Three decades into the ‘digital age’, the promises of emancipation of the digital ‘revolution’ in education are still unfulfilled. Furthermore, digitalization seems to generate new and unexpected challenges – for example, the unwarranted influence of digital monopolies, the radicalization of political communication, and the facilitation of mass surveillance, to name a few.
This volume is a study of the downsides of digitalization and the re-organization of the social world that seems to be associated with it. In a critical perspective, technological development is not a natural but a social process: not autonomous from but very much dependent upon the interplay of forces and institutions in society. While influential forces seek to establish the idea that the practices of formal education should conform to technological change, here we support the view that education can challenge the capitalist appropriation of digital technology and, therefore, the nature and direction of change associated with it.
This volume offers its readers intellectual prerequisites for critical engagement. It addresses themes such as Facebook’s response to its democratic discontents, the pedagogical implications of algorithmic knowledge and quantified self, as well as the impact of digitalization on academic profession. Finally, the book offers some elements to develop a vision of the role of education: what should be done in education to address the concerns that new communication technologies seem to pose more risks than opportunities for freedom and democracy.
Matteo Stocchetti (PhD) is Senior Lecturer at Arcada University of Applied Science and Docent in Political Communication at University of Helsinki and Åbo Akademi University. The contributors of the volume include international experts on critical approaches to pedagogy, education and technology.Book Details
Jukka Gronow’s book Deciphering Markets and Money solves the problem of the specific social conditions of an economic order based on money and the equal exchange of commodities. Gronow scrutinizes the relation of sociology to neoclassical economics and reflects on how sociology can contribute to the analyses of the major economic institutions. The question of the comparability and commensuration of economic objects runs through the chapters of the book.
The author shows that due to the multidimensionality and principal quality uncertainty of products, markets would collapse without market devices that are either procedural, consisting of technical standards and measuring instruments, or aesthetic, relying on the judgements of taste, or both. In his book, Gronow demonstrates that in this respect, financial markets share the same problem as the markets of wines, movies, or PCs and mobile phones, and hence offer a highly actual case to study their social constitution in the process of coming into being.
Jukka Gronow is professor emeritus of sociology at Uppsala University, Sweden, and docent at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He has published on sociology of consumption, history of sociology and social theory.Book Details
As a traditional theological issue and in its broader secular varieties, theodicy remains a problem in the philosophy of religion. In this remarkable book, Sami Pihlström provides a novel critical reassessment of the theodicy discourse addressing the problem of evil and suffering. He develops and defends an antitheodicist view, arguing that theodicies seeking to render apparently meaningless suffering meaningful or justified from a ‘God’s-Eye-View’ ultimately rely on metaphysical realism failing to recognize the individual perspective of the sufferer. Pihlström thus shows that a pragmatist approach to the realism issue in the philosophy of religion is a vital starting point for a re-evaluation of the problem of theodicy.
With its strong positions and precise arguments, the volume provides a new approach which is likely to stimulate discussion in the wider academic world of philosophy of religion.
Sami Pihlström is professor of philosophy of religion at the University of Helsinki. He has published widely on, e.g., the pragmatist tradition, the problem of realism, and the philosophy of religion.Book Details
The book addresses one of the most urgent social problems in many countries, the uncertain school-to-work transitions of young people. As a result, a ‘transition machinery’ has been created, consisting of various education and training measures realised by e.g. teachers and youth workers.
The volume demonstrates that discourses related to youth transitions do not simply describe young adults but create them. For example, young people are expected to be active citizens who make themselves attractive to employers, and those who fail in doing so may be labelled having psychological deficiencies. When failing transitions, resulting in lack of higher education or unemployment, are treated as individual’s problems rather than rising from structural factors, the solutions are likewise individualized. The book thus underlines the importance of analysing power relations reflected by gender, health, social class, and ethnicity.
The articles of the book combine perspectives from young people, policymakers, teachers, and youth workers in Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and England.
The editors of the book are Kristiina Brunila, professor of social justice and equality in education at University of Helsinki, and Lisbeth Lundahl, professor of educational work at Umeå University.Book Details