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Re: math for reproduction and domination

Why either/or?
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Wolff-Michael Roth" <mroth@uvic.ca>
To: <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 10:24 AM
Subject: Re: math for reproduction and domination

> Bill,
> how can you understand any action outside the particulars of the 
> historical situation of the activity system. You seem to advocate that 
> we can understand children's and their teachers' actions just by 
> looking at a classroom. This is what researchers have done over the 
> past 50 years, and all our community has produced is new and not even 
> better mousetraps, and this and that curriculum, but the basic issues 
> of inequality remain unaddressed. In the 1970s, the US army bombed the 
> hell out of a neighborhood in Philadelphia, were a group called MOVE 
> had taken residence. The neighborhoods still look the same--though 
> right next to it, UPenn has its school of economics where the tuition 
> fees must by upwards of $60k/year. On the one hand, people able to pay 
> the fees, and right next to it first graders too hungry in their 
> bellies to learn, high school students unable to come to school because 
> they only have 1 outfit and only enough money to launder once a week 
> and not coming to school because they don't want to smell and be teased 
> about it.
> This kind of analysis is necessary, because it deals with the very 
> essentials of the first grader's life. It is essential because they 
> have to eat MacDonald's food and thereby enter the legions of the 
> obese. It matters because over 60% of your countries citizens are obese 
> and overweight and elsewhere people starve by the millions. The first 
> grader is put through the particular routine you are recording and 
> describing to sustain this situation. And this is why we need to 
> analyze it.
> Michael
> On 11-Nov-04, at 7:43 AM, Bill Barowy wrote:
> > On Thursday 11 November 2004 10:22 am, Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
> >
> >> I was struck that in the entire discussion, there was no cultural
> >> historical analysis of the situation in which children do these
> >> mathematical things not because they are (considered) useful and its
> >> outcomes have any relevance to anything but to the reproduction of a
> >> society, where, as in the US, 15 to 20 percent of the population live
> >> in poverty, and where education is used to systematically exclude 
> >> parts
> >> of the population to share in the wealth that is collectively 
> >> produced.
> >
> > I don't think such an analysis is necessay, Michael.  I think it's 
> > obvious and
> > publications from such people as Bowles and Gintis hammer that point 
> > home.
> > In first grade, this kind of thinking is a long ways off.  I'm not 
> > even sure
> > it's something one could do consistently in high school.  But if a 
> > student
> > takes a course in marxist economics at Umass Amherst, or any other 
> > univeristy
> > for that matter, that point will be well addressed.
> >
> >
> > -- 
> > --------
> > bb
> >