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Critique of Capitalist Education

Critique of Capitalist Education



We are constantly confronted by competing and contradictory narratives concerning the importance of education. On one hand, a steady mantra stresses success in the new economy requires at least a college degree—and evidence shows that workers with a college degree earn more and get better jobs over their working lives. On the other hand, the educational system in the US is under assault as public sector funding at all levels is cut, teachers as public sector workers are demonized, and by everyone’s assessment the US is rapidly moving towards a society where a select few receive an elite education and the rest are being left behind.

The editors of Critical Sociology are looking for scholarship that delves into the nature and consequences of education—both within the US and comparatively. At a time when costs to students in public universities in the US double while state governments cut allocations, we read that Germany has decided higher education for all will be free of fees and tuition costs. Are any colleges educating underserved students without leaving them with crippling debts, and if so how? Students and teachers in Colorado resisted revisionist changes to the high school curriculum, are these strategies for institutions of higher education? What is the future for the next generation in the US? How can we understand the logic and role of education (and not pedagogy) under advanced capitalism in the neoliberal era?

Some suggestive topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
* 600,000 students in the US attend colleges where the dropout rate is 85 percent
* many students amass debt but leave without a degree, facing a life of indentured work
* by some estimates three quarters of all college instruction is done by casualized faculty
* school budgets are driven by administrative and not instructional costs
* slashed public sector support for education shift costs onto students
* corporate logic (failed and successful) reshapes governance and decision-making
* faculty are silenced under rules of “civility”
* faculty should avoid “disturbing” students with content that may raise challenges
* graduate program recruit students without funding and few job prospects
* institutions fail to recruit underserved faculty and students

Potential contributors should send a proposal with a tentative title, a short (100-150 word) abstract, and contact/affiliation details to by1 December 2014, and put EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM in your subject line.  All authors will be notified by 15 January and first drafts of papers will be due by 15 June. We anticipate having a session at the annual SSSP meetings in Chicago where authors will discuss their papers and get feedback.

Depending on the number of submissions, we anticipate producing an edited volume to augment the journal symposium. Contact David Fasenfest, Editor, at the email above with any questions.

Prof. David Fasenfest
Dept of Sociology
Wayne State University
Editor, Critical Sociology
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