The economy of uncertainty, marketisation and the direction of educational change

Year: 2002

Author: Raduntz, Helen

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The paper argues that while the experience of uncertainty is universal in times of radical social change, in the current era of capitalism's globalisation it is in fact the latest expression of an inherently unstable and volatile capitalist market economy the source of which can be traced to its inner contradictions driven by the imperative to maximise and expand profit. This makes problematic the future development of education as it is integrated through marketisation into a market regulated economy which seeks not only to expand its regime globally but also to penetrate almost all areas of social life, particularly education on which it has become increasingly dependent.

In order to analyse the dynamics involved in which education is being shaped for an economy of uncertainty a contemporary Marxian critique is employed from the materialist historical standpoint which draws on Marx's foundational critique of capital to show why uncertainty is a vital stimulus to capital growth and how this is currently determining the direction of educational development.

The study highlights the problem of evaluating in practical terms whether or not marketisation compromises the role of education in promoting human rather than profit-making needs.