Consuming Schools: Commercialism and the End of Politics
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Published: January 2011© 2010
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 256 Pages
Dimensions: 6.02 x 9.02
256 Pages, 6.02 x 9.02 x 0.52 in
The increasing prevalence of consumerism in contemporary society often equates happiness with the acquisition of material objects. Consuming Schools describes the impact of consumerism on politics and education and charts the increasing presence of commercialism in the educational sphere through an examination of issues such as school-business partnerships, advertising in schools, and corporate-sponsored curriculum.
First linking the origins of consumerism to important political and philosophical thinkers, Trevor Norris goes on to closely examine the distinction between the public and the private sphere through the lens of twentieth-century intellectuals Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard. Through Arendt's account of the human activities of labour, work, and action, and the ensuing eclipse of the public realm and Baudrillard's consideration of the visual character of consumerism, Norris examines how school commercialism has been critically engaged by in-class activities such as media literacy programs and educational policies regulating school-business partnerships.
Introduction: Consumerism In Our Own Schoolyards
- The Origins and Nature of Consumerism
- Consuming Schooling: Whose schools are they?
- Hannah Arendt: Consuming the Polis
- Jean Baudrillard: Consuming Signs
- Resisting Consuming: Ruin or Renewal
Conclusion: “What is to come”
'School profiteers beware! Consuming Schools is that rare book that manages to shift the discussion of two topics at once—that of consumerism and that of school commercialism. Intervening in the critical literature on both subjects, Trevor Norris's book could not be more important for a deeper understanding of the social implications of the myriad private forces infiltrating the public sphere and, specifically, public schools. He draws from post-structuralism and critical theory to offer a powerful and thoughtful defence of public schools as sites for the making of an engaged critical citizenry. As Norris makes clear, in the commercial struggle over students and schools, the stakes are not only the possibility of a more genuine democracy but our very understandings of each other and ourselves.' Kenneth Saltman, Department of Educational Policy Studies and Research, DePaul University
'No other volume deals with the issue of consumerism in a manner as wide-ranging or as comprehensive as Consuming Schools. By addressing how education has been transformed at all levels into another form of consumer activity, Trevor Norris speaks to a topic of great interest among critically minded readers. Thanks to his careful research and diligent preparation, Consuming Schools is also a serious advance in state-of-the-art research.' Emery J. Hyslop-Margison, Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick