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Commodified Education, Profit-driven Mass Media, and American Democracy: A Synthesis

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Abstract:

Through a critical analysis we argue that, because of the commodification of educational products, students are being miseducated. Commodified education uncritically endorses establishment views and anti-intellectualism rather than providing students with what they need to understand society. Rather than seeing education as a process of developing the power of reasoning and judgment, students have been conditioned to place more emphasis on education as a vehicle for acquiring money. This anti-intellectual message is then reinforced by the profit-driven mass media, which celebrates consumerist values. Any solution to the problem requires the rejection of the commodity structure and its replacement with consciousnessraising and transformative education.

Keywords: commodified education; consciousness-raising education; mass media; students

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/eme.10.1-2.91_1

Affiliations: St. John's University

Publication date: 2012-02-02

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  • EME explores the relationships between media, technology, symbolic form, communication, consciousness, and culture. Its scope is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. Media ecology provides a rich philosophical, historical and practical context for studying our increasingly technological and mediated society and culture with an emphasis on historical context.
    Media ecology scholarship emphasizes a humanistic approach to understanding media, communication, and technology, with special emphasis on the ways in which we have been and continue to be shaped and influenced by our inventions and innovation. The Media ecology approach is predicated on understanding that media, symbols, and technologies play a leading role in human affairs, and function as largely invisible environments affecting the way we think, feel, act, and organize ourselves collectively.
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