Posted: November 7th, 2023
Levy, Jordan. ‘Reforming schools, Disciplining Teachers: Decentralization and Privatization of Education in Honduras’. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, vol. 50, no. 2, 2019, pp. 170-188.
The article uses the context of Honduras to highlight one of the growing challenges to public education, which is increasing privatization and commodification. According to the authors, there is no simple explanation for the privatization process in Honduras. The problem is the system that produces it. The Honduran public education system is caught between privatization and globalization because the state cannot guarantee financial or material provision. Moreover, the government cannot produce effective education policies with little technical capacity. Jordan’s examination of Honduras provides a comprehensive analysis of problems underlying neoliberalism. The economic ideology turns simple citizens into consumers, transforming public education into a commodity. Every individual has the right to education, but neoliberalism distorts any efforts geared toward the establishment of an equal society.
Ho, Karen. Biographies of Hegemony: The Culture of Smartness and the Recruitment and Construction of Investment Bankers. Duke University Press, 2009.
In her article, Karen Ho expounds on how the current perceptions of investment banking and how Wall Street functions limit the learner’s perspective of success. Karen’s narrow vision is associated with the ‘culture of smartness’, which is the belief that Wall Street and investment banking are the most ideal way to live or achieve financial freedom. Many students will wish to switch their career choice to investment banking, only to regret the decision. The production of worth stems from studying and practising in the field you show the most interest in. Karen Ho’s case study approach makes the article highly informative, especially in its central argument that modern education is not the only way to become successful in the real world.
Lyon-Callo, Vincent. To Market, to Market to buy a…Middle-Class Life? Insecurity, Anxiety and Neoliberal Education in Michigan. In Susan B. Hyatt, Boone W. Shear, Susan Wright.; Learning Under Neoliberalism: Ethnographies of Governance in Higher Education. EBSCO Publishing, 2015.
The chapter focuses on the privatization of universities and restructuring of the K-12 schooling system in the United States following the 2009 financial crisis. The changes in the education system occurred during a period of great social, political and economic transformation, changing the lives of many middle-class Americans. According to the chapter, increased individual and community investment in the education system is an antidote to heightened socio-economic insecurity. The paper draws from experiences within the higher education system, showing how privatization of education should produce collective efforts against inequality. The chapter provides a good example of how neoliberalism is a self-serving market. The increased privatization of the education system illustrate how much the rich have put the rest of society in a barrel.
Bittencourt, Tiago. Being More: Stress and Moral Worthiness in an Elite Private School in Ecuador. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 4, 2021, pp. 391-411.
The article shows differences in socialization experiences in the education system based on class. Elite schools, mostly managed by cultural institutions, tend to insulate learners from social reproduction. Contrastingly, public schools enable social mobility. A severe financial crisis will result in government policies that reduce social spending, especially on education. Underfunded public schools create a demand for private education while the public system is perceived as a low-quality alternative for the poor. However, despite financial reforms, private schools still maintain the position as the site for rich families to reproduce their statuses. Elite schools and the privatization of education under the context of helping public education from economic turmoil indicate a desire from the rich to inhabit privilege in a moral way. The trend is another good example of how neoliberalism always brings human actions into a business or market domain.
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