Marxism Against Postmodernism

Peter McLaren mclaren at
Thu Dec 26 15:40:24 MST 2002

Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory

Edited by Dave Hill ,
Peter McLaren ,
Mike Cole , and
Glenn Rikowski
(click to enlarge)
$34.95    Paper     0-7391-0346-6    November 2002    364pp
$90.00    Cloth     0-7391-0345-8    November 2002    364pp

Postmodernism has become the orthodoxy in educational theory. It heralds the
end of grand theories like Marxism and liberalism, scorning any notion of a
united feminist challenge to patriachy, of united anti-racist struggle, and
of united working-class movements against capitalist exploitation and
oppression. For postmodernists, the world is fragmented, history is ended,
and all struggles are local and particularistic. Written by internationally
renowned British and American educational theorists Marxism Against
Postmodernism in Educational Theory--a substantially revised edition of the
original 1999 work Postmodernism in Educational Theory--critically examines
the infusion of postmodernism and theories of postmodernity into educational
theory, policy, and research. The writers argue that postmodernism provides
neither a viable educational politics, nor the foundation for effective
radical educational practice and offer an alternative 'politics of human
resistance' which puts the challenge to capitalism firmly on the agenda of
educational theory, politics, and practice.

List of Contributors
Michael W. Apple, Jenny Bourne, Mike Cole, Ramin Farahmandpur, Ted Hankin,
Dave Hill, Jane Kelly, Peter McLaren, Michael Neary, Glenn Rikowski, Mike
Sanders, Geoff Whitty

Dave Hill is Senior Lecturer in Educational Studies at University College
Northampton, UK. Peter McLaren is a professor in the Graduate School of
Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Mike Cole is Senior Lecturer in
the School of Education at the University of Brighton, UK. Glenn Rikowski is
Senior Research Fellow in Lifelong Learning in the Faculty of Education at
the University of Central England.

Reviews for

Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory

$34.95    Paper     0-7391-0346-6    November 2002    364pp
$90.00    Cloth     0-7391-0345-8    November 2002    364pp

The issues raised by the authors and their eloquent arguments detailing
Marxisms enduring relevance will be of interest to activist scholars across
the spectrum of academic disciplines. ‹Valerie Scatamburlo-D'Annibale,
University of Windsor

For those who have insisted that Marx's work is still relevant in order to
understand the problems and possibilities facing societies and schools
during this historical period of recurrent 'gales of creative destruction,'
this book represents the necessary reinforcements that arrive just in time.
Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory can serve also as an
introduction and catch-up course for those who have become interested
recently in the usefulness of Marxist analyses. This well-argued, succinct,
and aggressive work may cause 'lapsed Marxists' to reconsider their
decisions; moreover, those who are responsible for the current capitalist
'gales' and their agents will recognize that this book poses serious
challenges to their power and plans. ‹Richard A. Brosio, University of
Wisconsin, Milwaukee

There is undoubtedly a need for a contemporary rigorous Marxist-inspired
critique of postmodernism and poststructuralism in educational settings and
this book is certainly that. ‹    British Journal of Educational Studies

The importance of a work that grounds critical educational theory in its
Marxist foundations and that constitutes an uncompromising socialist project
dedicated to educating towards a just society, cannot be understated. This
book will provocatively engage all scholars who consider the multiple roles
of schooling in society. ‹Jill Pinkey Pastrana, California State University,
Long Beach

Beyond simply resurrecting a modernist Marxism for the new millennium, the
authors thoughtfully incorporate lessons we on the educational Left have
learned from feminism, anti-racist theory and struggles, indigenous
knowledge, and anti-homophobic theory and struggles, in pursuit of a new
radicalism for these times of ultra-exploitation. ‹Marc Pruyn, New Mexico
State University

The essential message is that Marxism still matters, and this collection
highlights the importance of this perspective in educational theory. The
postmodern argument that metanarratives are now redundant should be rightly
reassessed and this book is a vehicle for that reassessment. ‹
Educational Research

For those of us who still dare to envision a world liberated from the
imperatives of capital and the brutalities of market-discipline, the
individual and collective efforts of Glenn Rikowski, Mike Cole, Dave Hill,
and Peter McLaren help us all sustain our cautious optimism for the future.
Not only do they remind us that history and ideology have NOT come to a
close, they also let us see how incredibly premature we would be to discard
Marx as a source of insight into our contemporary condition. ‹David Gabbard,
East Carolina University

The scholarship is impressive. . . . It is a book which will certainly be of
interest to any educators who want to build a society where socialism can
flourish. ‹    Journal of In-Service Education

A very effective antidote to the excesses of disembodied postmodernist
discourse analyses of education. The authors clearly demonstrate the
continuing pertinence of class relations for everyday life, political
resistance, and a sustainable critical pedagogy against global capitalism. A
'must read' for those truly interested in educational equity. ‹D. W.
Livingstone, Centre for the Study of Education and Work, University of

Quite simply, this is a brilliant book. In an interesting succession of
chapters, the authors of this text show where postmodernism falls short, and
they offer the sort of analysis that promises to bring critical education
back on track. . . . I urge readers to buy, read, and also use this book as
the basis for discussion with students and colleagues. With it there is hope
that before long we may be seeing a real turn toward the type of critical
educational theorising that is so desperately needed to combat the
neo-liberal policy assault that has been regressively transforming state
education, on both sides of the Atlantic, for well over a decade. ‹Paula
Allman, University of Nottingham

By engaging rather than rejecting postmodern theory, Marxism Against
Postmodernism critically assesses the value of recent theoretical production
and offers interstices of hope for committed educators and public
intellectuals. I applaud the book's timeliness and its authors' courage.
‹Zeus Leonardo, California State University, Long Beach

This book is an aid to thought, not just interpretation. Its central theme
(that education is of necessity a political activity) is one that needs
debate outside the walls of academia. ‹    Times Educational Supplement

Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory is a compelling,
insightful, and powerfully provocative book. Dave Hill, Mike Cole, Peter
McLaren, and Glenn Rikowski have not only assembled a collection of essays
which are theoretically rich, engaging, and committed to the ideals of
democracy and social change, but they also clearly articulate the importance
and urgency of incorporating a renewed Marxist perspective in the analysis
of educational theory. ‹Gustavo E. Fischman, Charter College of Education,
California State University, Los Angeles

Lexington Books

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