The author critiques Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society, arguing that, despite his forthright vision of the liberating potential of educational technology, Illich fails to understand fully how the existing educational system serves the capitalist economy. Gintis evaluates and rejects the book's major thesis that the present character of schooling stems from the economy's need to shape consumer demands and expectations. Instead, he offers a production orientation which maintains that the repressive and unequal aspects of schooling derive from the need to supply a labor force compatible with the social relations of capitalist production. Gintis concludes that meaningful strategies for educational change must explicitly embrace a concomitant transformation of the mechanisms of power and privilege in the economic sphere.

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