The problems this book discusses are the same now as they were 25 years ago: unemployment, poor housing, inadequate facilities, poverty, racism, violence. What is the function of a school in such a situation? Although many schools hold reformist ideals, their practice is constrained by organisational demands. School organisation is based upon a coercive theory of social control which is intolerant of expressions of individuality by teachers and pupils. Needs for individuality may be mistaken for deviance, and deviance is at least in part produced by, or exacerbated by, school organisation. The author maintains that schooling is therefore largely maladjusted to the needs of individuals.

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