Commoditization of Education-Study of an Emerging Culture with Special Reference to Management Education

By Mukherjee, Arunava Narayan | Political Economy Journal of India, July-December 2010 | Go to article overview

Commoditization of Education-Study of an Emerging Culture with Special Reference to Management Education


Mukherjee, Arunava Narayan, Political Economy Journal of India


The growing and increasingly gross commercialization of Indian higher education is an amply documented alarming phenomenon which requires careful sociological investigation

In the current era, entities that choose to accept and even embrace globalization adopt rule sets that make their boundaries more porous to globalizing flows. At a national level related to economic trade, for example, those rule sets would include free-trade agreements, Standardization of currency, laws protecting importers and exporters of goods, economic and legal transparency, rapid processes for business in other countries. Such rule sets aim to ease transnational interactions by turning processes and products into "commodities" with no distinct local features. In a fully globalized economy, all goods would be treated the same, all financial instruments would be equivalent, laws would be the same from nation to nation, and national boundaries would create no obstacles to the pursuit of profit or competitive advantage. Conversely (continuing to use the economic sphere as an example) those who resist globalization establish barriers to the free flow of goods, services, information, and individuals. For example, they create tariffs or other trade barriers; they do not conform their financial instruments to the standards of others; their laws have localized characteristics that can complicate or interfere with transnational interactions; and they limit off shoring of economic activity.

To the extent that nations or entities adopt rule sets that make one nation or entity's practices very much like another, with no localized characteristics to add friction to the globalizing flows, the world can be described as "flat," to use Thomas Friedman's widely quoted description. Higher education, is not immune to the forces of globalization and the issues those forces raise. Institutions offering higher education and their state and private sponsors are constantly in the process of defining rule sets that either facilitate or impede globalization." Most of the nations are adopting rule sets that "flatten" the world of higher education, making it look more alike, while some others are holding on to local policies and practices and formulating new policies to prohibit what they consider to be undesirable localized impacts of globalization. (Nerad & Heggelund 2008: 302-303)

In this paper, I have tried to explain consumerism as a new cultural ideology and its influences on moral and ethical aspects of education. For the purposes of this paper, I have suggested if institutions of higher learning India particularly in the field of management education can cautiously deal with the forces of globalization and duly emphasise on building indigenous style they can successfully develop themselves in tune with "internationalization " while ameliorating the negative consequences of globalization.

Some scholars use the world "internationalization" in reference to educational programming ad institutional practices, suggesting that it is different than "globalization." Internationalization may include proactive implementation of programs and services of international education exchange, international research collaborations, joint degrees, and other institutional behaviors. (Nerad & Heggelund 2008: 303)

The Societal Context: Hegemony of Egocentrism over Philanthropy

In today's consumer society, the commoditization of everyday life made its reconstruction of values orientations and aims to depend on the desires production and consumption. Human values are only evaluated by the market and individuals' capacity of consumption. Therefore individuals only have commercial values that can be calculated and exchanged in the market. Everyone has no alternatives except to be subjected to the requirement that the commercial society pressed on the personal qualities because only in meeting the needs of the commercial market can he or she gain the satisfaction though consumption. …

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Commoditization of Education-Study of an Emerging Culture with Special Reference to Management Education
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