The Conservative Limits of Liberal Education

Abstract
I argue that hopes and claims about the liberating power of liberal education are typically exaggerated, naive and wrong. Reflecting upon and borrowing terms from Jim Shelton's essay on "The Subversive Nature of Liberal Education," I use the work of Ivan Illich, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron to argue that social education—training in efficient and productive consumeristic life—absorbs, muffles and domesticates any radical content liberal arts education may manage to provide. As with virtually all education, liberal education conserves the society from which it emerges
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