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On Education: Conversations with Riccardo Mazzeo

by Zygmunt Bauman

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What is the role of education in a world where we no longer have aclear vision of the future and where the idea of a single,universal model of humanity seems like the residue of a bygone age?What role should educators play in a world where young people findthemselves faced with deep uncertainty about their future, wherethe prospects of securing a stable, long-term career seemincreasingly remote and where intensified population movements havecreated more diverse communities in which different cultures findthemselves living side by side, no longer bound together by thebelief that the other would eventually be assimilated into?our' culture? Faced with the bewildering features of our liquid modern world,many young people are inclined to withdraw - in some cases into theonline world of games and virtual relationships, in other casesinto anorexia, depression, alcohol or even drug abuse, hoping tofind shelter from a world perceived as more and more dangerous.Others launch into more violent forms of behaviour, like streetgangs and the looting carried out by young people who have beenexcluded from the temples of consumption but are eager toparticipate in the ceremony. And all this happens while ourpoliticians look on, uncomprehending and indifferent. In this short book Zygmunt Bauman - the leading social theoristof our liquid modern world, here in conversation with RiccardoMazzeo - reflects on the predicament of young people today and onthe role of education and the educator in a world where thecertainties of our predecessors can no longer be taken forgranted.… (more)

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This book is only tangentially about education. It is a conversation between sociologist Zygmunt Bauman and Italian editor Riccardo Mazzeo that focuses more on the many ways our global consumer culture has detrimentally impacted many aspects of contemporary society. The book provides American readers with a European perspective and confirmation that the social and political challenges facing the United States are widespread. Educators expecting a substantive discussion of educational issues will be disappointed. This book will be of more interest to those concerned with the problems caused by a global consumer culture. ( )
  mitchellray | Oct 14, 2012 |
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What is the role of education in a world where we no longer have aclear vision of the future and where the idea of a single,universal model of humanity seems like the residue of a bygone age?What role should educators play in a world where young people findthemselves faced with deep uncertainty about their future, wherethe prospects of securing a stable, long-term career seemincreasingly remote and where intensified population movements havecreated more diverse communities in which different cultures findthemselves living side by side, no longer bound together by thebelief that the other would eventually be assimilated into?our' culture? Faced with the bewildering features of our liquid modern world,many young people are inclined to withdraw - in some cases into theonline world of games and virtual relationships, in other casesinto anorexia, depression, alcohol or even drug abuse, hoping tofind shelter from a world perceived as more and more dangerous.Others launch into more violent forms of behaviour, like streetgangs and the looting carried out by young people who have beenexcluded from the temples of consumption but are eager toparticipate in the ceremony. And all this happens while ourpoliticians look on, uncomprehending and indifferent. In this short book Zygmunt Bauman - the leading social theoristof our liquid modern world, here in conversation with RiccardoMazzeo - reflects on the predicament of young people today and onthe role of education and the educator in a world where thecertainties of our predecessors can no longer be taken forgranted.

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