms of attainment, selection, or life chances, it is inevitable that education systems reflect and express the larger features of capitalist inequality.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education
Item ID: 5060
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Hilary Cummings
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2010 11:04
Last Modified: 20 May 2020 01:40
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/5060

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