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Pursuing Ideology or Conforming Reality: Why does Education Shift its Function from Equity to Competitiveness in the Era of Globalization?

Tien-hui Chiang

Abstract


Facing the phenomenon of cultural reproduction, the state needs to adopt active policies to achieve the emancipative function of education – to free working class students from structural constraints. However, as globalization generates a considerable amount of capitalist profit, international competitiveness, addressed by neo-liberalism, replaces social justice so that the state focuses on the issue of human capital, mainly cultivated through education. For many researchers, this declination indicates that the state has become a tool to serve the interests of capitalists and thus contributes to social inequity. However, this essay argues that such criticism might overlook the influence of the material needs of people in the state. This individual need is able to fuse into a collective force, steering the state to join a global market in order to gain profit and, then, to improve life conditions, viewed as a crucial criterion for evaluating the degree of civilization of a given society. Therefore, this new context leaves education no choice but to adopt market logic, giving students competence for employability.


Keywords


globalization, neo-liberalism, human capital, social justice, education

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