Getting Our Hands Dirty: Provisional Politics in Postmodern Conditions
Let me try to get the genre and standpoint of this piece right, or as right as it can be prior to the writing itself. This isn’t a critique, rejoinder, but an essay and personal narrative. I recently read Michael Apple’s ‘What Post-modernists Forget: Cultural Capital and Official Knowledge’ (1993b). There Apple discusses the political economy of knowledge and corporate control of education in the United States. He describes the intrusion of technocratic rationality in university teaching, and identifies the commodification of school knowledge in the case of the US public school broadcast venture, ‘Channel One’. Along the way, Apple defends a non-essentialist neo-Marxian analyses of education and class. He is extremely critical of what he refers to as ‘postmodernism’ on the grounds that contemporary French social theory has distracted many educators and researchers from questions of the political and economic control over what counts as ‘official knowledge’ in late capitalist social structure, and from issues of the material effects of that control.