14 March 2012

Last Instance Humanism in Intro Economics Teaching.

"The market does/causes, etc."

A common comment from many of our students. 
It is not really surprising, nor is this a unique complaint in the circles I sometimes run. 

The hegemonic narrative in bourgeois capitalism is "the market decides".  The market is fair, and returns to you what you put into it.  Without getting into the bowels of neoclassical theory, the general public are taught that the market determines our wages, our mortgage rate for our homes, our material well-being in general. 

This is problematic on many levels, but I think especially in the dehumanizing of economic decision making for the introductory student. I have watched students (at least those paying attention) squirm in their seats when return to capital is introduced.  But a 20 minute rant in an intro economics course doesn't solve the larger problem.  How do we move society in the direction of realizing that "we are the market".  Or at least "they control the market"

This is a really important step of realization of class consciousness, but I am lost in terms of how to address it.  Other than one student at a time?

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