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Teaching Ethics

Volume 17, Issue 2, Fall 2017

Wayne Henry, Mort Morehouse, Susan T. Gardner
Pages 177-194

Combatting Consumer Madness

In his 2004 article “Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard: Pedagogy in the Consumer Society,” Trevor Norris bemoans the degree to which contemporary education’s focus can increasingly be described as primarily nurturing “consumers in training.” He goes on to add that the consequences of such “mindless” consumerism is that it “erodes democratic life, reduces education to the reproduction of private accumulation, prevents social resistance from expressing itself as anything other than political apathy, and transforms all human relations into commercial transactions of calculated exchange.” This, then, is the challenge of the age: to articulate the sort of education that might prompt our youngsters to imagine a genuine alternative to this consumer madness—a challenge that the authors of this paper attempt to tackle.

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