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Spyros Themelis

Spyros Themelis

SOCIAL CHANGE AND EDUCATION IN GREECE: A STUDY IN CLASS STRUGGLE DYNAMICS – A NEW BOOK BY SPYROS THEMELIS

A New Book by Spyros Themelis, MiddlesexUniversity

Social Change and Education in Greece: A Study in Class Struggle Dynamics (2013, Palgrave

Macmillan, New York)

This book takes a challenging and refreshingly novel approach to the way education and social mobility are researched and theorised. The key message it delivers goes against the dominant post-war orthodoxy, which has postulated that education is both a mechanism for upward social mobility and an engine for economic growth in liberal capitalist countries. The conclusion the author reaches flies in the face of mainstream political consensus that perceives social mobility as panacea for the provision of occupational opportunities and an instrument for the levelling of the playing field. Much of what lays beneath social mobility, Spyros Themelis argues (apart from a great deal of sophisticated number-crunching) is a celebration and acceptance of an unequal system of allocation of opportunities.

This is one among very few studies that explore social mobility and attendant processes with the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods. The author views social mobility not merely as the outcome of the movements of individuals from one income or occupational group into another, detached from their societal, community and family context, as in conventional mobility studies. Instead, he examines social mobility as a complex process, where socio-economic (e.g. migration), cultural (e.g. marital practices and community values) and political (e.g. political patronage) forces, experiences, arrangements and strategies interact and interconnect in impeding or enhancing individuals’ and families’ social mobility movements.

The book makes some contribution to the ongoing debate about the economic crisis that has hit Greece since 2009. It suggests that the failure of education to promote equality of opportunities is symptomatic of the failure of the wider system to prioritise fair and equitable arrangements. If Greece’s current situation is to teach us a lesson, this is to urgently rethink about the whole system, not only in Greece but in the rest of the Western world too. The myth of education-based meritocracy and unfettered social mobility has anaesthetised Western societies to the multitude of social inequalities with which they are permeated. These might be hard times, but all the more appropriate to urge us to think about positive social change.

Dr Spyros Themelis is a Senior Lecturer in Education, Department of Education, Middlesex University, UK.

The book can be ordered from this link: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=537469

It is published in the Palgrave Macmillan Marxism and Education Series: http://www.palgrave.com/products/SearchResults.aspx?s=ME&fid=3658 and http://us.macmillan.com/series/MarxismandEducation

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Sociology

KEY ARTICLES IN BRITISH SOCIOLOGY

Key Articles in British Sociology: Celebrating BSA Publishing!

2011 is the 60th anniversary of the BSA – and it’s not over yet!  In December, we are celebrating our long tradition of the publishing the best of sociology with Key Articles in British Sociology: BSA 60th Anniversary Special Collection.  This online collection is a celebration of classic and contemporary articles from the stable of BSA journals: Cultural Sociology, Sociological Research Online, Sociology and Work, Employment and Society. We have gathered together an impressive live of some ofBritain’s leading contemporary sociologists to select and reflect on those articles from BSA journals that they see as particularly significant.

Read Professor Geoff Payne’s comments on Class Analysis, Diane Reay on A New Social Class Paradigm, Professor Sandra Walklate on Crime and Deviance; and Dale Southerton on Consumption.  We’ll be posting more in the coming weeks so keep visiting the site to see contributions on Family, Leisure, Nationalism, Sport, Urban Sociology and more.

View the collection now and add your comments on the best of BSA articles: www.sagebsa.co.uk

 

Best wishes,

Alison Danforth

Publications Officer

The British Sociological Association

+44 (0)191 383 0839

Visit our website at http://www.britsoc.co.uk

Find our more about our journals:

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Globalization

 

DEVELOPMENT AND GLOBALIZATION: A MARXIAN ANALYSIS

A new book by David F Ruccio

 
    • Price: £29.99 £26.99
    • Binding/Format: Paperback
    • ISBN: 978-0-415-77226-6
    • Publish Date: 28th September 2010
    • Imprint: Routledge
    • Pages: 320 pages

Series: Economics as Social Theory

Details at: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415772266/

Since the mid-1980s, David F. Ruccio has been developing a new framework of Marxian class analysis and applying it to various issues in socialist planning, Third World development, and capitalist globalization. The aim of this collection is to show, through a series of concrete examples, how Marxian class analysis can be used to challenge existing modes of thought and to produce new insights about the problems of capitalist development and the possibilities of imagining and creating non-capitalist economies.

The book consists of fifteen essays, plus an introductory chapter situating the author’s work in a larger intellectual and political context. The topics covered range from planning theory to the role of the state in the Nicaraguan Revolution, from radical theories of underdevelopment to the Third World debt crisis, and from a critical engagement with regulation theory to contemporary discussions of globalization and imperialism.

Foreword Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff

Introduction

1. Rethinking Planning, Globalization, and Development from a Marxian Perspective Planning

2. Essentialism and Socialist Economic Planning: A Methodological Critique of Optimal Planning Theory

3. Planning and Class in Transitional Societies

4. The State and Planning in Nicaragua 
5. Nicaragua: The State, Class, and Transition Development

6. Radical Theories of Development: Frank, the Modes of Production School, and Amin

7. The Costs of Austerity in Nicaragua: The Worker-Peasant Alliance, 1979-1987

8. When Failure Becomes Success: Class and the Debate over Stabilization and Adjustment

9. Power and Class: The Contribution of Radical Approaches to Debt and Development

10. Capitalism and Industrialization in the Third World: Recognizing the Costs and Imagining Alternatives

11. ‘After’ Development: Reimagining Economy and Class

12. Reading Harold: Class Analysis, Capital Accumulation, and the Role of the Intellectual in Globalization

13. Fordism on a World Scale: International Dimensions of Regulation

14. Class Beyond the Nation-State

15. Global Fragments: Subjectivity and Class Politics in Discourses of Globalization

16. Globalization and Imperialism

David F. Ruccio is Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, USA and past editor of the journal Rethinking Marxism.

Observations and Comments on Development and Globalization: A Marxian Analysis

Development, and Globalization is anti-essentialist social theory at its very best. Whether re-reading socialist planning debates, economic and social development struggles in the global South, or capitalist and alter-capitalist theories of globalization, David Ruccio engages the contemporary conjuncture in fresh and exciting ways, demonstrating throughout the successes of the rethinking Marxism project and the immense potential and range of contemporary Marxian analysis. What Maurice Dobb did for twentieth-century critiques of socialist planning, capitalist development, and imperialist expansion, Ruccio redoubles for a new age of post-Communist and globalized political economy — John Pickles, Earl N. Phillips Distinguished Professor of International Studies and Chair of the Department of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of A History of Spaces: Cartographic Reason, Mapping, and the Geo-Coded World

David Ruccio is a central figure in the exciting and innovative “postmodern” school of Marxian thought. Through his own writing and his stewardship of the journal Rethinking Marxism he has contributed immensely to this tradition. In this collection, Ruccio draws together, sharpens, and extends central insights from that school of thought and applies them to debates over socialist planning, economic development, and globalization. The essays demonstrate the depth of Ruccio’s intellect and the range of his expertise, to be sure, while also conveying the power of the postmodern Marxian tradition in helping us to overcome the malaise that now affects much contemporary left scholarship about prospects for radical reform in the Global South. In Ruccio’s hands, Marxism emerges as a vibrant tradition that continues to generate new avenues of scholarship and practical politics in pursuit of a more just world. — George DeMartino, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver and author of Global Economy, Global Justice: Theoretical and Policy Alternatives to Neoliberalism

Whether one agrees or not with the basic premises and analysis of this book, it will provide an intellectual challenge to everyone. Focusing on issues related to planning, development and globalization, particularly in Latin America, Ruccio questions the prevailing wisdom in circles of both the Right and the Left. His privileging of class analysis provides the unifying thread to the wide variety of themes covered in the sixteen chapters. In our post-crisis search for new economic thinking and alternatives for social transformation, Ruccio’s book comes at a perfect time to contribute to the debates. — Lourdes Beneria, Cornell University and author of Gender, Development, and Globalization: Economics as if All People Mattered

Pathbreaking in its originality and breathtaking in its coverage, the truly outstanding volume David Ruccio has delivered is indispensable in critiquing a variety of prevailing developmental paradigms. Rather than simplistically noting the ‘failures’ of capitalism, this book reveals how neoliberal development policies can be considered successful in terms of promoting the emergence and strengthening of capitalist class processes and the appropriation of surplus-value in Latin America and beyond. It is obligatory reading for scholars and students seeking to construct Marxian class analyses and to formulate alternatives to the world economy today. — Adam David Morton, University of Nottingham and author of Unravelling Gramsci: Hegemony and Passive Revolution in the Global Political Economy

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