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The Culture of Competition and the Social Relations of Production/Consumption

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The Education system fosters and nourishes an ethic oc competition, in learning, in sport and in public everyday life. Competition is seen as necessary and good in Western capitalist society, and we seldom stop to scrutinise it under a critical gaze. Drawing heavily on the work of social scientist Alfie Kohn, this essay interrogates the role of competition as an instrument in the creation and maintenance of the capitalist system of production. It suggests that competition is neither good nor benign, but corrosive and addictive, to social life and that it needs to be abandoned as an underlying ethic within the education system, to be replaced with an ethic of mutual care, support and co-operation.
 
Issues covered include:
  • The Reproduction of the Social Relations of Competition
  • Different Forms of Competition
  • Competition and Performance
  • Competition and Pleasure
  • Competition as Addiction
  • Competition and The Social Construction of Neurosis
  • Competition and The Social Construction of Personality
  • Competition and The Social Construction of Conformism
  • Competition and The Social Construction of Individualism.
  • Competition and the Social Construction of "A People". 
  • Public Education: A Possible Space for Social Transformation?

 

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