The increasing prevalence of consumerism in contemporary society often equates happiness with the acquisition of material objects. Consuming Schools describes the impact of consumerism on politics and education and charts the increasing presence of commercialism in the educational sphere through an examination of issues such as school-business partnerships, advertising in schools, and corporate-sponsored curriculum. First linking the origins of consumerism to important political and philosophical thinkers, Trevor Norris goes on to closely examine the distinction between the public and the private sphere through the lens of twentieth-century intellectuals Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard. Through Arendt's account of the human activities of labour, work, and action, and the ensuing eclipse of the public realm and Baudrillard's consideration of the visual character of consumerism, Norris examines how school commercialism has been critically engaged by in-class activities such as media literacy programs and educational policies regulating school-business partnerships.
Trevor Norris is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University.
Introduction: Consumerism In Our Own Schoolyards * The Origins and Nature of Consumerism * Consuming Schooling: Whose schools are they? * Hannah Arendt: Consuming the Polis * Jean Baudrillard: Consuming Signs * Resisting Consuming: Ruin or Renewal Conclusion: "What is to come"