chapter  7
14 Pages

What is to be done?

WithJames Paul Gee, Glynda Hull, Colin Lankshear

The reality of the new capitalism, thus far, is that a small number of people have become 'big winners', a larger number of people have seen their income decline or grow at an historically low rate, and an even larger number of people are in or facing poverty. The fierceness of competition, the fragmentation of markets, and the winner-take-all nature of our science-and-technology-driven world means that competition centers around two things: 'quality', and 'identity'. In the new capitalism, both in theory (e.g. in fast capitalist texts) and in practice, words are taking on new meaning, language and communication are being recruited for new ends and in the construction of new identities, multiple literacies are being distributed in new ways. The question of goals in schools has traditionally been answered in terms that place academic 'disciplinary' knowledge at the center of schooling.