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ERIC Number: EJ903539
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0077-5762
The Passions of Learning in Tight Circumstances: Toward a Political Economy of the Mind
McDermott, Ray
Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, v109 n1 p144-159 2010
Economies make their demands, and by necessity, people adjust, learn, and survive. People adjust to tight circumstances with passion and ingenuity. Necessity and its passions are the stuff of reality and generally more than schools or educational research can handle. Mainstream theories of learning have captured economic constraints only statistically and symptomatically. A focus on the demands of necessity promises a more grounded view of educational possibilities. It can deliver portraits of what people in trouble can do, rather than what they cannot do, and it promises research better tuned to the work of democracy. To illustrate the case, the author invokes the power of novels to capture both the press of circumstance and the ingenuity of people facing difficulties. The author does so in five sections: one on why novels are attentive to economic necessity; a second on political economies as learning environments; and three sections on the passions of necessity in three novels that stretch the usual borders of research on learning. (Contains 15 notes.)
Teachers College, Columbia University. 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3774; Fax: 212-678-6619; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A