Ideological state apparatuses

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redinthegrey
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beautifulbigmacs
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(Original post by redinthegrey)
What criticisms could I make of Althusser's theory of ideological state apparatuses? I have to evaluate his main contributions and I think ISAs is one of the major ones... I'm not massively familiar with the concept, but the main ones that come to mind of me are:
A) @ the notion that the school is an ISA that brainwashes children into accepting ruling class ideology... Isn't the fact that Marxism is taught in educational institutions evidence against this?
and
B) Ideological state apparatuses and repressive state apparatuses, in my view, do not operate separately, however what I've read implies that Althusser's theory says they do? Was what I read wrong/have I misinterpreted? For example the military is both a military and ideological state apparatus...
Opinions much appreciated!
I'm not familiar with the work you refer to but know that it is well known enough that a google search might be able to help. Maybe Google something like "critisisms of ....."
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SocTeach
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A good way to criticise any Marxist concept is by applying functionalism. Try and think of the positive functions of the institutions that Althusser claims are 'ISA.' So for example the education is said to 'brainwash' as you say, but for many working class students education is the route to social mobility; making a better life for themselves by getting the skills (or 'specialist skills' if you want to link to Durkheim) needed to get the higher paid jobs.
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