Works by title

Jean Lave and Ray McDermott

Estranged Labor Learning

Outlines 1: 19-48, 2002.

Pretext: Marx on Estranged Labor

[FULL TEXT and also here]

Chart I (p. 26)

I would propose that "the capitalists" remain the capitalists even when writing about learning: scientists and scholars are useful in both worlds. In schooling they may be more akin though to the bankers and those who constitute money and assessment procedures.

What would happen if "schooling" was distinguished from "education"?

what the assessers do is identify pieces of knowledge/education and re-place it within the accumulating body of stuff they control and then discount this same bit if it is not distributed by them.


Marx appears to critique here also the vulgar critique of capitalism: that it is all about greed: greed as motivation (positively or negatively) presupposes capitalism. Lave and McDermott propose "ambition." I wonder what would happen if a 'positive' word was used: thirst for knowledge? The problem may be that the kinds of analyses that might replace political economy/educational establishment will have to recognize the Faustian aspect of our cultural bargains.

Alienated learning (p. 33)

I always fear that the concern with 'alienation' redirects the attention on the individual. This may be necessary for a moral/political point of view--but I wonder whether it "presupposes" a kind of analytic stand point that we should move away from. What if alienation is but another way of looking at cultural transformation of nature?

"the very contents of our minds are working against us" (p.45)

"the very organization of the communities in which our many minds work make this work unproductive, that is nothing of consequence--a tired return to initial conditions"

Sunday, February 16, 2003