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Book review. A Nation of Shopkeepers.

There’s been an absence of serious books about class for some years. In A Nation of Shopkeepers, The Unstoppable Rise of the Petty Bourgeoisie, Dan Evans draws on academic, political sources and his own personal experiences to tackle difficult issues about the 'middle' of society. Even if the perspective he adopts is not without controversy. Though … Continue reading Book review. A Nation of Shopkeepers.

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Books Reviews – Whatever happened to the ‘Knowledge Economy’?

Over the last decade, several publications have provided uncompromising accounts of how technological progress will reshape economy and society. These changes (it has been claimed) have constituted either a Second Machine Age (Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2014)  or  a Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab, 2017). While authors have been aware of the potential social upheavals resulting from … Continue reading Books Reviews – Whatever happened to the ‘Knowledge Economy’?

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Review. A new technical elite?

Education, Skills and Social Justice in a Polarising World: Between Technical Elites and Welfare Vocationalism (Routledge Research in Vocational Education) Does the emergence of new advanced and higher-level qualifications constitute a break from traditional conceptions of vocational education – which since its emergence in the 1980s, has been associated with both educational failure and providing … Continue reading Review. A new technical elite?

Review: Aaron Benanav, Automation and the Future of Work

Verso 2020 Aaron Benanav is becoming a cult figure with parts of the Left. His short, but intriguing book sets out to refute arguments that capitalist economies are experiencing profound changes in the production process because of automation. Rather than a Second Machine Age or a Fourth Industrial Revolution creating a new ‘technological unemployment’, the … Continue reading Review: Aaron Benanav, Automation and the Future of Work

Alternatives for tertiary learning

In a contribution for the Council for the Defence of British Universities, Patrick Ainley reviews an essay collection aiming to rethink the purpose of tertiary level learning. The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) is a think tank connected to the trades unions combining ‘grassroots voices with intellectually compelling analysis…to ensure policy is on … Continue reading Alternatives for tertiary learning

Book review: Who Are Universities For?

Book review: Who Are Universities For? Re-making higher education by TomSperlinger, Josie McLellan and Richard Pettigrew Patrick Ainley welcomes a book that rethinks the purpose of a university ­– and offers some radical suggestions of his own   (Originally published by the Council for the Defence of British Universities   http://cdbu.org.uk/ ) Everyone knows who universities are … Continue reading Book review: Who Are Universities For?

Two new books on social class

Reviewed by Patrick Ainley for Marx & Philosophy Review of Books http://marxandphilosophy.org.uk/reviewofbooks/reviews/2015/2127  Erik Olin Wright (2015) Understanding Class. London: Verso. 260 pages. £14.99 pbk. ISBN: 978-1-78168-945-5 Mike Savage (2015) Social Class in the 21st Century. London: Penguin Random House. 449 pages. £6.29 pbk. ISBN: 978-0-241-00422-7 Contradictory class locations? Erik Olin Wright is a US sociologist … Continue reading Two new books on social class

The Coming of Age for FE ?

Patrick Ainley  reviews Ann Hodgson (ed) (2015) The Coming of Age for FE? Reflections on the past and the future role of further education colleges in England. London: Institute of Education Press. £24.99. Pp.223 Clifford P. Harbour (2015) John Dewey and the Future of Community College Education. London: Bloomsbury. £17.99. Pp.178                             Read the Post-16 … Continue reading The Coming of Age for FE ?

Book Review: The People, The Rise and Fall of the Working Class 1910-2010

Patrick Ainley When Eric Hobsbawm asked in 1978 whether the forward march of labour had halted, he was calling attention to a possible political reversal, not bidding Farewell to the Working Class as Andre Gorz did two years later. More recently, Guy Standing in 2011 proposed the birth of The Precariat, a ‘dangerous new class’ … Continue reading Book Review: The People, The Rise and Fall of the Working Class 1910-2010

The robots are coming? The economic and educational implications of the ‘Second Machine Age’.

Martin Allen   reviews  The  Second Machine Age. Work Progress, and Prosperity in a time of Brilliant Technologies Erik Brynjolfsson and   Andrew McAfee’s   The Second Machine Age ( Norton  2014,  ISBN  978-0-393-23935-5 ),  is  an important contribution to the  debate about the effects of  technological change on the workplace and the changing shape of the occupational structure. Advances … Continue reading The robots are coming? The economic and educational implications of the ‘Second Machine Age’.