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COGNITIVE CAPITALISM AND NEW PEDAGOGY: A MARXIST TRANSCRIPTION OF THE “KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY”

Oleg Nogovitsin (onogov@yandex.ru)

Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences — Branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia; Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Citation: Nogovitsin O.N. (2018) Kognitivnyy kapitalizm i novaya pedagogika: marksistskaya transkriptsiya “obshchestva znaniya” [Cognitive capitalism and new pedagogy: a Marxist transcription of the “knowledge society”]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 21(5): 183–208 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2018.21.5.10 

Abstract. The modern world system of social and economic relationship is considered through the prism of the “knowledge society” idea, while being held out as a social model constructed on the basis of permanent production of new knowledge in the IT form, uninterrupted diversification of its modes of production and its implementation into every sphere of social life. This ideologically neutral image of modern society as well as its operational definition in the sphere of education via the concept of "new pedagogics" is critically revised in the theoretical model of “cognitive capitalism” supported by the capacities of Marxist theory of economic and historic process. In the course of research, a principal contradiction is emphasized which determines the development dynamics of the “knowledge society”. The matter of the contradiction is the incompatibility of essential transparency of production process of any new kind of knowledge (“living knowledge”, a modern version of conceptualizing Marx’s “living labor”), on which the economics of the “knowledge society” is found, with its surrogate formalized through legal patenting and licensing procedures, which allows to allot it the quality of rareness and convert it into a base form of capital (“dead knowledge”, “dead labor” of the classical Marxist theory). Within the framework of neoliberal model of society and economics governance, the basic conflict characterizing the "knowledge society" is supposed to be solved through implementing the programs for provision of integrated and fair (of equal rights) qualitative education and stimulation of possibilities for life-long education for everyone, what namely constitutes the concept of "new pedagogics". The proposed solution, however, is itself a condition of social construction of the mentioned conflict due to that the program of "new pedagogics" suggests capitalizing the living knowledge in a form of "human capital" and serves both to establishment of its production mechanisms and to distribution of the access capabilities to the very possibility of acquirement and capitalization of skills and competences necessary for successful self-fulfillment in the economic market by a human.

Keywords: Knowledge Society, Information Society, Cognitive Capitalism, New Pedagogy, New Humanism, Marxist Political Economy, living labor, dead labor.

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