Socialism and Education

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Socialism and Education

I'm taking a Socialist Theory course at the moment at NYU, taught by Bertell Ollman. It's structured such that your grade is a series of "journal entries," where you get to write about whatever you want, so long as you engage/include different books or thinkers in your discussion.

For one entry, I'd like to write about how the education system--and society in general--strongly encourages you to major in fields that keep the capitalism system rolling (i.e. business, marketing, etc) and discourages you from tackling fields that don't--i.e., English, history, psychology, sociology, practically all of the humanities, etc...basically, all those fields that the cynics say "What are you going to do with that? Other than teach it?"

Does anyone know any books--or any writers or thinkers--who discuss this subject? Or even someone who discusses it in abstract or tangentially, or even someone who discusses something mildly similar or something broadly in the ballpark? I'm having trouble finding authors/books that deal with this particular topic.

Hope to get some help! And hopefully, we can discuss some of the books that will be mentioned. Maybe a few people who've never heard of them will check them out as a result!


I've heard Ralph Nader talk about how corporatism has invaded higher learning institutes and influencing academic research, and especially since the Bayh-Dole bill of 1980. He says basic research stops being a scientific pursuit when corporations and military contractors are funding and owning it. Our universities are supposed to be incubators of independent thought and not churning out technical specialists whose purpose in life is to serve the corporatocracy. It's happening in Canada, too.

George Victor

You might find it useful to start with the works of R.H.Tawney. And the little book Knowledge for What by Robert Staughton Lynd. 

Approaching the question from a social institutional perspective, The Sociology of Sociology might open it for you.

Public schooling came to us in the mid-19th Century when people of property recognized that their property might be made unsafe by the it was assumed from the beginning, one would suppose, that socialistic thoughts should not be promulgated in school.. :D

Good luck.