Just Sociology

The Fragmentation Principle: How Education and Workforce are Divided

Bowles and Gintis presented a key principle in Marxist sociology called the Correspondence Principle. This principle refers to the relationship between the values and norms of the education system and the workplace.

It argues that the values and norms instilled in students during their schooling prepare them for their future roles as workers by reproducing the traits required to create a subservient workforce. In this article, we examine the Correspondence Principle, its subtopics, and evaluate its effectiveness in producing a motivated and productive workforce.

Reproduction of Labor Power

The Correspondence Principle explains that the education system serves the interest of the ruling class in a capitalistic society, the Bourgeoisie, by reproducing the labor power of the working class. This means that schools teach students the skills and attributes necessary for their exploitation and subsequent production in the workplace.

The education system, according to Bowles and Gintis, reinforces the existing social hierarchy by providing certain types of education to certain groups based on their family background and social class.

Hidden Curriculum

The

Hidden Curriculum highlights the role of schools in shaping the values and attitudes of students that are not explicitly taught in the classroom but are internalized through the institutional experience. The

Hidden Curriculum includes norms, values, beliefs, and attitudes that support the existing social order and prepare students for their future roles.

The formal curriculum addresses mainly academic subjects, while the

Hidden Curriculum reinforces social norms and values.

Correspondence Theory

The

Correspondence Theory suggests that the norms and values of school correspond to the required norms and values of future employers. This theory implies that the education system is designed to produce workers who are easily exploitable and controllable.

Students learn obedience, conformity, and acceptance of hierarchy and authority, all essential traits that benefit their future employers. The objective is to produce workers who are motivated by external rewards and are not interested in thinking critically about their work and society.

Four Ways Norms and Values of School Correspond to Required Norms and Values of Work

Bowles and Gintis identify four ways in which the norms and values of schools correspond to the required norms and values of work. Firstly, students are taught to be subservient to authority, to accept the orders of those above them unquestioningly.

Secondly, students learn to accept the hierarchical organization of the workplace without question. Thirdly, school systematically motivates students through external rewards, which prepares them for the workplace where such tactics are often used to incentivize workers.

Finally, the structure of the school curriculum reinforces the specialization and fragmentation of subjects as is commonly found in the workplace.

Evaluation of Correspondence Principle

Critics of the Correspondence Principle argue that it overlooks the role of students’ agency and the possibility of active resistance against the norms and values being reproduced in schools. Critics also suggest that the Correspondence Principle may be less relevant in today’s education systems as schools have changed significantly in recent years.

Motivation by External Rewards

Concept of Motivation by External Rewards

Motivation by External Rewards refers to the practice of motivating individuals through external incentives such as grades, qualifications, and wage packets, rather than the inherent joys of learning or working. This type of motivation is a characteristic of the industrial capitalist system of work that is alienating, exploitative, and overly controlling.

Bowles and Gintis argue that the education system teaches students to be motivated by external rewards, which prepares them for working environments where such motivation is dominant.

Industrial Capitalist System of Work

The industrial capitalist system of work is characterized by repetitive and dull tasks that are controlled by employers in the pursuit of greater efficiency and increased profit. This type of work is often alienating as it separates workers from the products of their labor, and the process of production becomes reified.

Workers become focused on the end-product rather than on the process, which can make work dull and unfulfilling.

Fragmentation of Subjects

The fragmentation of subjects is a result of the specialization of knowledge that occurs both in the education system and the workplace. The education system teaches students to separate knowledge into distinct subjects, which can negate the possibility of seeing knowledge as interconnected and holistic.

This mode of teaching and learning is often replicated in the workplace, where workers are encouraged to specialize in particular tasks.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Correspondence Principle proposed by Bowles and Gintis highlights the importance of understanding the relationship between the education system and the industrial capitalist system of work. The principle suggests that the education system is designed to prepare students for the workforce by instilling values and norms that benefit the ruling class.

The motivation of students by external rewards, the Fragmentation of subjects, and the

Hidden Curriculum all serve to reinforce the existing social order. While critics suggest that the Correspondence Principle is less relevant today, understanding the role of the education system in creating a subservient workforce remains a crucial topic in contemporary sociological debates.The Correspondence Principle proposed by Bowles and Gintis highlights the relationship between education and the industrial capitalist system of work.

This principle suggests that the education system prepares students for employment by instilling values and norms that benefit the ruling class. One of the ways this is achieved is through the fragmentation of subjects.

In contemporary society, schools continue to divide knowledge into separate subjects, and the workforce is fragmented into specialized tasks. This expansion examines the concept of fragmentation of subjects and its effects on the education system and the workplace.

We will also explore whether the Correspondence Principle remains relevant in today’s fast-changing society.

Fragmentation of Subjects in Schools

The fragmentation of subjects is prevalent in schools where students are taught mathematics, English, history, and sciences separately. This mode of teaching has been widespread since the industrial revolution and is interconnected with the Correspondence Principle.

