Illusory Freedoms: Liberalism, Education and the Market (Journal of Philosophy of Education)

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9780631204596: Illusory Freedoms: Liberalism, Education and the Market (Journal of Philosophy of Education)
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The book brings together social philosophy and educational theory. Liberalism's unresolved tensions between freedom and equality, public and private good, individual and state, etc., are illuminated by controversies in educational theory and policy.

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This book examines education as a touchstone for recasting some of the intractable problems of social theory. Trends in education policy from the post-war reformist settlement to the consumerist, market ethos of recent years, with the UK as an illustrative example, provide the practical focus. The resurgence of a neo-liberal approach to the ordering of society and education throws into sharp relief perennial tensions between freedom and equality, public and private good, the individual and the state which have long bedevilled liberalism. Jonathan argues that attention to the conundra of liberal education theory and practice gives grounding for a socially-situated understanding of the self, with important implications for liberalism's conception of free agency. Both neo-liberalism and liberal neutralism are shown to be untenable in theory and inadequate to guide the social practice which significantly contributes to autonomy, understood as a social value.

About the Author:

Ruth Jonathan is Professor of Educational Theory at the Institute for the Study of Education and Society, University of Edinburgh. Formerly Head of the Education Department, she is currently Director of the Graduate School for the Faculty of Social Sciences.

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