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Call for Papers: Digital Taylorism, Human Capital and the Knowledge Economy

Via Daniel Araya

Journal of Global Studies in Education

Digital Taylorism, Human Capital and the Knowledge Economy

Editors: Daniel Araya and Michael A. Peters

This issue of the Journal of Global Studies in Education will focus on “digital Taylorism”, and the growing influence of technology in mediating industrialized modes of work and learning.

Over the past decade it has become commonplace to claim that economic progress depends upon human capital and the exploitation of knowledge. As one of the major areas of public policy investment, governments in advanced economies have begun restructuring education systems to reflect the need to develop highly skilled “knowledge workers”. Workers are now routinely encouraged to upgrade and broaden their skills through formal education and lifelong learning. What is clear, however, is that globalization is reconfiguring all parts of the labor market including “left-brain” knowledge industries (Pink, 2005). Like the migration of low-wage labor before it, "cognitive labor " is now embedded in a global labor market. As a rising tide of knowledge workers begins to grow outside of rich countries, predictions of a Western-biased knowledge economy look increasingly naive.

Perhaps even more problematic is the growing power of computers to automate labor. While early industrial machines simply leveraged physical labor, information technology has begun to replace labor entirely. Brown, Ashton and Lauder (2010), for example, argue that the capacities of technology to extract, codify and digitize knowledge work has begun a long-term process that is industrializing human capital. Here, advances in computing power and software design enable companies to package and distribute cognitive labor, and to manage globally “industrialized” labor systems. This “digital Taylorism” enables innovation to be translated into routines that might require some degree of education but not the kind of creativity and innovation that is often associated with the knowledge economy.

In this issue of JGSE, we are particularly concerned with critical analysis of the knowledge economy. How far will automation go over the coming decades? What is the university’s proper role in a high-tech global age? Does technology in the knowledge economy necessarily lead to digital Taylorism? How dependent are companies today on national education systems for the supply of skilled labor? What can governments in advanced capitalist countries do to stem the tide of labor market migration?

Articles for Consideration
Articles for submission should be no more than 6000 words. It is essential that an Abstract (100-200 words) be provided with each article. The author's name and affiliation should appear at the beginning of the article, together with full mailing and email addresses. Abstracts should be sent by email to: daniel@jgse.org

Deadline for Abstracts: June 1, 2011
Deadline for final submission: Sept 1, 2011

All papers submitted will be evaluated using the Journal of Global Studies in Education normal peer review process. All submissions are published in accordance with international academic standards for research publication. Please also see the Journal’s information for authors: http://www.jgse.org/jgse/index.php/Journal/about/s ubmissions


Daniel Araya
Global Studies in Education
Educational Policy Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Michael A. Peters
Global Studies in Education
Educational Policy Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Journal of Global Studies in Education is a peer-reviewed, international journal that is committed to promoting debate among academics, students and policy experts with a special focus on globalization.

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