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Schooling in Capitalist America

  • By: Chris Higgins & Séamus Mulryan
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

In 1968, in the midst of national upheaval over social equity and educational authority, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis began work on what would later become Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life. Economists and social theorists, Bowles and Gintis set out to understand the growing body of contradictory evidence regarding the efficacy of educational reform. By the time they completed their landmark work, they had become convinced that there was a much deeper contradiction in U.S. society: that between our egalitarian goal of democratic participation in schooling and the inequalities implied by the continued profitability of capitalist production. Challenging the liberal faith in the school as the great agent of equalization, Bowles and Gintis argued that the hidden curriculum ...

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