The Education-Jobs Gap: Underemployment or Economic Democracy

By D. W. Livingstone | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
Reversing the Education-Jobs Optic

T]here is growing evidence of the extent of the under-used capacities of adults. . . . [Researchers] have documented the extraordinarily high average level of investment of time, effort and money by individuals into private learning projects. . . . The significance of this capacity for planning, managing and even financing private learning has not been readily appreciated by those who are responsible for promoting work-related learning.

--Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1993, 30

The current employment situation entails an enormous waste of resources and an unacceptable level of human suffering. It has led to growing social exclusion, rising inequality between and within nations, and a host of social ills. It is thus both morally unacceptable and economically irrational.

-- Michael Hansenne, Director-General International Labor Office, 1995, 93

Let's begin with two apparently contradictory social facts. First, there are more highly educated people than ever before and their learning efforts continue to grow rapidly. Secondly, there is mass unemployment and underemployment of capable people. The growing gap between the unprecedented extent of collective knowledge of the people and the diminishing number of meaningful, sustaining jobs has become the major social problem of our times. This is the distinguishing character of the current education-jobs gap. There are now officially over 35 million unemployed people in the OECD countries, almost quadruple the average of the 1950s and 60s, when people generally spent much less time in learning activities (OECD 1994a,

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The Education-Jobs Gap: Underemployment or Economic Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xii
  • Acknowledgements xiv
  • Introduction Reversing the Education-Jobs Optic 1
  • 1 - The Knowledge Society: Pyramids and Icebergs of Learning 12
  • Introduction 12
  • Concluding Remarks 51
  • 2 - The Many Faces of Underemployment 52
  • Introduction 52
  • Concluding Remarks 94
  • 3 - Voices from the Gap: Underemployment and Lifelong Learning 97
  • 3 Voices from the Gap: Underemployment and Lifelong Learning 97
  • Concluding Remarks 131
  • 4 - Debunking the Knowledge Economy": The Limits of Human Capital Theory" 133
  • Introduction 133
  • Concluding Remarks 170
  • 5 - Explaining the Gap: Conflicts Over Knowledge and Work 173
  • Introduction 173
  • Concluding Remarks 223
  • 6 - Bridging the Gap: Prospects for Work Reorganization in Advanced Capitalism 226
  • Introduction 226
  • Concluding Remarks 274
  • Endnotes 276
  • Glossary of Acronyms 298
  • Bibliography 299
  • Index 331
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