NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ924027
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3746
Hannah Arendt & Jean Baudrillard: Pedagogy in the Consumer Society
Norris, Trevor
Studies in Philosophy and Education, v25 n6 p457-477 Nov 2006
This paper considers the place of education within our "consumers' society", beginning with Hannah Arendt's account of the rise of consumerism to a position of political dominance and the resulting eclipse of public life. Connections are then made between Arendt's account of this rise and Jean Baudrillard's account of the postmodern proliferation of signs and the transformation of the sign into a commodity. This radical "semiurgy" accelerates into a self-referential series of signs which entails the loss of reality--it contributes to the disappearance of the human subjectivity behind the creation of images. I argue that Baudrillard does not respond adequately to the dynamic that he describes so well. By contrast, Arendt's concept of natality, I suggest, prepares the ground for a response to the forces of commodification that colonize the educational environment and threaten its critical possibilities. As youth and schools receive more and more attention from advertisers, students are sold by educational institutions to commercial interests who seek unfettered access to this "captive audience". Yet education is profoundly compromised when youths are viewed as consumers and not as a social investment, when education is viewed merely as an opportunity to secure a new market.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; 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