ABSTRACT

The inclusion of social knowledge into the school curriculum and the corre- sponding decline of the importance of disciplinary knowledge is the result of a number of forces—ones traced in the preceding chapters to the decline of universalism within the context of a new form of globalisation. Where people are united across the world is as consumers in the global market. Those workers who produce the consumer goods are confined to the fac- tories of the Third World, while the brands they produce move into that global market. The commitment to universalism that was used by demo- cratic movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to justify human rights for all people has been replaced by a global unity of consumption, to be enjoyed by a few. This process occurs within the larger shift to mod- ernism’s negative logic that I discussed in chapter 3; the shift to primitiv- ism, traditionalism, and postmodernism that pull against universalism in favour of a return to pre-modern localism (Friedman, 1994). Contributing to those forces of localisation is the culturalist ideology that promotes a belief in the foundational status of racial/ethnic or religio-cultural groups with their distinctive “knowledges” and ways of being. Of significance is the idea that follows from this belief—that political rights should adhere to foundational groups.