Education-Jobs Gap: Underemployment or Economic Democracy

Education-Jobs Gap: Underemployment or Economic Democracy

by D. W. Livingstone


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Education-Jobs Gap: Underemployment or Economic Democracy by D. W. Livingstone

From the Preface: "The education-jobs gap refers to the discrepancy between our work-related knowledge and our opportunities to use this knowledge in interesting and fairly compensated work. [This text's] basic argument is that our knowledge generally far exceeds our job opportunities. We are wasting large human learning capacities and achievements through our failure to recognize the existence of a massive 'knowledge society' in a vast array of formally organized and informal learning practices...

"Most of this book is devoted to documenting the unprecedented amount of present learning activity, assessing the extensive and multi-faceted 'underemployment' of this learning in paid workplaces, and offering an explanation for why this wastage is happening. The pressures in private market-based economies to sell more cheaply than competitors by reducing labour costs and automating production have led to unprecedented numbers of willing workers being made redundant in terms of one or more of the many faces of underemployment. Each of these faces, namely the talent use gap, structural unemployment, involuntary reduced employment, the credential gap, the performance gap, and subjective underemployment, is carefully scrutinized."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781551930176
Publisher: Eliot Werner Publications
Publication date: 01/02/2004
Pages: 374
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

D.W. Livingstone is Canada Research Chair in Lifelong Learning and Work at the University of Toronto, Head of the Centre for the Study of Education and Work at OISE/UT, and Director of the SSHRC national research network on "The Changing Nature of Work and Lifelong Learning."

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Illustrations



Introduction: Mapping the Forest of Underemployment

Introduction to the 1999 Edition: Reversing the Education-Jobs Gap

1. The Knowledge Society: Pyramids and Icebergs of Learning

  • Introduction

  • The General Expansion of Learning Activities

  • The Continuing Growth of Schooling

  • The Adult Education Boom

  • Adult Job Training Programs

  • Icebergs of Formal Learning

  • Illiteracy Panics and Really Useful Knowledge

  • Concluding Remarks

2. The Many Faces of Underemployment

  • Introduction

  • The Concepts of Underemployment and Subemployment

  • The Talent Use Gap

  • Structural Unemployment

  • Involuntary Reduced Employment

  • The Credential Gap

  • The Performance Gap

  • Subjective Underemployment

  • Interrelations of the Dimensions of Underemployment

  • Concluding Remarks

3. Voices from the Gap: Underemployment and Lifelong Learning

  • Introduction

  • Living the Education-Jobs Gap

  • Inside Views of the Education-Jobs Gap

  • Underemployment and Lifelong Learning

  • Concluding Remarks

4. Debunking the "Knowledge Economy": The Limits of Human Capital Theory

  • Introduction

  • The Evolutionary Progress Paradigm: "Post-Industrial/Knowledge Economy" Theories

  • The Limits of Human Capital Theory

  • Concluding Remarks

5. Explaining the Gap: Social Struggles Over Knowledge and Work

  • Introduction

  • Conflict Theories of Knowledge and Work

  • Capitalist Production Dynamics

  • Neo-Marxist Theories on Education and Work: The Limits of the Correspondence Thesis

  • An Emergent Theory on the Education-Jobs Gap

  • Concluding Remarks

6. Bridging the Gap: Prospects for Work Reorganization in Advanced Capitalism

  • Introduction

  • Past and Future Work

  • Bridging the Education-Jobs Gap

  • Economic Alternatives: Shareholder Capitalism, Stakeholder Capitalism or Economic Democracy

  • Popular Support for Economic Solutions to the Education-Jobs Gap

  • Concluding Remarks


Glossary of Acronyms



What People are Saying About This

Ivar Berg

A rigorous, beautifully crafted, and stunningly successful shredding of the human capital enterprise. This splendidly executed investigation offers us a timely picture of 'human capital theory' as the social sciences' own Titanic.

Beverley H. Burris

D.W. Livingstone has written a superb book notable for its effective synthesis of quantitative, qualitative, historical, and theoretical approaches. He explores an issue of vital importance: the growing disjunction between education and paid work in advanced industrial economies, and shows how beneath the rhetoric of a 'healthy economy' lies a much more complex reality of underemployment and wasted talent. His book deserves a wide audience among social scientists interested in education, work, or economic policy.

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