Moving to new generational beats: lived experiences of capitalism, student-led (re)makings of knowledge, and the evolution of critical research agendas

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Abstract

Via a reflection on the evolution of a module on comparing capitalisms that I have been teaching for more than a decade, this article discusses the collective influence of new generations of students on how knowledge is (re)made. I deploy a conjunctural understanding of the term ‘generations’ in order to make sense of how students’ interpretations of the topics covered by the module have, across the 2010s, led me to increasingly question the field that was, in an earlier conjuncture, essential for my intellectual foundation and development. Their lived experiences of capitalism are more likely to be dominated by themes such as political, economic and social crises and conflicts, inequality, personal indebtedness and precarity, and in some cases activism. This has had profound and long-lasting effects on my teaching and research, discomfiting me in an ultimately beneficial way; most notably, through the recognition that future critical work on comparing capitalisms ought to move away from previous attempts to engage immanently with dominant, mainstream approaches and towards the articulation of a more confident, autonomous position. Hence, a key aspect of the development and evolution of critical research agendas occurs in and through educational exchanges in the seminar room.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCapital & Class
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • comparing capitalisms
  • conjuncture
  • generations
  • knowledge
  • students

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