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ERIC Number: EJ1100258
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1740-2743
An Ode to Stuart Hall's "The Supply of Demand": The Case of Post-Secondary Education in Ontario Fifty Years Later
FitzGerald Murphy, Maggie
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v14 n1 p184-199 Mar 2016
Despite the fact that over fifty years have passed since its publication, Stuart Hall's article "The Supply of Demand" (1960), is remarkably relevant today. The central message that society must not be blinded by "prosperity" such that it no longer envisions and demands a better world is especially pertinent in light of the continual commodification of postsecondary education in Ontario. Exploring this more fully is the purpose of this paper. Following Hall's general argument in "The Supply of Demand," and using examples from a variety of universities in Ontario, Canada, this paper discusses how rhetoric of prosperity coexists with a discourse of impoverishment in the Ontario post-secondary education system. I argue that this paradoxical discourse is tied to neoliberal reforms and the commodification of education by capital. To support this claim, the "double speak" of university administrations, involving a discourse of human development, related to the qualitative use value of education, on the one hand, and a discourse of capitalist accumulation, related to "investment" in capital and exchange value, on the other hand, is discussed; this double speak helps to explain why and how there appears to be, at times, funding for some (prosperity), and yet financial cuts for others (impoverishment). Finally, based upon the analysis, and once again following Hall, it is suggested that in order to change meaningfully our post-secondary education system, we must be critical of "prosperity," strive to look beyond it, imagine what could exist, and demand the best of each other and ourselves.
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A