By Khen Lampert
This publication significantly examines the socio-cultural function of feat inside schooling, arguing that the more and more international call for for measurable criteria of educational success is an expression of political ideology and the competitive aggressive fact of a neo-capitalist education approach, leading to many scholars feeling socially valueless.
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Additional info for Meritocratic Education and Social Worthlessness
It may be traced to the cultural and countercultural revolutions beginning in the 1960s, or to the collapse of the Keynesian paradigm and of the welfare state in the 1970s and 1980s. For the purpose of this discussion, however, it suffices to determine that such a transition has indeed occurred and is still occurring in western culture and global economy. The transition to a mass-consumption society called for a change in class structure and a vast expansion of the middle class, the consumer class that supposedly owns means of consumption.
Ostensibly, this is a positive process – if we eliminate the need for belled segmentation, we might do away with the systematic creation of worthlessness. Yet this is not the case, of course, since it is the “personal grade” that has been usurped, in a process that converted personal achievement into a school asset, then a consumer asset, and finally a political tool. The result, evident in so many education systems in mass-democracies over the past two decades, is the replication of the Gaussian bell from the school to the general public domain.
The classical definition of the bourgeoisie as a small class increasing its profits at the expense of the laboring classes (no matter what “labor” creates capital growth) is essentially unchanged. However, one can certainly imagine a situation in which the bourgeoisie, the capitalist and the merchant, find that a certain distribution of wealth under specific circumstances vastly increases their own profits3 – here, supposedly, the individualistic modus operandi of the lord changes to an ethics of cooperation and even profit-sharing, presented as an ideology of a “natural” bell.