Avis, James (2002) Imaginary Friends: managerialism, globalisation and post-compulsory education and training in England. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 23 (1). pp. 75-90. ISSN 0159-6306

The paper draws together a number of themes concerned with managerialism, the labour process and the attempt to shape an educational settlement in post-compulsory education and training (PCET) in England. In particular it examines the place of managerialism as a central plank in the PCET settlement in which there is an attempt to construct a social bloc organised around these interests. This discussion involves an examination of the relationship between globalisation, economic relations, technicisation and managerialism itself. This analysis sits alongside an exploration of the relationship between these and state provision of education and welfare. These notions lead into a discussion of values, entrepreneurship, creativity and subjectivity. It is argued that an education system that sees itself as committed to the development of the creative problem solver poses real questions as to whether the social formation can solve the problems of our time. Paradoxically, whilst capitalism requires the value-creating capacity of labour and education is charged to develop this, this capacity is nevertheless one that can be used to debunk capitalist relations.

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