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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Tanweer Ali

The purpose of this study is to present the book Education, Economy and Society, edited by Salim Vally and Enver Motala (UNISA Press, Pretoria, 2014), which highlights the main…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to present the book Education, Economy and Society, edited by Salim Vally and Enver Motala (UNISA Press, Pretoria, 2014), which highlights the main concepts introduced and discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The study primarily summarizes the critique of human capital theory (HCT) which is developed in the book. This is done using different approaches and is comprehensive in scope. The study also introduces some of the alternative visions of education as presented by the contributing authors. The author of the review also draws on other literature which addresses the same fields.

Findings

HCT dominates the discourse on the role of education in society, but the concept is hard to measure and evidence of its importance is scant. Despite the criticism of this theory, it continues to dominate the mainstream economic theory.

Research limitations/implications

The main premise merits more systematic study, ideally drawing on more extensive literature, and extending beyond the confines of any one country. As a review, this study aimed to maintain a focus on this one important collection.

Social implications

HCT tends to promote a view of education as a tool of material economic progress. This excludes a discussion of social justice and de-emphasizes the role of education in advancing individual fulfilment and in strengthening democratic values. A view of useful human activity outside of production within a corporate environment is also ignored. This book covers all of these ideas.

Originality/value

This study draws attention to an important book which discusses the proper role of education in economic development and critiques policy making in South Africa. The book is broad enough in scope to be of relevance to educators, academics and policy makers in the developing and developed worlds.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 September 2014

Tanweer Ali

– The purpose of this study is to examine two rival narratives regarding the nature and evolution of money with reference to metaphor.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine two rival narratives regarding the nature and evolution of money with reference to metaphor.

Design/methodology/approach

The article draws on theoretical literature on money. Post-Keynesian perspectives are given consideration due to the particular attention that this school has given to money.

Findings

A crucial divide in the understanding of money is interpreted in terms of two different narratives. We conclude that the narrative of money as credit has greater explanatory power, but that the commodity narrative, which is metaphorical in nature, is easier to comprehend and conceptualize.

Research limitations/implications

This study has been qualitative in nature; further research would require specification of a linguistic methodology, including selection and analysis of a corpus. A process for detecting metaphors within a selected corpus would also need to be established. Moreover, the discussion of the commodity metaphor as a normative theory has not considered the moral aspects of different views on debt and credit.

Social implications

Study of metaphor should shed light on basic assumptions behind public policy choices. This should enhance the general understanding of related debates, for example on public spending (i.e. austerity versus stimulus).

Originality/value

This article examines a familiar debate in economics using the methods of linguistics. The approach may also serve a function as a pedagogical tool.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 September 2014

Tom P. Abeles

The purpose of this article is to present a viewpoint on the future of academic publishing. It is important for a traditional peer-reviewed academic journal that is focused on the…

426

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to present a viewpoint on the future of academic publishing. It is important for a traditional peer-reviewed academic journal that is focused on the future, particularly of post-secondary education, to be sensitive to the waters in which it swims and to sense how the climate is changing within the journal area and education as a whole.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a viewpoint on the future of academic publishing.

Findings

The rapid development of the Internet and the semantic Web is showing that: The traditional double-blind peer review process is changing to a variety of processes from both pre- and post-review to open reviews; open access is firmly established and growing; there is a shift in promotion/tenure towards more emphasis on teaching; the semantic Web is introducing changes in the impact value of journals in research and education, including the function of the institutions themselves.

Social implications

Islands of concentrated knowledge locked in Ivory Towers are now readily accessible, broadly changing how individuals gain and improve competencies and use of increasing, evolving knowledge bases.

Originality/value

This article discusses the following: There is a growing alternative to the hegemony of the traditional publishers of journals even with the moderate response to open access. Basic knowledge as offered in institutions is becoming a commodity, the cost of which is asymptotically approaching zero; “Big Data” and the semantic engines on the Internet are amplifying the human capabilities of accessing, parsing and rapidly evaluating an increasing knowledge base, impacting research and education.

