Social Justice, Transformation and Knowledge: Policy, Workplace Learning and Skills examines the policy contexts in which lifelong learning, vocational education and training and skill development is set. It provides a critique of neo-liberalism and its impact on vocational education and training and lifelong learning. It interrogates potentially progressive policy interventions that take for granted capitalist relations as these can become a form of ‘comfort radicalism’ that whilst calling for structural change remain lodged within capitalism. Such analyses are limited, particularly in austere conditions of worklessness with increasing numbers of workers surplus to the requirements of capital.
Offering detailed discussions within UK, European and global contexts, this book proves an insightful and critical text which illustrates Professor Avis’ extensive experience and knowledge of the field. Adopting a substantive focus on debates and analysis with significance that extends beyond the particular policy context of England, the book offers:
Social Justice, Transformation and Knowledge is a significant addition to the field. It is an insightful and thought-provoking book from which students, lecturers and researchers with an interest in education studies, education policy, and social justice will greatly benefit from reading.
"The neo-Marxist analysis provided by Avis points towards the persistent need for critical research at multiple levels to aid in the struggle to achieve the kind of educational and labour market reforms that will move Britain towards a more socially just society. His book will be of interest to students, academics and practitioners who are concerned about changes in both education and the economy in recent decades and who want to articulate an expansive understanding of vocational education within ‘a broader anti-capitalist politics’ "- Alison Taylor, Journal of Vocational Education & Training
"This book, which takes social justice as its analytic lens, makes an important contribution to analyses of the impact of economic and education policy in the neo-liberal context of the early 21st century. More than a simple critique of neo-liberalism, this book outlines the ways in which different ideological positions, whilst advocating different forms of localism, buy in to concepts of competitiveness, globalisation and the market, arguing that through this buy in, irrespective of their articulated ideological position, all political parties are responsible for the perpetuation of inequality, and all contribute to the (re)production of class and labour." - Liz Atkins, Paul Warmington and Vicky Duckworth, Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies
"Education research is ingenious however in pandering to government requirements and James's book details the various theories advanced by academics to square the circle of developing 'skills' training in constricted circumstances."- Patrick Ainley, Post-16 Educator
Acknowledgements 1. Introduction: Social Justice, Transformation and Knowledge: Policy, Workplace Learning 2. Policy Context 1 - Neo-Liberalism, Localism and the Economy 3. Policy context 2 – Austerity, Modernisation, One Nation Labour and VET 4. Expansive Learning, Transformation, Knowledge and Workplace Learning 5. Class, Intersectionality and social justice 6. Education, Governance and Professionalism 7. Curriculum, knowledge and skill 8. Conclusion - Social Justice, Transformation and Knowledge References Index