Esther’s Space- journey through my life

March 30, 2007

Dear Althusser, I will replicate the system. haha

Filed under: THEORY 330 — estherspace @ 11:21 am

Life Beyond St. Rose and the English Major.

Though I’d rather pretend that reality will never come, rationality assures me that, indeed, I will someday need to find myself a (hopefully satisfying) career using my St. Rose English degree. So, I decided to do what any academic would do, I attended a panel discussion on it.

“The reproduction of labour power requires not only a reproduction of its skills, but also, at the same time, a reproduction of its submission to the rules of the established order.” (1485)

Reproduction of skills for labor power is what the education system is all about. As the representative from the Career Center mentioned, individuals with a degree in English are specifically trained in certain skills, thereby making them and their educations useful for the maintenance and reproduction of current society. However, Althusser also noted that the ISA must also reproduce “submission to the rules of established order.” I don’t think this was absent in the panel discussion on what to do with an English major; in fact, it was simply one of the things that was not said. None of the panelists simply encouraged us to enjoy the education we have worked for and the fun we had receiving it. Instead, every panelist spoke with the assumption that all English majors present would go on eventually become members of the workforce, and thereby contribute directly to the functioning of society. Also, there was an assumption made by all present that the necessary skills for any of the jobs mentioned were obtainable through the education system, not any other method, such as wholly informal apprenticeships.

“Ideological State Apparatuses function massively and predominantly by ideology, but they also function secondarily by repression” (1490)  and “the educational apparatus [is] in fact the dominant ideological State apparatus in capitalist social formations” (1494)

Was the panel discussion on the uses of an English degree a repressive activity on the part of the school?  If one could assume that the panelists were averse to the students present pursuing any career except those that depend upon their English degrees, then yes.  Or, perhaps our class being required to attend was a repressive act, because it was a day that I was not normally required to be at school, and while attending was not able to attend to the other activities that I had planned for the day.  So, instead of pursuing various interests, I was forced to be at school and listening attentively to the ideology of the institution of education.  Haha, now that I understand the system, I can destroy it. 

However, uultimately, I am left feeling as if there is no escape from the established system and its ideology. I simply need money to live in this world, I need a job to make this money, and I need specified education to apply for any job.   The system is rather well-formed. Damn it!

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