Critics argue that such practice ignores the importance of holistic approaches to learning and discovering the interconnectivity of these subjects. The division of knowledge could also be argued to result in a lack of creativity in students and to prevent them from seeing the bigger picture.

Fragmentation of Workforce

The fragmentation of the workforce is manifested when individuals specialize in particular tasks, leading to a divided workforce. The Correspondence Principle argues that schools prepare students for such an environment by separating knowledge into separate subjects.

This form of specialization has benefits for the industrial capitalist system, as it creates greater efficiency and control for the ruling class. However, it is argued that it alienates workers from the process and makes it difficult to see the whole picture of the work being carried out.

The fragmentation of the workforce can lead to a lack of autonomy and creativity in workers, and considers them solely according to their occupational role.

Changing Society and Relevance of Correspondence Principle

The way society is organized has changed significantly since the Correspondence Principle was first presented. During the industrial revolution, the Correspondence Principle was highly relevant as the labor force consisted mostly of unskilled manual workers requiring standardized education.

However, the current prevailing view is that society has transformed from an industrial-driven society to a child and youth-centered society. Furthermore, a move towards an entrepreneurial society presents new opportunities for creative and innovative thinking.

Such changes impact the relevancy of the Correspondence Principle, as a subservient workforce requirement is challenged by the greater relevance of entrepreneurial thinking and a focus on creativity, innovation and individuals’ unique contributions to the workplace. Ken Robinson’s TED Talk on Schools and Creativity

A TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson argues that the modern education system stifles creativity in children.

According to Robinson, the focus on narrow subject areas and passing exams creates a society that has no space for creativity, something that he contends is the basis of the most successful industries, mainly the arts. Robinson’s vision calls for a radically different form of education founded on broad-based support, enabling students to identify and promote their particular talents, whilst realizing that creativity is a life-long process rather than a source of vocational training for jobs.

Personal Opinion on Relevance of Correspondence Principle

In my opinion, Bowles and Gintis Correspondence Principle remains relevant today. Many people still take on jobs that are soul-destroying and work long hours without thinking critically about their work and society.

The fragmentation of subjects and the reinforcement of subservient attitudes in schools prepare individuals for such roles in the workplace. Moreover, while the entrepreneurial society may promise new alternatives to the worker-client relationship, we cannot overlook the significance of participating in a competitive labor market, whereby job obsolescence is prevalent.

The Correspondence Principle may offer a framework for students to critically examine such issues in light of their educational experiences.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Correspondence Principle, specifically the concept of fragmentation of subjects, continues to be relevant in today’s society. While new educational systems and innovations challenge it, the idea of a subservient workforce is still relevant, with students being prepared for such roles in schools.

Fragmentation of subjects in the education system and specialization of labor in the workplace continue to reinforce this subservient attitude. However, the significance of creativity and innovation in the modern world means that there is a demand for a new type of education that focuses more on holistic thinking and innovation.

Alterations to the traditional education system and innovation in industrial practices must account for the past and present application of the Correspondence Principle. In conclusion, the Correspondence Principle presented by Bowles and Gintis highlights the relationship between education and the industrial capitalist system of work.

The principle suggests that the education system prepares students for employment by instilling values and norms that benefit the ruling class. The discussion showed how the fragmentation of subjects in the education system prepares students for the fragmented workforce and how this impacts creativity, control, and specialization.

The Correspondence Principle remains relevant today, even with new educational systems and industrial innovations. It emphasizes the significance of critical thinking and innovation alongside the subservient attitudes that the education system and the workforce instill.

FAQs:

1. What is the Correspondence Principle?

The Correspondence Principle refers to the relationship between the values and norms of the education system and the workplace in a capitalistic society. 2.

What is the

Hidden Curriculum? The

Hidden Curriculum includes norms, values, beliefs, and attitudes that support the existing social order and prepare students for their future roles, taught through the institutional experience, and not explicitly mentioned in the curriculum.

3. What is the

Fragmentation of Subjects?

The Fragmentation of subjects occurs in schools where different subjects, such as Math, English, History, and the Sciences, are separated, overlooking holistic ideas. 4.

What is the Fragmentation of the Workforce? The Fragmentation of the Workforce is manifested when individuals specialize in particular tasks, leading to a divided workforce.

5. Why is the Correspondence Principle still relevant today?

The Correspondence Principle emphasizes the significance of creativity, innovation, and critical thinking in modern society, whilst acknowledging that the education system and workforce instill a subservient attitude to some extent. 6.

How is the education system affecting creativity? The education system stifles creativity in children by exclusively emphasizing narrow subject areas and passing exams, limiting space for creativity, according to Sir Ken Robinson.

7. How does the Correspondence Principle prepare students for subservient roles?

The Correspondence Principle prepares students for subservient roles by instilling the necessary subservient attitudes, such as obedience, conformity, and acceptance of authority and hierarchy, that are needed in the workforce. 8.

How does the Correspondence Principle relates to entrepreneurship? The Correspondence Principle relates to entrepreneurship in that it creates space for greater innovation, creativity, and change, rather than a subservient work ethos, but still needs to be considered in creating an alternative in the current capitalist system.

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