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Title:A Structural View of Knowledge and A Constitutive View of Knowledge: An Analysis of Reproductive Education Theory
Author(s):Kim, Chaeyoung
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Philosophy of
Abstract:This study is concerned with the ways in which school practices affect the stability and change (or transformation) of existing social relations. The main focus of this dissertation is a critical examination of two debates within reproductive educational theory--structuralism (e.g., Bowles & Gintis's, 1976, 1980, economic structuralism; Althusser's, 1969, 1971, 1976; and Althusser & Balibar's, 1970, discursive structuralism; Bourdieu's, 1977a, 1977b, 1977c, 1980, 1984 cultural structuralism; and Bourdieu & Passeron's, 1977) and culturalism (e.g., Willis, 1977, 1981, 1983; Willis & Corrigan, 1980a, 1980b). The major findings of this study are that (a) both approaches are necessarily limited and inadequate for an explanation of how and why schooling contributes to reproducing and transforming the basic social relations; and (b) both approaches fail to develop a dialectical explanation of the two key ingredients in the reproduction and the transformation of society--structural elements and human subject activity.
Structuralists, despite some minor differences among them, over-emphasize the importance of determining social structures in understanding social practices and their effects on reproduction of the existing social order. From the structuralists' perspective, we would be able to understand certain mechanisms of school in connection with the determining social structure; however, we would not allow room for transforming and reconstructing the ideological forces of the determining social structures within the specific context of school practices. In the case of the culturalist position, we can have an understanding of how the oppressed interpret, tranform, and resist the ideologies of capitalism through their experiences and subcultural understanding. However, we would dismiss the importance of the way in which dominant ideologies and certain mechanisms of school affect the reproduction and change of existing social relations.
In the concluding remarks, a middle ground is proposed to complement the two approaches and to resolve conflicting views. Suggested as theoretically useful for the development of critical distinctions (e.g., between structure and agency, outcome and process, and constraining and constituting) are A. Giddens's (1976, 1977, 1979) duality of structure and his theory of structuralization. Another strategy discussed is to adopt M. Apple's (1981, 1982a, 1982b, 1984) shift from his early structuralist position toward a culturalist approach to educational theory.
Issue Date:1986
Description:153 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8701530
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1986

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