A Critical Pedagogy against Consumer Capitalism: A Normative Approach

Quentin Wheeler-Bell


Critical pedagogues have extensively criticized the commercialization of education; however, their argument has remained at the level of critique. As will be argued, a normative conception a deep socialist democracy based upon human flourishing is needed in order for critical pedagogues to critique consumer capitalism’s impact on education.  However, critical pedagogues have not developed this position, thus they are unable to normatively describe the problems of a commercialized education. This paper fills this gap by providing a normative, yet critical, argument against the commercialization of education. Section one sets up the argument by clarifying terms. Section two explains critical pedagogue’s argument against a commercialized education and why this argument is normatively inconsistent. Section three briefly develops the argument for a deep socialist democracy and outlines a normative framework for a critical pedagogy against consumerism.


Critical Pedagogy, Consumerism, Deep Democracy, Critical Theory

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education