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Against Schooling: For an Education That Matters (The Radical Imagination)

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1594515026
ISBN-10: 1594515026
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Editorial Reviews

Review

To say that Stanley Aronowitz is a national treasure is an understatement. Against Schooling is vintage Aronowitz. At a time when worker and labor education is facing hard times, when political and public intellectuals have been relegated to the sidelines of the public sphere, when university faculty councils and senates have been transformed into advisory bodies for the administrators who control them, when intellectual labor has become trapped within a hierarchical system of its own making (what Aronowitz calls a new phase of subalternity), when the shared values of the academic community no longer include the pursuit of democratic governance, when basic and applied research in the sciences at leading research universities have become dependent upon partnerships with large pharmaceutical, chemical, and electronic corporations, and when we have lost much of our historical memory, critical education is ever more necessary. Against Education makes a brilliant and impassioned argument for the necessity of creating new knowledges and social and cultural practices that do not repeat the privileging hierarchies of previous generations but enable individuals to become global as well as national citizens who refuse to accept the current regime of educational degradation. Aronowitz's call for a protagonistic effort to bring teachers in higher education together with elementary and secondary school faculty in a common fight is one that we must take seriously if we want to save not only our schools but the very fabric of our social universe. --Peter McLaren, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

About the Author

Stanley Aronowitz, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Cultural Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, has been a contributor to The Nation, The Village Voice, and New Politics. His most recent books include How Class Works (Yale University Press, 2003) and Left Turn: Forging a New Political Future (Paradigm, 2006).
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Product Details

  • Series: The Radical Imagination
  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (March 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594515026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594515026
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,526,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Against Schooling builds on the arguments articulated in Aronowitz's clear, and user friendly previous book THE KNOWLEDGE FACTORY. If you don't know that book, I would recommend reading it first in order to get a clear picture of Aronowitz's perspective and in order to get a helpful overview of the 20th Century history of US colleges and universities.

The present volume is more theoretically ambitious, denser, and at times more disjointed. However, the analysis of the current (early 21st Century) set of predicaments facing college faculty is convincing and devastating, and Aronowitz diagnoses the problems of the liberal/left in the academy with precision and sympathy. He makes a few very helpful suggestions as to what one might do to break through the impasse. Likewise, his discussion of the history of labor unions is helpful and well-written. I also appreciated the discussion of Gramsci's views of education -- of which I was unaware. The book ends a bit curiously -- with what feels like a separate essay on Paulo Freire.

But all in all, it's a very fine book, and to my mind, no one really understands what is happening at the university better than Aronowitz. And to his credit, he's not willing to just sit around and bemoan the sorry state of things. Whether or not you share his political views, you'll be hard pressed to deny his analysis of the US economy, the job market, and how these matters are connected inextricably to college and how it works and what it teaches.

Try it out. But be sure to read the Knowledge Factory first.
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Format: Paperback
stanley aronowitz's new book is a strong and timely critique and analysis of the rush to "standards" and standardization in education. the author puts the regressive movement in education in the current political, social context in a clear and comprehensive way. for educators, oarents, and just about anyone concerned with our future.
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