Pretty good point about contextualisation.
Why shouldn’t we say things about race that are true, asked Trevor Phillips in a Channel 4 documentary broadcast last night. And who could possibly disagree? Facts are facts, after all, and suppressing them just suppresses debate.
Certainly, the former race chief’s stance has cemented influential friendships. The Daily Mail lauded him on Monday with a front page headline: “At last! A man who dares to tell truth about race”. Its columnist Richard Littlejohn called him “the bravest man in the universe”. On a BBC Radio 5 Live phone-in this week, callers sang his praises. He’s right, they said: British people have become paralysed by a fear of being called racist.
When we hear about white criminality, we already have enough other information to be able to contextualise itContinue reading...
Ou l'inverse. En tous cas Abu Wahib Kebab "fait le buzz" sur les Internets. Cadeau bonus:
J'ai essayé le destop en poudre par les yeux sur une aire d'autoroute.
J'ai perdu mon job.
J'ai participé à une réunion tupperware sous crack.
J'ai essayé le crack par l'anus sur une piste de ski.
Je l'ai sévèrement regretté.
Toi aussi génère ton article de Vice ici.
(Merci à Rox pour la suggestion)
The decision of a committee of the Oklahoma legislature, by a vote of 11-4, to stop funding for Advanced Placement History classes is national news. Whether this committee vote will actually lead the legislature to stop funding advanced placement history classes is yet to be determined.
As a professionally trained historian who has taught at the University of Oklahoma for more than twenty years, I hope that the legislature and the governor do not ultimately take this step.
Those who favor this withdrawal of public funding claim that the AP standards emphasize the “bad” or “negative” aspects of American history, at the expense of the idea that the United States is “exceptional” because it has grown up without the class conflicts and religious strife that divided many parts of Europe for centuries.
I support the AP history standards because, first of all, I have actually read them. A fair reading of the standards released in the Fall of 2014 is the most effective refutation of the indictment that there is a political agenda at work.
To be frank, however, I fear that these opponents of AP history will not be moved by any evidence that a history professor like me would offer them.
What causes us to disagree so strongly is a deep difference over what history actually is and how its mastery should be measured.
Is history the story of how a self-evidently great people came to be “great”? Some people clearly believe this, and they are not all “political extremists.” Any visit to any book store or library will yield a shelf full of books to feed this appetite.
Over the last fifty years, social conflict in our society over who belongs here (are you a “real American”?), and whose creativity, labor and struggle have “built this country” (and at what social cost), have exposed an uncomfortable fact of life: we do not agree about how to answer these fundamental questions.
Many of us who were born here or who have chosen to become American citizens have direct experience with being excluded, discriminated against and called “un-American.” The history of the economic and social development of the country is full of examples of often violent struggle over wages, hours, conditions of work, just as in other countries.
The way history is presented today in class rooms across this country, and as it is reflected in the latest AP standards, accepts that these disagreements are, in their very essence, what “history” actually is.
Even after any reasonably free and open society resolves some fundamental questions (the decision to end slavery and legally enforced segregation) for itself, opponents of these decisions do not just become magically convinced by an “idea whose time has finally come.”
The process of disagreement and negotiation continues with we hope, less violence and more mutual understanding than before. In this sense, history never reaches its “destination” or its “end.”
History is a living process that we cannot — and dare not– live without. The AP history standards focus on processes that are initiated by humans as they live together and which continue shape their lives over generations, not on facts about great moments and their visionary authors.
Such moments and such people surely do exist, but theirs is not the whole story. If some “great names” are absent from the AP history standards, it is not because they have been written out of history, but because the AP history standards are a framework within which and through which one makes sense of details.
If all you have is a pile of flash card facts — key dates in American history — you really don’t know anything. What you need to know is who assembled these facts and why? You should ask to see the sources and examine the sources of selection.
When you go to the AP history standards you will find a list of all the professors who took part in devising these standards. They come from all kinds of educational institutions — from community colleges to Ivy league schools.
The historians who wrote the history standards understand history as a process, not a “thing” to be memorized. And, once you have assembled the strongest available evidence, you will, as the scientific method requires, come to the same result: human beings are complex and contradictory.
Beyond that, the lesson of history is also like that of the sciences: we must reckon with the diversity of life and form, which has always been humanity’s toughest challenge — and it always will be.
Getting rid of AP history ignores the rigors of this reality rather than meeting its real and enduring obligations upon all of us.
