Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Libraries as solutions to current economic and social disequilibrium

I am revisiting my research proposal ideas, after readings and feedback. I decided to choose an epistemological standpoint, approaching my research from a functionalist/structural approach/paradigm.
My epistemological standpoint is that of  functionalism. I believe that evidently there is conflict in society, that can be mediated towards stability and order. For my particular research, there is conflict  among the youth and those who are in power.

Society has been structured to traditionally educate youth and the young to become labourers rather than entrepreneurs/capitalists. Middle class parents send their middle class kids to universities to get degrees to get professional jobs.However, the structure worked well in the past, but is now collapsing. As higher education has been liberalised as a service while the demand for university education has risen, more students are attending universities, leaving without jobs and are accumulating huge debts in doing so.

There is now a disequilibrium in society, with the need to find meaningful employment for university graduates as well as create jobs for the many workers displaced by global economic recession. Things are even more difficult with the growing world population, which will require more jobs and employment for the future.

Occupy movement has brought to surface some of the problems with the current model, and it is now up to the authorities to  respond appropriately to these issues and concerns. At this point there is need for social change.

Libraries and higher education need to be restructured as part of this social change. Libraries have traditionally been used to support education or to provide opportunities for the consumption of culture. I argue that libraries must move to a new level, bypassing the support of consumption of culture to places where youth can create culture and even be educated beyond employment, but to become part of the business and entrepreneurial classes. Libraries to move to place of becoming centres of innovation and entrepreneurship and incubators for youth entrepreneurs.

I therefore see libraries as part of the solution to the disequilibrium in current societal and economic trends.

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