ABSTRACT

In the preceding chapters I have argued that changes to the type of knowl- edge valued in the education systems of modern democratic nations are the result of major structural changes to the division of labour in global capi- talism. The shift in education from a focus on the transmission of disciplin- ary knowledge to one that emphasises the everyday social knowledge found in students’ experiences is justified in ideologies that promote localised identities. Jonathan Friedman’s (1994) identity poles of modernity provide a useful model with which to theorise the possibilities available for these particularised forms of identification. In that model the poles are concep- tualised as primitivism, postmodernism, traditionalism, and modernism, with each pole or space assuming greater or less significance according to the degree of political and economic pressures on peoples’ lives.