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Professional Life and Work

Professional Knowledge, Professional Lives: studies in education and change

Educational Research as a Public Intellectual

The ritual death of the egalité at the hands of the market poses the classic problem of positionality for the humanistic public intellectual.

In some ways the changes to a market-based system challenge the very assumptions of post-war public life as, of course, they were intended to do.  Public services whither, the public sector contracts and in a broader sense public life is diminished.  This attack on things 'public' transforms the prospects for public life and public action.  The attack on public space is intimately linked with the prospects of public intellectual engagement.  Geoff Mulgan and Ken Worpole have spent a good deal of time surveying these changes and conclude:

A profound change has overcome our public spaces.  Only half the population now dares to go out after dark, fewer than a third of children are allowed to walk to school, and public fear of strangers regularly erupts after such public murders as Jamie Bulger and Rachel Nickell.  Clearly this is not a nation at ease with itself.
But while the parks, railway stations and many side streets are full of boarded up stalls, toilets and kiosks, billions of pounds have been pumped into glossy shopping centres such as Newcastle's Metro Centre and Sheffield's Meadowhall.  Their virtue is that they offer security through control: no eating allowed except in designated spaces, no litter permitted, there is no weather, no running about and no dogs (Mulgan and Worpole, 1994, p. 24).
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Professional Knowledge, Professional Lives
  • Date of publication: 01/09/2003
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 160
  • Publisher: Open University Press
  • Subject:
    Professional Life and Work
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  • Appears in:
    Professional Knowledge, Professional Lives: studies in education and change
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: £23.99
  • ISBN: 9780335204113
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