Last Updated 02 Apr 2020

What It Is Called Legitimate Knowledge for Clones

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What it is called legitimate knowledge for clones. An educational institution is a form of institution that is used to educate people. Educational institutions are essential for society to produce knowledge people (workers). Schools are designed to produce limitless knowledge in every aspect of life. However, the “men” behind schools tend to be selective in producing knowledge and constructing ideas. This paper intends to give an explanation of how schools can be hazardous by using concepts of Stuart Hall in his book, Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, and Michael W.

Apple and Nancy R. King in the article of “What Do Schools Teach”. These concepts applied to the hailsham case in the novel of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro to indicate that an educational institution like hailsham can be harmful due to the controlling and manipulating information for other purpose so that it generates what it is called legitimate knowledge for the clones. Hailsham is the sole source in constructing inhumane ideas to the students that reflect their destiny as donors and perceived a short life.

In the novel of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, students are taught that they are destined to be donors, and after the fourth donation their short life is granted. According to Stuart Hall in Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, he brings up a topic about discourse, power and knowledge, which created by Michel Foucault. Hall believes that in Foucault’s theory of discourse can be define as “’how human beings understand themselves in our culture’ and how our knowledge about ‘the social, the embodied individual and share meanings” (Hall 43).

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In other words, hall stated Foucault’s idea about discourse as how people discuss or understand the idea of things in certain society. Hall also stated Foucault’s idea about only certain social institutions, such as school, have the power to construct meaning, create truth or knowledge about things among society. That is to say that school is one of the sources that plays an important role in shaping students understanding of something.

Therefore, being the sole sources that creates ideas on people’s mind, telling them to be donors and have a short live is not a pleasant idea to be embedded in people’s minds. Beside the concept above, Educational institutions can be harmful due to the knowledge control. According to Michael W. Apple and Nancy R. King, “the study of educational knowledge is a study in ideology, the investigation of what is considered legitimate knowledge (be it knowledge of the logical type of “that,” “how” or “to”) by specific social groups and classes, in specific institutions, at specific historical moments.

It is, further, a critically oriented form of investigation, in that it chooses to focus on how this knowledge, as distributed in schools, may contribute to a cognitive and dispositional development that strengthens or reinforces existing (and often problematic) institutional arrangements in society” (Apple and King 342). To simplify, the available knowledge and the hidden knowledge are being selected to be presented to students as proper knowledge, base on the ideology at a certain society at a time.

Thus, educational institution can be defective due to the knowledge validity. According to the paragraph above, institutions control what can and cannot be presented. This theory can also be applied in the novel of never let me go. According to the book Miss Emily said that “We had run hailsham for many years, we had a sense of what could work, hat was best for the students in the long run, beyond hailsham. Lucy Wainright was idealistic, nothing wrong with that. But she had no graspof practicalities.

You see, we were able to give you something, something which even now no one will ever take from you, and we were able to do that principally by sheltering you. Hailsham would not have been hailsham if we hadn’t. Very well, sometimes that meant we kept things from you, lied to you. Yes in many ways we fooled you (Ishiguro 268). In other words, hailsham and its people is trying to hide the latent facts in order to protect children and for the continuity of the school itself. Therefore, institutions can be harmful in terms of controlling knowledge and information.

Another concept is that the basic function of schools or educational institutions is that schools should prepare students in terms of life skills to be able to do well in life. According to Michael W. Apple and Nancy R. King, “schools seem by and large, to do what they are supposed to do, at least in terms of roughly providing dispositions and propensities “functional” in later life in a complex and stratified social and economic order” (Apple and King 341). To clarify, Apple and king believe that schools have their own function to prepare students in the real life.

The last concept above is inversely reflected with the case of Never Let Me Go novel. In the novel, Kathy H as the narrator show the readers that in hailsham student do not get sufficient knowledge about life. Most of the time in hailsham, they only do painting and philosophies. Guardians or teachers do not teach them life skills. In the novel, Kathy H, as the narrator told us that “looking back now, I can see we were pretty confused about this whole area about sex, that’s hardly surprising, I suppose, given we were barely sixteen.

But what added to the confusion-I can see it more clearly now-was the fact that the guardians were themselves confused” (Ishiguro 95). This is the evidence that students do not get educated about sex sufficiently. Another example is when Kathy H said that “there was incidentally , Something I noticed about this veteran couples at the cottages-something Ruth, for all her close study of them, failed to spot-and this was how so many of their mannerisms were copied from the television” (Ishiguro 120).

In other words, Kathy observes that their seniors are copying certain behaviors that are depicted from the movies in order to reflecting a normal person in life. This case shows that students are lack of understanding of the world until they have moved from hailsham. Educational institutions such as hailsham can be hazardous due to the production of knowledge that is designed to keep students from knowing the truth. Boarding schools such as hailsham can prevent students from growing properly. Their lack of understanding of the world produces insecurity and anxiety to face the actual life.

Moreover, they are designed not to be rebellious instead, they are steered to be obedient and hopeless due to the lack of life skills and they are told in the first place that they are destined to be donors with short life. Works Cited Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go : New York : Vintage Canada, 2005. Hall, Stuart. Representation: Cultural Representation and Signifying Practices. London: SAGE, 2003. Apple, Michael W. , King, Nancy R.. ”What do Schools Teach? ”. Curriculum Inquiry 6:4. 1977:341-358.

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What It Is Called Legitimate Knowledge for Clones. (2017, May 05). Retrieved from

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