Education and production : a generative model
This work critically examines the place of the education/production relationship in 'the new sociology of education' and associated Marxist theories. The assumptions of these approaches are explicated and placed within a particular paradigm. It is argued that a number of important problems associated with this paradigm result from its being grounded in a distinctive 'philosophical problem field' which, whilst ostensibly rejecting 'positivist sociology', retains the basic categories of positivist doctrine. Bhaskar's realist theory of science is presented as an alternative framework, and Boudon's account of structuralism and Bernstein's classification and framing theory are discussed in realist terms. This alternative perspective is developed in relation to the sociology of education on the basis of the works of Bernstein, Bourdieu and Boudon and a review of contemporary, comparative and historical material on the relationship between education and production (including works on labour markets, income distribution, work-life patterns, elasticities of substitution of labour, and social mobility) and on the effects of changes and variations in educational practices and characteristics of pupil groups. The role of 'the world of work' in the curriculum is discussed with reference to social education, work experience, vocational preparation and social and life skills training. The period covered Is from the Newsom Report to the present day and the advent of the Youth Training Scheme. It is argued that these developments and the phenomena of class and gender differentials in educational attainment should be discussed in terms of a culturalist perspective which relates pupils' educational and occupational decision-making to occupational communities and labour-markets. This is developed through a discussion of consumption and related to Marx's labour theory of value.