ERIC Number: EJ804782
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Radical Disenchantments: Neoconservatives and the Disciplining of Desire in an Anti-Utopian Era
Buras, Kristen L.; Apple, Michael W.
Comparative Education, v44 n3 p291-304 Aug 2008
This article traces part of the history of neoconservatism in the United States and analyses its impact on contemporary schooling. It examines the political evolution of a fraction of old leftists whose disenchantment with the possibilities of radical transformation led them to become new rightists. Whether attacking the countercultural left or the welfare state in the 1960s, or critical multiculturalism more recently, neoconservatives have embraced anti-utopianism as the only corrective for the assumed naivete of leftist cultural and economic desires. Concerns for the "restoration" of cultural and national order are evident in reforms endorsed by this segment, including educational standards and a core curriculum that mediate against the progressive monopoly presumed to exist in schools. Rather than allowing more radical desires to be disciplined by such reforms, it is imperative to reclaim the freedom dreams embedded in past democratic movements and to learn from the grassroots efforts of communities working to create real utopias in education.
Descriptors: Core Curriculum, Cultural Pluralism, Educational Change, Political Attitudes, Educational History, Standards, Freedom, Democracy, Educational Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A