Educational Media, Reproduction, and Technology: Towards a Critical Political Economy of Educational Media

  • Thomas Höhne


This chapter aims at describing the cornerstones of a critical political economy of educational media. For this purpose, some of the central theoretical characteristics of the current discourse on cultural political economy, especially the logic of (re-) production, will be outlined in the first step. Second, the fundamental changes and tendencies in the production of textbooks and educational media, including some empirical findings, will be presented. Next, the expansion of technology on three planes (digitisation, political regulation, subjectivation) will be discussed, including the effects of this expansion on educational media and the conditions of their production. In the conclusion, dimensions for further research will be outlined.


  1. Apple, M. (1993). The Politics of Official Knowledge: Does a National Curriculum Make Sense? Teachers College Record, 95, 221–241.Google Scholar
  2. Apple, M. (2004). Cultural Politics and the Text. In S. Ball (Ed.), The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Sociology of Education (pp. 176–195). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Ball, S. J., & Junemann, C. (2012). Networks, New Governance and Education. Bristol: The Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernstein, B. (1975). Class, Code and Control: Volume 3 – Towards a Theory of Educational Transmissions (German: 1977, Beiträge zu einer Theorie des pädagogischen Prozesses). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (R. Nice, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bourdieu, P. (1996). The State Nobility: Elite Schools in the Field of Power (L. C. Clough, Trans.). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bourdieu, P. (1999). Rethinking the State: Genesis and Structure of the Bureaucratic Field. In G. Steinmetz (Ed.), State/Culture: State-Formation After the Cultural Turn (pp. 53–76). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bourdieu, P. (2004). The Forms of Capital. In S. Ball (Ed.), The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Sociology of Education (pp. 15–29). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J.-C. (1977). Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Bröckling, U., & Krasmann, S. (2010). Ni méthode, ni approche. Zur Forschungsperspektive der Gouvernementalitätsstudien – mit einem Seitenblick auf Konvergenzen und Divergenzen zur Diskursforschung. In J. Angermüller & S. van Dyk (Eds.), Diskursanalyse meets Gouvernementalitätsforschung. Perspektiven auf das Verhältnis von Subjekt, Sprache, Macht und Wissen (pp. 23–42). Frankfurt am Main: Campus.Google Scholar
  11. Farnen, R. (1994). Politik, Bildung und Paradigmenwechsel: jüngste Trends in der Kritischen Pädagogik, in den politischen Wissenschaften, der politischen Sozialisation und in der politischen Bildung der Vereinigten Staaten. In H. Sünker, D. Timmermann, & F.-U. Kolbe (Eds.), Bildung, Gesellschaft, soziale Ungleichheit (pp. 338–384). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  12. Fey, C.-C., Matthes, E., & Neumann, D. (2015). Schulische Bildungsmedien zwischen staatlicher Steuerung und freier Selbstregulierung. Die Deutsche Schule, 107(1), 20–35.Google Scholar
  13. Forman, S. (2005). Textbook Publishing: An Ecological View. The Journal of American History, 91(4), 1398–1404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Foucault, M. (2010). The Government of Self and Others: Lectures at the Collège de France 1982–1983. Retrieved May 5, 2015, from
  15. Giroux, H. A. (1981). Hegemony, Resistance and the Paradox of Educational Reform. Interchange, 12(2–3), 3–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hartong, S. (2012). Basiskompetenzen statt Bildung? Frankfurt am Main: Campus.Google Scholar
  17. Heyneman, S. P. (2006). The Role of Textbooks in a Modern System of Education: Towards High Quality Education for All. In C. Braslavsky (Ed.), Textbooks and Quality Learning for All: Some Lessons Learned From International Experience (pp. 31–92). Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  18. Hiller, A. (2012). Das Schulbuch zwischen Internet und Bildungspolitik. Marburg: Tectum.Google Scholar
  19. Höhne, T. (2003). Schulbuchwissen. Umrisse einer Wissens- und Medientheorie des Schulbuchs. Frankfurt am Main: Book on Demand.Google Scholar
  20. Höhne, T. (2015). Technologisierung von Bildungsmedien. Die Deutsche Schule, 107(1), 8–19.Google Scholar
  21. Jessop, B. (2008). A Cultural Political Economy of Competitiveness and Its Implications for Higher Education. In B. Jessop, N. Fairclough, & R. Wodak (Eds.), Education in the Knowledge-Based Economy in Europe (pp. 13–40). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  22. Jewitt, C. (2006). Technology, Literacy and Learning: A Multimodal Approach. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Jiménez, J. L., & Campos, J. (2010). Modelling Competition in the Textbook Market: Some Lessons Still to Learn. Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, 10, 71–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Knorr-Cetina, K. (1997). Sociality with Objects. Social Relations in Postsocial Knowledge Societies. Theory, Culture & Society, 14(4), 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lyotard, J. F. (1984). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (G. Bennington & B. Massumi, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  26. Macgilchrist, F. (2015). Zur Ökonomisierung in der Schulbuchproduktion. Die Deutsche Schule, 107(1), 49–61.Google Scholar
  27. Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1977). Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, 83, 340–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nohl, A. M., & Somel, N. (2015). Education and Social Dynamics: A Multilevel Analysis of Curriculum Change in Turkey. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Pinto, L. E. (2007). Textbook Publishing, Textbooks, and Democracy. A Case Study. Journal of Thought, 40(Spring–Summer), 99–121.Google Scholar
  30. Robertson, S. L. (2006). Absences and Imaginings: The Production of Knowledge on Globalisation and Education. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 4(2), 303–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sewall, G. (2005). Textbook Publishing. Phi Delta Kappan, 86(7), 498–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sewall, G. T., & Cannon, P. (1991). The New World of Textbooks: Industry Consolidation and Its Consequences. In P. G. Altbach, G. P. Kelly, H. G. Petrie, & L. Weis (Eds.), Textbooks in American Society: Politics, Policy, and Pedagogy (pp. 61–69). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  33. Squire, J. R., & Morgan, R. T. (1990). The Elementary and High School Textbook Market Today. In A. Woodward & D. L. Elliott (Eds.), Textbooks and Schooling in the United States (Eighty-Ninth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part I) (pp. 107–126). Chicago, IL: National Society for the Study of Education.Google Scholar
  34. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2000). De-Regulierung der Schulwahl in den USA: Gewinner und Verlierer. In F. O. Radtke & M. Weiß (Eds.), Schulautonomie, Wohlfahrtsstaat und Chancengleichheit. Opladen: Leske + Budrich.Google Scholar
  35. Sullivan, A. (2002). Bourdieu and Education: How Useful Is Bourdieu’s Theory for Researchers? The Netherlands. Journal of Social Sciences, 38(2), 144–166.Google Scholar
  36. Verger, A., Lubienski, C., & Steiner-Khamsi, G. (Eds.). (2016). The Global Education Industry. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Waks, L. J. (2003). How Globalisation Can Cause Fundamental Curriculum Change: An American Perspective. Journal of Education Change, 4, 383–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Watt, M. G. (2007). Research on the Textbook Publishing Industry in the United States of America. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from
  39. Wexler, P. (1997). Teaching in Context: From Socialization to Redemption. In B. Biddle, T. L. Good, & I. Goodson (Eds.), International Handbook of Teachers and Teaching (pp. 1145–1161). Wiesbaden: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Whitty, G., Power, S., & Halpin, D. (1998). Devolution and Choice in Education. The School, the State and the Market. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Young, R. E. (1990). Learning Communities: Creating Connections Among Students, Faculty, and Disciplines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Höhne
    • 1
  1. 1.Helmut Schmidt UniversityHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations