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Tag Archives: Education and Class Struggle

Spyros Themelis

Spyros Themelis

SOCIAL CHANGE AND EDUCATION IN GREECE

BOOK LAUNCH EVENT

Social Change and Education in Greece: A Study in Class Struggle Dynamics

Dr Spyros Themelis, Senior Lecturer in Education, Middlesex University

MONDAY, 22 April, 2013

5:00pm to 7:30pm

Middlesex University, Hendon Campus, College Building, C219/C220, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BT

 

Event highlights:

Opening/closing chaired by Waqar Ahmad, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, MiddlesexUniversity

Guest Speakers

Confirmed Speakers:

Tony Green, Palgrave Macmillan Marxism and Education Series Editor, University of London, Institute of Education

Professor Joyce Canaan, Professor of Sociology, Birmingham City University  

Dr Eva Gamarnikow, Department of Policy Studies, University of London, Institute of Education

Dr Stathis Kouvelakis, Reader in Political Theory, King’s College London

 

Who should attend: Research active staff, readers and professors from all Schools and Institutes at Middlesex University and other universities, educationalists, research students, media and policy makers.

This event is free to attend, but participants must confirm their attendance by email by 15th April. RSVP by 15th April to Daniela Pantica on D.Pantica@mdx.ac.uk  

 

About the Book

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

Macmillan, New York). A New Book by Spyros Themelis, Middlesex University

The post-war orthodoxy postulated that education is both a mechanism for upward social mobility and an engine for economic growth. 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

Details on the book were originally provided at: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/social-change-and-education-in-greece-a-study-in-class-struggle-dynamics-a-new-book-by-spyros-themelis/

 

**END**

 

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

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Spyros Themelis

Spyros Themelis

 

Sara Motta

Mike Cole

EDUCATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN LATIN AMERICA

A two day workshop organised in collaboration between:

MERD (Marxism and Education: Renewing Dialogues)
CSSGJ (Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, University of Nottingham)
CESJ (Centre for Education for Social Justice, Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln)

To be held at the
University of Nottingham
1st – 2nd July 2011

The role of education is increasingly important in the construction of new forms of anti-capitalist politics in Latin America. This is evidenced by the centrality of popular education and other forms of struggle influenced by radical education philosophy and pedagogy, and by social movements in their construction of new forms of participatory politics and mass intellectuality. It is also evidenced in the creation of formal and informal educational programmes, practices and projects that develop varieties of critical pedagogy and popular education with both organised and non-organised marginalised and excluded communities.

Particularly, noticeable in this regard is the centrality of education in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the move towards 21st Century socialism. At the heart of the politicisation of education are the questions of whose knowledge counts in the process of social transformation and political change and if the ways in which such transformative knowledge is created impact upon the struggle to develop worlds beyond capitalism in the 21st century.

This workshop invites papers which develop theoretically grounded empirical analysis about the politicisation of education in the continent.

Key questions to be addressed are:

How is education politicised in contemporary anti-capitalist struggles?

How has neoliberalism closed down as well as opened up terrains of educational struggle?

What differences are there between the role of education in 20th century socialism and 21st century socialism?

How does Marxism shape such practices of radical pedagogy and how do such practices transform Marxism?

How does the focus on popular education in new forms of popular politics influence and reflect the type of politics developed?

What is the role of autonomous education in social movements in the construction of anti-capitalism?

What is the relationship between formal ‘progressive’ educational programmes and the politics of knowledge and education in informal community/social movement settings?

What can we (outside of the region) learn from Chavez’s concept of Venezuela as a ‘giant school’ and other radical pedagogies and educational practices in Latin America?

What is the role of popular educators within formal schooling in these processes?

Selected papers will be published in an edited collection with Palgrave Macmillan in their Marxism and Education Series.

Contact Sara Motta at sara.motta@nottingham.ac.uk and Mike Cole at mike.cole@bishopg.ac.uk  if you are interested in helping organise the workshop or would like any further information.

Please submit your paper proposal by March 1st 2011

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com