Social Class in the Blogosphere

February 26, 2007

I’ve been tracking discussions about social class in the blogosphere for a few months now, and I guess that I’m not surprised that there is so little there.

Today’s collection is typical: There are more than a few students agonizing over Jane Austen assignments, other course papers such as this young woman’s poignant essay for her English 51 class, a very small number of postings about class and education from politically-attuned bloggers, and no small number of bloggers analyzing what is seen as the class-based bad behavior of contestants on British reality shows. Beyond such postings, I’m not finding much.

Why is it, do you think, that in these turbulent economic times, at this political moment, there is so little of substance and clarity about class in this medium?

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One Response to “Social Class in the Blogosphere”

  1. Elliot Pike Says:

    First, thanks for the link to my blog above. I love heady discussions about education (and health care).

    I’ve got something that should fall heavily into the Food for Thought category: two and a half years ago I came across a Slashdot article about a famous and accomplished teacher who had some scathing thoughts about our modern education system, especially the thesis that the system was actually designed to SUPPRESS social classes and maintain the status quo.

    An excerpt…

    “John Taylor Gatto is a former New York City school teacher. During his 30-year career, he has taught at 5 different public schools, has had his teaching license suspended twice for insubordination, and was once covertly terminated while on medical leave. He has also won the New York City Teacher of the Year award three times and the New York State Teacher of the Year award once during the final year of his career. The whole time he has been an outspoken critic of the school system. Nine years after leaving his career, he published The Underground History of American Education (full text available here), in which he puts forth his insider’s vision of what is wrong with American schooling. His verdict is not what you’d expect: the school system cannot be fixed, Gatto asserts, because it has been designed not to educate.

    “The true purpose of schooling, according to Gatto, is to produce an easily manageable workforce to serve employers in a mass-production economy. Actual education is a secondary and even counterproductive result since educated people tend to be more difficult to control.”

    I’d love to hear what you think about it. The book again is The Underground History of American Education ISBN# 0945700040. It can also be found freely online here.


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