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Against Schooling: EDUCATION AND SOCIAL CLASS

Against Schooling: EDUCATION AND SOCIAL CLASS Stanley Aronowitz At the dawn of the new century no American institution is invested with a greater role to bring the young and their parents into the modernist regime than public schools. The common school is charged with the task of preparing children and youth for their dual responsibilities to the social order: citizenship and, more important, learning to labor. On the one hand, in the older curriculum on the road to citizenship in a democratic, secular society, schools are supposed to transmit the jewels of the Enlightenment, especially literature and science. On the other, students are to be prepared for the work world by means of a loose but definite stress on the redemptive value of work, the importance of family, and, of course, the imperative of love and loyalty to one’s country. As to the Enlightenment’s concept of citizenship, students are, at least putatively, encouraged to engage in independent, critical thinking. But the socializing functions of schooling play to the opposite idea: children of the working and professional and middle classes are to be molded to the industrial and technological imperatives of contemporary society. Students learn science and mathematics not as a discourse of liberation from http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Text Duke University Press

Against Schooling: EDUCATION AND SOCIAL CLASS

Social Text , Volume 22 (2 79) – Jun 1, 2004

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0164-2472
eISSN
1527-1951
DOI
10.1215/01642472-22-2_79-13
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Stanley Aronowitz At the dawn of the new century no American institution is invested with a greater role to bring the young and their parents into the modernist regime than public schools. The common school is charged with the task of preparing children and youth for their dual responsibilities to the social order: citizenship and, more important, learning to labor. On the one hand, in the older curriculum on the road to citizenship in a democratic, secular society, schools are supposed to transmit the jewels of the Enlightenment, especially literature and science. On the other, students are to be prepared for the work world by means of a loose but definite stress on the redemptive value of work, the importance of family, and, of course, the imperative of love and loyalty to one’s country. As to the Enlightenment’s concept of citizenship, students are, at least putatively, encouraged to engage in independent, critical thinking. But the socializing functions of schooling play to the opposite idea: children of the working and professional and middle classes are to be molded to the industrial and technological imperatives of contemporary society. Students learn science and mathematics not as a discourse of liberation from

Journal

Social TextDuke University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2004

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