For most of us, school is the first institution where socialization happens. A place to learn who we are from our interactions with classmates and teachers. School has its manifest and latent functions (the hidden and unstated functions with indented or unintended consequences). There are topics on both functions, but in this post we will explore a specific latent function: that is, how schools produce obedient workers, employees, and citizens.
Learning Praise and Approval in the Classroom
In school, we were taught knowledge and are assigned tasks. Those who learned well and completed their tasks get much approval and praises.
I only need to mentions few things to jog your memory if the classroom: the stickers you get on assignments when you have 90% and above; the praises that you get such as “you are so smart” when you learn quickly and answer the teacher’s questions; and the positive attention that teachers give to eager students.
On the flip side, you’ll be punished when you don’t listen to authority (the teachers and principals). We have to obey when they assign homework and tests. Otherwise we are threatened with detention, lower grades, and fear of not getting into collage and landing a well-paid job.
The Catch Is That We Only Get Rewarded When We Listen To Orders And Commands
The pattern continues when you start working. You get paid when you listen to your employer and do the work. Otherwise, you’ll be fired.
So, what will you do?
Do your work, and get paid. Hopefully you can earn a promotion, and achieve the higher standard of living. Ultimately, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction and vanity of being better than those around you.
Just like punishments at school, there are punishments in the workplace. If you don’t do your job, then you’ll be laid off. Without job comes lack of steady income. Leading to lower living standard, and the likeliness of being looked down upon on by those around us.
Without a doubt, we want to avoid the latter situation. This is what drives us to follow orders. We want the pay and promotional incentives. To do this, we must obey the rules of our boss.
Read on to learn more about the damage the school system can do to you.