Schooling in Capitalism: Navigating the Bleak Pathways of Structural Fate

Educational Theory 65 (3):245-264 (2015)
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In this review essay Kevin Murray and Dan Liston examine three texts in what this symposium has deemed the recent resurgence in neo-Marxist accounts of schooling: David Blacker's The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame, Mike Cole's Marxism and Educational Theory, and John Marsh's Class Dismissed. Murray and Liston argue that Blacker, Cole, and Marsh provide a much-needed structural delineation of schooling in capitalist society. All three works have substantial merit and are in need of minor adjustments. Blacker's vision is telling and chilling but may need some fine-tuning; Cole's defense of Marxism is commendable but tends toward the disembodied abstract; and Marsh's text capably highlights educationists' blinders but seems to miss elements of a critical structural account. While recognizing real limitations on transformative education under capitalism, Murray and Liston nevertheless elaborate a variation of the radical humanist project. It is their skeletal attempt at an educationally and morally defensible reparative theory



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