people have mapped government career-related policies with greater care
than Ruth Levitas. She helps in clarifying priorities, not just for careers
work but for Connexions and education-for-citizenship.
finds three driving ideas:
Being out-of-work usually means being poor. We might, then, think
of re-organising resource allocation to give the most troubled and troublesome
a chance to re-claim their stake as citizens and to get themselves re-established
as workers. This would be part of what Ruth calls RED the
2. We could concentrate on the problem of the moral underclass. We
have allowed too many people to fall out-of-touch with mainstream values.
This loss of discipline sets off a downward spiral, causing people to
exclude themselves and to become harmful to us all. This, says Ruth, with
no hint of any intended irony, is MUD the moral-underclass
3. And lets not forget that being in work is the way in which
most of us feel that we belong to society. Employment is, then, crucial
for social integration, So, skilling people for participation in the working
world is their route out of exclusion, and our route to a
socially and economically viable community. Greet SID the
priorities here. But, before we get over-excited, take another look and
notice that the three discourses stumble from one headline-phrase to another
- tax!, immorality! and social and economic
are a poor guide to thinking; and RED, MUD and SID are not coherent, they
do not examine useful ideas, they merely assert constituency interests.
The result, as Ruth Levitas carefully shows, is ill-informed confusion.
It wont do for education. We need a stronger grip on how things
of the greater dangers is that, before we take a grip on them, such phrases
become a conventional part of the system - conventional assumptions not
lightly to be questioned. The resulting state-of-mind is high system
orientation loyal to the convention. But there is also low
system-orientation which is an entirely different kind of
Café is going to develop a low-system oriented grip on Ruth Levitass
valuable work. Her work has been extended to form part of the underpinning
for a new café interactive activity - with serious implication
the reform of careers work.
for Career #2
pilot version now on-line
Clear on Careers-work Priorities
shortly to be available
back to www.hihohiho.com
is high and low system orientation?
early account of the case for reform in careers work
on how the Café will move on
Levitas's book is...
The Inclusive Society Social Exclusion and New Labour. Basingstoke: