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Criticism of all Marxist
Theories


Overemphasis on class (differential
access to scarce resources)



What about other ...
Are we all just passive robots?

What about Sociology?
 Sociology classes are teaching you to
see through any possible
in...
INTERACTIONISM
We need to look at a study which
brings thinking, acting human beings
back in to the picture
 And this bri...
Do we always believe and act on
what we are told?
School pupils might be taught endlessly to:
•
•
•
•

obey rules
to be obedient to teachers
to work hard
to expect punishme...
Paul Willis
Learning to Labour
•

Provides a major critique of
perspectives (Marxism and
Functionalism)
• Argues that both...
Paul Willis
Learning to Labour
•

recognised that in working
class culture masculinity is
equated with being tough and
doi...
What is a counter-culture?
What are the two categories of students that
Willis found?
How do the lads flout the rules?
Why...
Why did the ‘Lads’ behave in this
way?
Partly out of rebellion, not
being liked to be told what
to do
 Partly as a coping...
Paul Willis
Learning to Labour
However the coping strategies they
used, although the lads did not realise
this, were also ...
Paul Willis
Learning to Labour
EVALUATION?
Concentrated solely on White working class
males
 Neglected to study female, e...
Willis – methodological issues
Conducted unstructured group
interviews to reveal the counter-school
culture of the ‘lads’
...
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Marxism Willis

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Paul Willis - learning to labour

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Marxism Willis

  1. 1. Criticism of all Marxist Theories  Overemphasis on class (differential access to scarce resources)  What about other social divisions like………….age, ethnicity, gender, dis ability, sexual orientation
  2. 2. Are we all just passive robots? What about Sociology?  Sociology classes are teaching you to see through any possible indoctrination or ruling class ideology  It is also teaching you about inequality  This is known as determinism
  3. 3. INTERACTIONISM We need to look at a study which brings thinking, acting human beings back in to the picture  And this brings us to one of the most famous studies in Sociology  Paul Willis: Learning to Labour (1977) 
  4. 4. Do we always believe and act on what we are told?
  5. 5. School pupils might be taught endlessly to: • • • • obey rules to be obedient to teachers to work hard to expect punishment if they step out of line…………………… However as I am sure you have noticed in every school there are ANTI-SCHOOL SUBCULTURES in which pupils have little or no regard for rules and who have no respect for the authority of teachers. We also do Sociology and Critical Thinking in schools – subjects designed to question everything and to accept nothing!
  6. 6. Paul Willis Learning to Labour • Provides a major critique of perspectives (Marxism and Functionalism) • Argues that both these theories are deterministic i.e. they see pupils as passive. • Both theories fail to take account of pupil resistance to the processes working on them So brings in INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE
  7. 7. Paul Willis Learning to Labour • recognised that in working class culture masculinity is equated with being tough and doing manual work, doing schoolwork is seen as effeminate and inferior
  8. 8. What is a counter-culture? What are the two categories of students that Willis found? How do the lads flout the rules? Why do the lads not want to identify with school work? How has their rebellion still prepared them for work?
  9. 9. Why did the ‘Lads’ behave in this way? Partly out of rebellion, not being liked to be told what to do  Partly as a coping strategy for the boredom of schooling  So they developed their own definitions of what school was about 
  10. 10. Paul Willis Learning to Labour However the coping strategies they used, although the lads did not realise this, were also an early lesson into ways of coping with the boring and routine type of job they would ultimately end up in  Thus even rebellion is reproducing the right type of workforce needed for the capitalist system – a workforce who are uncritical and simply ‘just get on with it’ 
  11. 11. Paul Willis Learning to Labour EVALUATION? Concentrated solely on White working class males  Neglected to study female, ethnic minority, or disabled students as other groups who maybe resist the schooling experience  Only one school and small group of boys so can we really generalise  Some people think Willis has romanticised these lads as ‘working class heroes’ – in reality they were anti-social and sexist 
  12. 12. Willis – methodological issues Conducted unstructured group interviews to reveal the counter-school culture of the ‘lads’  Problems: cannot be repeated so reliability issues, won’t boys together just say what the other boys want to hear? Open to the researcher’s own biased interpretation 

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