Education and the Culture of Consumption: Personalisation and the Social Order

Routledge
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For nearly 200 years the organisational form of the school has changed little. Bureaucracy has been its enduring form. The school has prepared the worker for the factory of mass production. It has created the 'mass consumer' to be content with accepting what is on offer, not what is wanted. However, a ‘revised’ educational code appears to be emerging. This code centres upon the concept of ‘personalisation’, which operates at two levels: first, as a new mode of public service delivery; and second, as a new ‘grammar’ for the school, with new flexibilities of structure and pedagogical process. Personalisation has its intellectual roots in marketing theory, not in educational theory and is the facilitator of 'education for consumption'. It allows for the 'market' to suffuse even more the fabric of education, albeit under the democratic-sounding call of freedom of choice.

Education and the Culture of Consumption raises many questions about personalisation which policy-makers seem prone to avoid:

  • Why, now, are we concerned about personalisation?
  • What are its theoretical foundations?
  • What are its pedagogical, curricular and organisational consequences?
  • What are the consequences for social justification of personalisation?
  • Does personalisation diminish the socialising function of the school, or does it simply mean that the only thing we share is that we have the right to personalised service?

All this leads the author to consider an important question for education: does personalisation mark a new regulatory code for education, one which corresponds with both the new work-order of production and with the makeover-prone tendencies of consumers?

The book will be of great interest to postgraduate students and academics studying in the fields of education policy and the social foundations of education, and will also be relevant to students studying public policy, especially health care and social care, and public management.

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About the author

David Hartley is Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, UK.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Jun 25, 2012
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781136730870
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Educational Policy & Reform / General
Education / Philosophy, Theory & Social Aspects
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Educating the Consumer-Citizen: A History of the Marriage of Schools, Advertising, and Media, Joel Spring charts the rise of consumerism as the dominant American ideology of the 21st century. He documents and analyzes how, from the early 19th century through the present, the combined endeavors of schools, advertising, and media have led to the creation of a consumerist ideology and ensured its central place in American life and global culture.

Spring first defines consumerist ideology and consumer-citizen and explores their 19th-century origins in schools, children's literature, the commercialization of American cities, advertising, newspapers, and the development of department stores. He then traces the rise of consumerist ideology in the 20th century by looking closely at: the impact of the home economics profession on the education of women as consumers and the development of an American cuisine based on packaged and processed foods; the influence of advertising images of sports heroes, cowboys, and the clean-shaven businessman in shaping male identity; the outcomes of the growth of the high school as a mass institution on the development of teenage consumer markets; the consequences of commercial radio and television joining with the schools to educate a consumer-oriented population so that, by the 1950s, consumerist images were tied to the Cold War and presented as the "American way of life" in both media and schools; the effects of the civil rights movement on integrating previously excluded groups into the consumer society; the changes the women's movement demanded in textbooks, school curricula, media, and advertising that led to a new image of women in the consumer market; and the ascent of fast food education. Spring carries the story into the 21st century by examining the evolving marriage of schools, advertising, and media and its ongoing role in educating the consumer-citizen and creating an integrated consumer market.

This book will be of wide interest to scholars, professionals, and students across foundations of education, history and sociology of education, educational policy, mass communications, American history, and cultural studies. It is highly appropriate as a text for courses in these areas.
Until recently government policy in the UK has encouraged an expansion of Higher Education to increase participation and with an express aim of creating a more educated workforce. This expansion has led to competition between Higher Education institutions, with students increasingly positioned as consumers and institutions working to improve the extent to which they meet ‘consumer demands’.

Especially given the latest government funding cuts, the most prevalent outlook in Higher Education today is one of business, forcing institutions to reassess the way they are managed and promoted to ensure maximum efficiency, sales and ‘profits’. Students view the opportunity to gain a degree as a right, and a service which they have paid for, demanding a greater choice and a return on their investment. Changes in higher education have been rapid, and there has been little critical research into the implications. This volume brings together internationally comparative academic perspectives, critical accounts and empirical research to explore fully the issues and experiences of education as a commodity, examining:

the international and financial context of marketisation the new purposes of universities the implications of university branding and promotion league tables and student surveys vs. quality of education the higher education market and distance learning students as ‘active consumers’ in the co-creation of value changing student experiences, demands and focus.

With contributions from many of the leading names involved in Higher Education including Ron Barnett, Frank Furedi, Lewis Elton, Roger Brown and also Laurie Taylor in his journalistic guise as an academic at the University of Poppleton, this book will be essential reading for many.

This timely book outlines the growth and development of marketing and branding practices in public education. The authors highlight why these practices have become important across key fields within public education, including leadership and governance, budgeting and finance, strategic initiatives, use of new technology, the role of teachers in marketing, and messaging. From an organizational perspective, they explore the implications of edvertising on the democratic mission of public education, especially as related to issues of equity and access for students who have been historically underserved. The authors argue that expansive marketing campaigns, unequal funding sources, and lack of regulation are quickly and profoundly reshaping public education without the benefit of robust research or public debate. Selling School is important reading for principals navigating increasingly marketized school systems, for policymakers constructing legislation, and for parents negotiating school choice.

“DiMartino and Jessen are right in their prescient discussion of the muddling of public and private models in public education through marketing.”
—From the Foreword by Christopher Lubienski, Indiana University, Bloomington

“This book pioneers new ground as the authors move the literature on the marketization of education into a more nuanced analysis of how branding discourses and practices have entered the logic of public schooling.”
—Gary L. Anderson, New York University

“Essential for readers interested in learning about how private sector practices affect the functions of public schools.”
—Janelle Scott, University of California, Berkeley

 Do you know who - and what - you are? Do you know who you're meant to be? Do you know how to find the answers to questions like these? Knowledge of Self is the result of a process of self-discovery, but few of us know where to begin when we're ready to start looking deeper. Although self-actualization is the highest of all human needs, it is said that only 5% of people ever attain this goal. In the culture of the Nation of Gods and Earths, commonly known as the Five Percent, students are instructed that they must first learn themselves, then their worlds, and then what they must do in order to transform their world for the better. This often intense process has produced thousands of revolutionary thinkers in otherwise desperate environments, where poverty and hopelessness dominate. Until now, few mainstream publications have captured the brilliant yet practical perspectives of these luminary men and women. Knowledge of Self: A Collection of Writings on the Science of Everything in Life presents the thoughts of Five Percenters, both young and old, male and female, from all over the globe, in their own words. Through essays, poems, and even how-to articles, this anthology presents readers with an accurate portrait of what the Five Percent study and teach, as well as sound direction on how to answer timeless questions like: Who am I, and why am I here? Why is there so much injustice in the world, and what can be done about it? Who is God and where on Earth is he? How do I improve myself without losing myself? Why are people of color in the situations they're in? What can we do about the global problems of racism and poverty?
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