Corporatism and Identity
There is little analytical description of the social movement in education I call ‘corporatist reorganization’. Emphasis on privatization and moral attacks on ‘secular humanism’ captured only the most salient aspects of education’s social reorganization. The ‘progressive’, liberal platform of educational reform and ‘restructuring’ represents a ‘partnership’ of state, business, and educational professionals to change education’s infrastructure and meaning.
When a new corporatist structural reorganization and redefinition of education occurs, ‘workers of the school’ struggle for a socially differentiated identity. Youths’ everyday social existence in school is an example of decentering, lack, and absence in postmodern discourse. Socially oriented postmodernism is about macrosocial trends like ‘implosion’, rather than the meaning of either poststructuralism as a theory or postmodernism as a form of life where ‘the subject’ acts, disappears, or is ‘decentered’.
Articulations of identity in a postmodern world presume that consumption is the leading social activity. Instead, we studied everyday school life in different social strata and described an institutional postmodernism with socially differentiated ‘lacks’. Youth struggle with and against these absences, trying to establish distinguishable identities, ‘to become somebody’.
The long-term effect of social reorganization and institutional emptying may realize postmodern predictions about reducing autonomous spheres of social life to one dimension. ‘Restructuring’ will likely combine ‘microflexibility’ of classroom production, macrointegration of social regulation, and interlocking networks of control for discipline and legitimation.
Moral conservatism is less usable for ‘jet-age’ education. The need for remoralization reopens questions of meaning against the current of corporatist, performance-driven ‘techniflattening’ and institutional emptying and de-socialization. This contradiction between ‘techniperformance’ cultural destruction and the need for culture is the transformative site in education.
KeywordsDepression Mold Stratification Arena Decen
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Aronowitz, S. (1981). The Crisis in Historical Materialism: Class, Politics, and Culture in Marxist Theory. New York, NY: Praeger, AJF Bergin.Google Scholar
- Benjamin, J. (1989). The Bonds Of Love. New York, NY: Random House.Google Scholar
- Bradley, A. (1 April 1992). ‘N.Y.C. To Create Small, Theme-Oriented High Schools’, p. 5 in Education Week Vol. XI, No. 28.Google Scholar
- Buber, M. (1963).Israel and the World: Essays in a Time of Crisis New York, NY: Schocken.Google Scholar
- Buber, M. (1992).On Intersubjectivity and Cultural Creativity. Chicago IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Castoriadis, C. (1992). Philosophy. Politics. Autonomy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Glasser, W. (13 May 1992). ‘Quality, Trust, and Redefining Education’, p. 32 in Education Week Vol. XI, No. 34.Google Scholar
- Harp, L. (15 April 1992). ‘Panel Blueprint Seeks To Relate School To Work’, p. 1 in Education Week Vol. XI, No. 30.Google Scholar
- Harvey, D. (1989). The Condition of Postmodernity: An Inquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Oxford, UK and New York, NY: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Honneth, A. (1991) ‘Pluralization and Recognition: On the Self-Misunderstanding of Postmodern Social Theorists’, Thesis Eleven. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
- Horkheimer, M. and T. Adorno (1972).Dialectic Of Enlightenment. New York, NY: Herder and Herder.Google Scholar
- Jonas, H. (1974). Philosophical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Mestrovic, S. (1991). The Coming Fin De Siecle: An Application of Durkheim’s Sociology to Modernity and Postmodernism. London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mongardini, C. (1990). ‘The Decadence of Modernity: The Delusions of Progress and the Search for Historical Consciousness’, p. 53 in J. Alexander and P. Sztompka, eds., Rethinking Progress. Boston, MA: Unw in Hyman.Google Scholar
- Olalquiaga, C. (1992). Megalopolis: Contemporary Cultural Sensibilities. Minneapolis, MN: University Of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Panitch, O. (1977). The Development Of Corporatism in Liberal Democracies’, pp. 61–90 in Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1.Google Scholar
- Schmoker, M. (13 May 1992), ‘What Schools Can Learn from Toyota America’, p. 23 in Education Week, Vol. XI, No. 34.Google Scholar
- Sommerfield, M. (15 April 1992), ‘National Commitment to Parent Role in Schools Sought’, p. 1 in Education Week, Vol. XI, No. 30.Google Scholar
- Touraine, A. (1988). Return of the Actor: Social Theory in Postindustrial Society. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Viadero, D. (15 April 1992). ‘Maine’s “Common Core” Offers a Lesson in Standards’, p. 21 in Education Week, Vol. XI, No. 30.Google Scholar
- Wexler, P. (1987). Social Analysis of Education: After The New Sociology. New Yorle, NY; London, UK: Routledge, Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
- Wexler, P. et al. (1992). Becoming Somebody: Toward a Social Psychology of School. Washington, DC; London, UK: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
- Wolk, R., ed. (17 June 1992). ‘A New “Social Compact” for Mastery in Education’. p. 4 in Education Week, Vol. XI, No 39.Google Scholar