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37

The End of Middle-Class Work: No More Escapes

7
terms
2
notes

Collins, R. (2013). The End of Middle-Class Work: No More Escapes. In J. Calhoun, C. et al Does Capitalism Have a Future?. Oxford University Press, pp. 37-70

multidisciplinary, macro-scale approach to world history and social change which emphasizes the world-system (and not nation states) as the primary (but not exclusive) unit of social analysis; pioneered by Immanuel Wallerstein in 1974

42

World-system theory complicates the pattern by a succession of hegemonies marked by major wars

—p.42 by Randall Collins
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

World-system theory complicates the pattern by a succession of hegemonies marked by major wars

—p.42 by Randall Collins
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

defined by Joseph Schumpeter in 1939 as enterprise carried out with borrowed money

(noun, plural) a right given to another by the owner of property to secure a debt, or one created by law in favor of certain creditors

46

Loans, liens, equities, bonds, all these are relatively low levels of pyramiding

—p.46 by Randall Collins
uncertain
2 years, 8 months ago

Loans, liens, equities, bonds, all these are relatively low levels of pyramiding

—p.46 by Randall Collins
uncertain
2 years, 8 months ago

a political movement to lower or eradicate taxation, especially for corporations

50

One is the antitax movement, likely to continue strongly among small businesses

—p.50 by Randall Collins
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

One is the antitax movement, likely to continue strongly among small businesses

—p.50 by Randall Collins
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

(noun) one who rejects a socially established morality

53

both among the minority who belong to gangs and the majority who share their antinomian stance

—p.53 by Randall Collins
uncertain
2 years, 8 months ago

both among the minority who belong to gangs and the majority who share their antinomian stance

—p.53 by Randall Collins
uncertain
2 years, 8 months ago

ethical component of the personality and provides the moral standards by which the ego operates (acc to Sigmund Freud)

53

the idealizing and repressing agent, the Superego of the educational world, is the prevailing technocratic ideology

—p.53 by Randall Collins
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

the idealizing and repressing agent, the Superego of the educational world, is the prevailing technocratic ideology

—p.53 by Randall Collins
notable
2 years, 8 months ago
54

Although educational credential inflation expands on false premises—the ideology that more education will produce more equality of opportunity, more high-tech economic performance, and more good jobs—it does provide some degree of solution to technological displacement of the middle class. Educational credential inflation helps absorb surplus labor by keeping more people out of the labor force; and if students receive a financial subsidy, either directly or in the form of low-cost (and ultimately unrepaid) loans, it acts as hidden transfer payments. In places where the welfare state is ideologically unpopular, the mythology of education supports a hidden welfare state. Add the millions of teachers in elementary, secondary, and higher education, and their administrative staffs, and the hidden Keynesianism of educational inflation may be said to virtually keep the capitalist economy afloat.

As long as the educational system can be somehow financed, it operates as hidden Keynesianism: a hidden form of transfer payments and pump-priming, the equivalent of New Deal make-work setting the unemployed to painting murals in post offices or planting trees in conservation camps, Educational expansion is virtually the only legitimately accepted form of Keynesian economic policy, because it is not overtly recognized as such. It expands under the banner of high technology and meritocracy—it is the technology that requires a more educated labor force. In a roundabout sense this is true: it is the technological displacement of labor that makes school a place of refuge from the shrinking job pool, although no one wants to recognize the fact. No matter—as long as the number of those displaced is shunted into an equal number of those expanding the population of students, the system will survive.

whoa

link this to "learn to code"-style policies & skills-biased technological change

—p.54 by Randall Collins 2 years, 6 months ago

Although educational credential inflation expands on false premises—the ideology that more education will produce more equality of opportunity, more high-tech economic performance, and more good jobs—it does provide some degree of solution to technological displacement of the middle class. Educational credential inflation helps absorb surplus labor by keeping more people out of the labor force; and if students receive a financial subsidy, either directly or in the form of low-cost (and ultimately unrepaid) loans, it acts as hidden transfer payments. In places where the welfare state is ideologically unpopular, the mythology of education supports a hidden welfare state. Add the millions of teachers in elementary, secondary, and higher education, and their administrative staffs, and the hidden Keynesianism of educational inflation may be said to virtually keep the capitalist economy afloat.

