Ideology And The Social Class In Schools By Louis Althusser

840 Words 4 Pages
The concept of ideology seems to be a fundamental term in “Ideology and The Ideological State Apparatuses” of Louis Althusser who, taking a similar stand to that of Marx, reaffirmed the role played by ideologies in sustaining the role of the capitalist class in society through the dominant ideological apparatus that is the school. In this essay, in order to comprehend Althusser’s reasons on why the school playsvirus9v a salient role in perpetuating the “subjection to the ruling ideology” (133), one will first define ideology. An attempt will also be made in providing the description Althusser gave of the school and teachers in contemporary society and also in explaining the way interpellation manifest itself in the classroom setting. Ideologies …show more content…
In fact, what Althusser means is that the school is the only one that can pretend to introduce children to the capitalist ideology from a young age, when they are still “vulnerable” (155) and easy to mold. Children spend most of their time in school, a supposedly “neutral environment purged of ideology” (156) but it is actually the place where they are not only taught the basic things such as reading, counting, writing but also taught a certain hidden curriculum that predestined them to occupy a certain position in the capitalist society. With their focus narrowed, they are expected to conform and follow orders. Each category of students will be “provided with the ideology which suits the role it has to fulfill in class society” (155). All the rules and skills taught by the teachers in the classroom setting are a sort of ideological initiation to make the students ready to function within a society that has already forged for them a precise path that will fulfill the development of the ruling class and furthermore foster class’s …show more content…
In the social setting, he stated that the process of interpellation is one through which Ideology constitutes “concrete individuals as subjects” (171). When you have the recognition of yourself as an addressee when you name is called, by responding, you fulfill your transformation from individual to a subject. The process of internalizing and accepting ideologies make of us primary agents of our own alienation. For Althusser, individuals even before they are born are “always-already a subject” (176), because they are given an identity and have expectations that are already set for them by the family. Ideological interpellation when occurring in the classroom socializes students into the role they are supposed to take in this teacher-student relationship. There is an expectation from them to behave as students by conforming, being punctual, developing skills... Such expectations also come with rewards and punishments in case of failure. For example during roll calling, each student conscious of his own identity responds to the call of the teacher if not he would be marked absent; the same is observed when professors ask students to introduce themselves and they do, passively participating in their own

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