Ben Keppel has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Archive Center and the Research Council at his home institution, the University of Oklahoma..
(Merci à Yumi pour la suggestion)
(Merci à Benoit pour la suggestion)
Today in Britain there is hardly a major business that has not been accused of wrongdoing. From the banks to GlaxoSmithKline and BP, both of whom have had their coffers lightened somewhat after paying fines, to G4S and Tesco who face investigations for alleged offences, the list goes on and on.
But where does this leave the 100,000-plus students who are studying business? Economics students have protested against an irrelevant economics curriculum, but little has been heard from those studying business even as the enormous scale of bad and/or criminal behaviour by the world’s biggest companies stares us in the face.
There is a structural problem here. Business schools could be about business but too often they have to present themselves as for business. They demonstrate the importance of a business agenda in higher education. Students are encouraged to see themselves as entrepreneurs even though the chances of their being involved in genuine business entrepreneurship are small. Courses tell them about leadership when the best that most of us can achieve is some form of followership.
We preach about opportunity but practice hierarchy and social selection. Indeed given the diminishing patterns of social mobility in the UK, and the preference for those with public school and Russell Group backgrounds, the prospects are poor for students in most ordinary university business schools to rise anywhere near the top.
Business schools seem to treat bad behaviour as the exception rather than the rule. But is it? In the 1930s Edwin Sutherland risked his academic career in the US by keeping a set of index cards about the prosecutions of major companies. With this simple research method he was able to make the explosive argument that business violation of the criminal law was common. More, many major corporations were recidivist, serial offenders.
His work became a sociological classic. But Sutherland made less impact in the world of business studies where men in suits still struggle to ethically negotiate the “triple bottom line” of profit, people and planet, guided by their sense of corporate social responsibility.
But “crime in the executive suites” has always been bigger than “crime on the streets”. Events since 2008 have revealed how colossal today’s ongoing corporate crime wave is. The investment banks almost brought down the major economies. Then we learned that they had also been fixing the world financial casino. The high street banks have practised endless and systematic mis-selling – fraud by another name. The level of PPI compensation alone suggests that on average each high street branch of a UK bank may have been involved in mis-selling policies worth millions. And we know from Lloyds that this often involved senior staff browbeating low-paid junior employees into doing their organisation’s dirty work.
Swathes of private companies are essentially corporate welfare subsidy junkies. UK corporate welfare costs have been estimated by one critic to run to £85 billion a year. Corporate hand-outs extend from cushy PFI deals to direct and indirect subsidies, tax breaks and even a bit of free labour thanks to the UK benefits system.
Company performance, even when masked by creative accountancy and boosted by low pay for the bulk of their workers, is often lamentable. Yet bosses filch ever more, supported by indulgent boards and compensation committees whose real function appears to be sustaining grotesque pay levels. And when activity involves criminality that falls within the scope of UK law and law enforcement, then it is rare that any serious sanction follows. Margaret Hodge has rightly questioned why Serco and G4S are able to bid for more contracts while both being investigated for alleged fraud. And taxes – well to paraphrase Leona Hemlsey – only little people, and little companies, pay taxes.
Some good research is done in business schools – ironically driven there by the very irrelevance of much of the work in economics departments. One of the most important centres of critical analysis in the UK, for example, is Manchester Business School’s Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change. At Essex University, Professor Prem Sikka has played an important role in challenging many accountancy fiddles.
Almost every university has a business school where many times more people study than in economics departments. Yet our courses barely reflect the problems that we have with business. Perhaps to understand this students might better invest in a subscription to Private Eye than another glossy textbook.
What we need is a new Sutherland for 21st-century business schools. It would not be difficult. Think how many index cards we could fill with tax avoidance. Or what about money laundering? London is reckoned to be the world’s biggest money laundering centre. And it has been the storm centre for the dodgy dealing behind many a global financial collapse – some say back to the South Sea Bubble. Then what of the cards for the super-rich? The idea that the UK is “open for business” means any oligarch can use the UK to hide their wealth, buy up assets and deploy the courts and the law to fight their legal battles.
Business schools need to confront this world of business as it is. Our students might be our best allies. Many of them will be in low-paid part-time jobs; they will be living in buy-to-let properties or in private halls owned by multinationals. They will be worrying about debts that extend into the foreseeable future. And social inequality in the jobs market and the nepotistic social hierarchies of UK higher education institutions will loom ever greater as they get closer to graduation. Real-world business studies can also start close to home.
Mike Haynes does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
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