Article
Publication date: 23 September 2014

Elke Muchlinski

The purpose of this paper is to explain why central banking as a practice needs to be based on everyday language and communication because a central bank must be able to act…

262

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain why central banking as a practice needs to be based on everyday language and communication because a central bank must be able to act flexibly. The meaning of a central bank’s language and communication is not a linear transferred meaning from the sender to the receiver. Language is not the gateway to transmitting a pre-given meaning. Whereas the meaning of a coded language is rooted in a pre-defined system independent of changing environment and context, everyday language is not. Expectation-building cannot be anchored in an artificial system such as formal language, codes and deductive premises based on formal language. In guiding expectations of economic agents, a central bank is a part of its own context through the language it uses in both its communication and in its policy of information disclosure concerning its own risk assessment.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explains the constitutive function of language for common understanding in central banking and monetary policy.

Findings

The paper contributes to the literature on central bank communication and transparency.

Originality/value

The interaction between the markets and the central bank is understandable within a particular history and context which also helps to build up or to restore confidence in monetary transactions and relations.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 September 2014

Rojhat B. Avsar

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a particular shift in the language used in economic policy debates since the late 1970s. We call this phenomenon the “financialization…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a particular shift in the language used in economic policy debates since the late 1970s. We call this phenomenon the “financialization of public discourse”, which refers to the use of particular metaphors and linguistic styles that are friendly to the economic interest of the financial industry.

Design/methodology/approach

We used a rhetorical analysis to discover and analyze the specific cases which exemplify what we call the financialization of public discourse. A case study, the USA Treasury’s justification for its AIG policy, is used to strengthen the thesis of the paper.

Findings

As the AIG case helps demonstrate, the language of finance limits the policy conversation and disguises the fact that the government’s role in this case is not different than its overall collective risk management function.

Research limitations/implications

We assume that framing of economic events helps shape public perceptions of the desirability of various policies. This prediction, although reasonable, should be supported with more direct evidence.

Practical implications

This paper intends to articulate a vital risk management role that the government plays in the economy. Specifically, the government is strongly suited to spreading the consequences of aggregate risk over time and thereby insulating the individuals from drastic fluctuations in their welfare. Our approach could potentially inform an array of public policies.

Originality/value

The rhetorical strategies that policy makers use to justify their policy positions and their consequences have been certainly under-researched, particularly in economics. This paper intends to fill this gap in the literature.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Rojhat Berdan Avsar

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the claim that economics is of neutral value and unveil common value judgments underlying the standard policy positions in economics…

178

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the claim that economics is of neutral value and unveil common value judgments underlying the standard policy positions in economics. These value judgments are communicated through the economic lexicon.

Design/methodology/approach

The author uses discourse analysis and focuses on certain authoritative economic terms, most of which are metaphors, functioning like arguments. The author calls such terms as “deadweight loss” ideographs in the sense McGee (1980) used the term.

Findings

Economic language is not neutral. Certain terms that are treated as common sense mask the normative commitments to which economists often are subscribed, consciously or not.

Originality/value

The author treats economics as a particular welfare ideology whose normative commitments are communicated by its vocabulary. The critical approach used here is not common in economics. The author argues that implicit biases built in the discipline are reinforced by the particular economic-language awareness, which is vital to maintaining economics as a pluralist discipline.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 September 2014

David Starr-Glass

The purpose of this article is to analyze the decline of two central metaphors of macroeconomics, economics and markets, and suggests ways in which metaphoric vigor can be…

204

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to analyze the decline of two central metaphors of macroeconomics, economics and markets, and suggests ways in which metaphoric vigor can be initiated to promote economic reflection, inter-disciplinary collaboration, and more productive engagement with the broader society. Economics and markets can be described as dead metaphors which have ceased to provide any metaphoric advantage or potential but which nevertheless remain central to economic discourse. At a time when economics is coming under societal scrutiny and being asked to explain its assumptions, predictive ability and social impact, the perceived distance and sterility of economic language presents a significant problem.

Design/methodology/approach

The central approach is an analysis of the ways in which metaphor come into being, provide regenerative insights and communicate open and creative discourse. Metaphor theory is introduced, as are theoretical considerations on the decline of conceptual metaphor through over familiarization.

Findings

Metaphor in economics is underexplored and this article suggests that a more engaged and creative approach will provide benefit within the discipline and will be necessary to sustain the ongoing discourse with those outside the field.

