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Institue for Education Policy Studies


Post-modernism in Educational Theory

Education and the Politics of Human Resistance

Edited by Dave Hill, Peter McLaren, Mike Cole and Glenn Rikowski


Postmodernism has become the orthodoxy in educational theory, particularly in feminist educational theory. It heralds the end of grand theories like Marxism and liberalism, scorning any notion of a united feminist challenge to patriarchy, of united anti-racist struggle and of united working-class movements against capitalist exploitation and oppression. For postmodernists, the world is fragmented, history is ended, and all struggles are local and particularistic.

Written by leading and internationally renowned British and North American socialist and Marxist thinkers and activists, Postmodernism in Educational Theory poses a serious challenge to this postmodern orthodoxy. Authors critically examine the infusion of postmodernism and theories of postmodernity into educational theory, policy and research. In addition, issues such as social class, 'race' and racism, gender, education policy and policy analysis, youth, and capital and commodification are addressed.

Writers in the book argue that despite the claims of self-styled 'postmodernists of resistance', postmodernism provides neither a viable educational politics, nor a foundation for effective radical educational practice. In place of postmodernism, the book outlines a 'politics of human resistance' which puts the challenge to capital(ism) and its attendant inequalities firmly on the agenda of educational theory, politics and practice.

ISBN 1 872767 81 8 - published in September 1999

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Postmodernism in Educational Theory
Glenn Rikowski and Peter McLaren
Structuring the Postmodern in Education Policy
Michael W. Apple and Geoff Whitty
Into the Hands of Capital: the Deluge of Postmodernism and the Delusions of Resistance Postmodernists
Mike Cole and Dave Hill
Refocusing, reworking, renewing Education, Capital and the Transhuman
Glenn Rikowski
Youth, Training and the Politics of 'Cool'
Michael Neary
Education Theory and the Return to Class Analysis
Mike Sanders, Dave Hill and Ted Hankin
Racism, Postmodernism and the Flight from Class
Jenny Bourne
Postmodernism and Feminism: The Road to Nowhere
Jane Kelly
Critical Pedagogy, Postmodernism, and the Retreat from Class: Towards a Contraband Pedagogy
Peter McLaren and Ramin Farahmandpur
Postmodernism Adieu: Towards a Politics of Human Resistance
Peter McLaren, Dave Hill and Mike Cole