Marxist Sociology Blog: Theory, research, politics2018-10-24T10:00:29-04:00

Can Digital Tools Be Used for Organizing?

Arizona’s strike leaders harnessed the digital powers of information and communication technologies to promote organizing, allowing the movement to reach beyond social media’s echo chambers. It was through digital tools that AEU promoted targeted in-person outreach and therefore built a more powerful walkout.

By |Dec 1, 2021|Categories: Blog article, Research, Theory|Comments Off on Can Digital Tools Be Used for Organizing?

Implications of the Triumph of Neoclassical Economics in China

At the beginning of economic restructuring in China in 1978, Marxist theory organized virtually all economic discussion in China.  However, by 2010, neoclassical economics and related schools of thought, such as “new institutionalist economics,” had become the hegemonic paradigm. Neoclassical economics came to dominate not only graduate and undergraduate economics education but also the editorial policies at China’s leading economic journals, as well as the credentials needed to secure a teaching position at China’s leading universities.  My recent article explores the implications of this paradigm shift for Chinese economic policy.

There are three key related questions: (1) What are the main methodological differences  between Marxist and neoclassical economics that lead economists to think differently about economic questions? (2) How did these methodological differences lead to different policy recommendations for Chinese economic development? (3) What were the interests and institutional forces promoting this paradigm shift?

Neoclassical economic theory was not only “taught” to Chinese students by Western economists in visiting lectures and at economics conferences financed by institutions like the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, and the IMF. Consistent with Gramsci’s concept of ideological hegemony, the internalization of neoclassical thinking was also an experiential residue of practical interaction with Western accountants, bankers, […]

By |Nov 17, 2021|Categories: Blog article, Research|Comments Off on Implications of the Triumph of Neoclassical Economics in China

The great transition to where? Renewable energy futures and ecosocialist strategy

Rather than assuming that the renewable energy transition will involve a smooth and painless transition to clean energy abundance, we need a more nuanced analysis of renewable energy's potential and the possible dynamics of the transition. A future of clean energy abundance is within reach (at least following post-capitalist understandings of “abundance”), but a river of turbulence stands between us and the hoped-for destination.

By |Nov 10, 2021|Categories: Research|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on The great transition to where? Renewable energy futures and ecosocialist strategy

Neoliberalism and the Crisis of Higher Education

I recently published an article in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology that uses the “student as customer” to help understand why college is so expensive. I explore three factors that contribute to high costs:  1) contemporary understandings of education as a private, rather than a public, good; 2) the ways that schools are funded; and 3) the “marketization” of higher ed.  These processes produce students who are customers, but it is important to point out that this change is rooted in a set of neoliberal assumptions that frame the way that we think about, organize, and fund education, rather than any fundamental change in young people.

Neoliberalism is the dominant ideology of this historical moment. It includes a belief in the following:  the efficiency of the free market and the deregulation and privatization of the public sector that markets require; tax reduction; abandoning the welfare state; and replacing the notion of the public good with a personal responsibility for one’s own welfare.  It has informed public policy in every Democratic and Republican administration since the Reagan years, and it currently structures much of our economic and political lives. This includes the university, where it has shaped institutional practice […]

By |Oct 27, 2021|Categories: Blog article, Research|Comments Off on Neoliberalism and the Crisis of Higher Education
Go to Top