Originality/value

This article provides new insight into the problems associated with the failure to recognize and to resuscitate metaphor in macroeconomics. It provides original perspectives on the problem, and presents novel suggestions for reducing the communication difficulties that metaphor failure has produced, particularly in communicating economic perspectives with the broader society.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Evi Sifaki and Annabelle Mooney

The purpose of this paper is to document the conceptual metaphors (Lakoff and Johnson, 2003) found in the talk of Greek and Australian adults to describe how people think about…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to document the conceptual metaphors (Lakoff and Johnson, 2003) found in the talk of Greek and Australian adults to describe how people think about money. As money becomes increasingly abstract, understanding money, dealing with debt and encouraging financial literacy become more problematic.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews of a small sample (n = 7) are analysed using Lakoff and Johnson’s model of metaphor to map the underlying conceptual structures of money.

Findings

This paper argues that the abstraction of money has led people to search for a conceptual object. The forms and features of this object are recovered by tracing the metaphors, their presuppositions and entailments. This shows that people think about money as a physical object that needs to be carefully managed to avoid bodily harm and personal physical discomfort. Specifically, money is an object with weight that physically constrains the body, a substance that can be addictive albeit with the agentive capacity of sentient beings.

Social implications

While the physical and corporeal nature of money implicitly underpins existing money management techniques (e.g. “jam jar” accounts), a detailed understanding of money as a (conceptual) object provides detailed discursive, lexical and persuasive resources for promoting sound financial behaviour and perhaps informing both economic and social policies.

Originality/value

While metaphor has been studied in economics texts, very little attention has been paid to the language that ordinary people use to talk about money. This research gives a clear picture of money as a metaphorically physical object.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Stephan Pühringer

The purpose of this paper is to offer an explanation of the predominance of austerity policies in Europe based on distinct crisis narratives and their underlying market metaphors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer an explanation of the predominance of austerity policies in Europe based on distinct crisis narratives and their underlying market metaphors in public speeches and addresses of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to a broader audience of economic decision-makers.

Design/methodology/approach

The author uses discourse and metaphor analysis of speeches and addresses of Angela Merkel in the aftermath of the crisis applying cognitive metaphor theory in combination with a corpus linguistic approach.

Findings

Dominant conceptual metaphors in Merkel’s crisis narrative subordinate policy-making to superior “market mechanisms”, which are attributed with human and natural characteristics. Moral focus of crisis narrative of “living-beyond-ones-means” forces austerity policies.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis is restricted to public speeches of Merkel, whereas the impact on public discourses was not analyzed.

Social implications

The paper offers an explanation for the prevalence of neoliberal policies in the Eurozone and the uneven balances of political power in public economic discourses.

Originality/value

Study of the role of “market metaphors” in crisis narratives of influential political leaders as well as an analysis of the impact of discursive manifestations and conceptual market metaphors for economic crisis policies.

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Ashok Kotwal and Kate Power

This paper aims to provide a situated critical discourse analysis of the public debate around India’s 2013 National Food Security Act (NFSA), describing its rhetorical…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a situated critical discourse analysis of the public debate around India’s 2013 National Food Security Act (NFSA), describing its rhetorical characteristics and the context within which it has taken place.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Wodak’s (2001) Discourse Historical Approach (DHA), the authors examine media coverage of the NFSA, attending to perspectivization, intensification and mitigation and representational and argumentational strategies. The authors also consider this coverage in light of its intratextual, intertextual, situational and wider socio-political and economic contexts. The corpus consists of 29 English-language Indian newspaper and magazine articles, published in print and online between 2011 and 2014.

Findings

This paper explains the rhetorical purchase of the term “food security” in contemporary Indian public policy debates by comparing the leftist, right wing and centrist arguments.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to the detailed qualitative analysis presented here, the corpus is necessarily limited in size. Newspaper articles contributed by one of the authors were omitted from the study.

Originality/value

The DHA claims to be an interdisciplinary framework, but relatively few studies involve true cross-disciplinary research. By contrast, this study relies on close collaboration by scholars active in economics and applied linguistics – thus, demonstrating both the potential for, and the value of, working coherently across academic disciplines. Also, unlike most DHA studies, which interrogate dominant discourses, this paper compares diverse discourses competing for influence.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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