As long as the educational system can be somehow financed, it operates as hidden Keynesianism: a hidden form of transfer payments and pump-priming, the equivalent of New Deal make-work setting the unemployed to painting murals in post offices or planting trees in conservation camps, Educational expansion is virtually the only legitimately accepted form of Keynesian economic policy, because it is not overtly recognized as such. It expands under the banner of high technology and meritocracy—it is the technology that requires a more educated labor force. In a roundabout sense this is true: it is the technological displacement of labor that makes school a place of refuge from the shrinking job pool, although no one wants to recognize the fact. No matter—as long as the number of those displaced is shunted into an equal number of those expanding the population of students, the system will survive.

whoa

link this to "learn to code"-style policies & skills-biased technological change

—p.54 by Randall Collins 2 years, 6 months ago
57

Another estimate of the timing of future capitalist crisis is provided by world-system (W-S) theory. In earlier writing on the capitalist world-system, Wallerstein and colleagues presented a theoretical model of systemic long cycles. The core regions of the W-S in their expansive phase generate their advantage by resources extracted under favorable conditions from the periphery. Hegemony is periodically threatened by conflicts within the core, and especially by semiperipheral zones rising to threaten the hegemon. Eventually the core gets caught up with, just as increasing competition in a new area of entrepreneurial profit brings down the profits once gained by the early innovator; in this respect, the W-S operates like Schumpeter's cycle of entrepreneurship, but on a global scale. With each new cycle, new opportunities for expansion and profit arise, under the leadership of a new hegemon. The crucial condition in the background, however, is that there must be an external area, outside the W-S, which can be incorporated and turned into the periphery of the system. Thus there is a final ending point to the W-S: when all the external areas have been penetrated. At this point the struggle for profit in the core and semiperiphery cannot be resolved by finding new economic regions to conquer. The W-S undergoes not just cyclical crisis but terminal transformation.

can the new economic region be virtual?

—p.57 by Randall Collins 2 years, 6 months ago

Another estimate of the timing of future capitalist crisis is provided by world-system (W-S) theory. In earlier writing on the capitalist world-system, Wallerstein and colleagues presented a theoretical model of systemic long cycles. The core regions of the W-S in their expansive phase generate their advantage by resources extracted under favorable conditions from the periphery. Hegemony is periodically threatened by conflicts within the core, and especially by semiperipheral zones rising to threaten the hegemon. Eventually the core gets caught up with, just as increasing competition in a new area of entrepreneurial profit brings down the profits once gained by the early innovator; in this respect, the W-S operates like Schumpeter's cycle of entrepreneurship, but on a global scale. With each new cycle, new opportunities for expansion and profit arise, under the leadership of a new hegemon. The crucial condition in the background, however, is that there must be an external area, outside the W-S, which can be incorporated and turned into the periphery of the system. Thus there is a final ending point to the W-S: when all the external areas have been penetrated. At this point the struggle for profit in the core and semiperiphery cannot be resolved by finding new economic regions to conquer. The W-S undergoes not just cyclical crisis but terminal transformation.

can the new economic region be virtual?

—p.57 by Randall Collins 2 years, 6 months ago

an approach of social movements heavily influenced by political sociology which argues that success or failure of social movements is primarily affected by political opportunities

58

It is in this power vacuum--what social movement theorists now call the political opportunity structure--that social movements are successfully mobilized.

—p.58 by Randall Collins
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

It is in this power vacuum--what social movement theorists now call the political opportunity structure--that social movements are successfully mobilized.

—p.58 by Randall Collins
notable
2 years, 8 months ago