Colonialized Leisure, Trivialized Work

Colonialized Leisure, Trivialized Work



Colonialized Leisure, Trivialized Work


In Colonialized Pleasure, Trivialized Work, Stanley Aronowitz addresses the laxity governing the proceedings in various levels of a typical academic institution. He criticizes the rigid system in these academic centers and the impact it has on the future of the scholars as well as the entire society. In order to justify his claims, he analyses various levels of the educational system in the United States. Additionally, he highlights the loopholes in the curriculum used to develop the intellectual capacity of the learners in the American society. According to his arguments, these flaws are responsible for the depletion of social, cultural, and professional values in the modern society. By use of irony, this experienced author successfully illustrates the negative effects of a faulty educational system with reference to the maintenance of various values and principles in the society.

Characteristics of the System

            One of the constituents of this faulty educational system is the fixed curriculum that does not consider the special needs of each child. From an early age, the scholars in American schools realize that comprehending the entire context in the curriculum is the most important part of their life. As opposed to former learning structures, where the tutors appreciated the essence of playing in the mental and physical development of a child, the modern system has substituted such physical activities with breaks between learning sessions. They justify this system by asserting that these breaks are effective in revitalizing the mind of the student. Moreover, the main aim of including these short relaxation periods is to prepare the child for more learning as opposed to facilitating the development of a holistic individual. Accordingly, as indicated in this passage, such practices have detrimental effects on a child’s present and future wellbeing.

            Another major characteristic of the modern educational system is the values instilled in the student regarding his or her role in the society. Since the onset of a student’s learning passage in a typical educational center within the American system, he or she realizes that the tutor’s decisions are absolute. For this reason, the relationship between the learner and the instructor is distant and depicts a hierarchical structure. This is because the scholars have to follow the instructions of the teacher regardless of their practicability or essence. Likewise, this well-defined authoritative structure is evident in the interactions between tutors and the principal of the learning institution. Similar to the relationship promoted between a tutor and student, the instructors have to obey the policies and guidelines stipulated by the head of the institution. In some cases, these rules are irrational and non-constructive (Aronowitz & Giroux, 2003). This hierarchical structure promoted in these learning institutions affects the social life of a child. This is because of his or her defined role as an inferior entity whose contributions are of minimal value in the development of the society.

            The grading system is also peculiar yet detrimental to the professional and social growth of the affected learner. Based on the stipulations of the curriculum and guidelines within the American educational framework, teachers rank their students in accordance with their understanding of the syllabus contents. Similar to other elements within the system, the grading procedure exemplifies significant levels of inflexibility. Consequently, the system considers scholars who do not meet the standards governing the evaluation process as failures. This is evident in the records containing the results of this evaluation criterion. The effects of this grading approach are also evident in the professional field. People with low scores hardly acquire career opportunities in highly ranked professions. For example, low scores in such subjects as grammar and history may deny a student the opportunity to develop his or her career in medicine.   

Effects of the System

The impact of the American academic framework not only affects the social interactions of the students but it also has an impact on the future of the individual under consideration. To start with, the learners have little time to develop their social skills. This is because of the intense pressure from the tutors, parents, and the society to attain high grades through the stipulated evaluation criterion. In addition to exhausting their brains, this system has a negative impact on the development of the students. They disregard the essence of their social life and have minimal knowledge on issues within the real world.  This problem has affected many individuals in various settings (Aronowitz & Giroux, 2003). Moreover, a larger portion of students in institutions of higher learning has to engage in economic activities because they need the supplementary monetary gain in order to support their selves and close family members. This leaves them with little time to interact with other members of the society.

Another effect of this educational system in the existence of an individual is the minimal preparation offered to learners on professional aspects of one’s life. Due to the rigid curriculum governing the operations of these schools, a large portion of the students strives to acquire occupational activities in well-established firms. Very few people strive to establish their own enterprises. This mentality has affected the development aspect of the community since a large percentage of these individuals are ill equipped on how to handle various situations in their future workplaces. Additionally, the curriculum does not offer a platform for economic empowerment. As the author of this passage asserts, most of the students of the American educational system strive to be workers and not owners of successful firms.  

            Additionally, the current educational system does not prepare students for future undertakings in the economic world. As indicated in this informative manuscript by Stanley, the lecturers involved in instilling knowledge in scholars through the American educational system do not modify the content of the curriculum in order to be relevant to the real world. For instance, a learner has to pass subjects such as chemistry and history without understanding how this knowledge will be of importance to him or her in his professional development in the future. Accordingly, the individual under consideration assimilates the knowledge blindly through a perceived world without relating the acquired skills to the real existence. This has resulted in many employees with incredible credentials but poor performance. The real world is too overwhelming for the learners to handle effectively in terms of using the attained knowledge to improve their daily undertakings.

            The evaluation and ranking criterion used in these academic institutions also has detrimental effects on the future of the learners. This is because of the connection generated between the results of this analysis and the competence in future professions. For example, for one to pursue a career path in medicine successfully according to the stipulated academic requirements, he or she has to have attained excellent grades in her final levels of the learning passage. This approach is disadvantageous to a large percentage of individuals. This is because of the minimal opportunities available to students with low scores in their academic evaluations with reference to developing their careers. The current educational system does not consider other relevant aspects when grading these learners. For example, the sociability, economic empowerment, and cultural awareness of these children are of low value in this inflexible grading process promoted by academic centers in the United States (Aronowitz & Giroux, 2003). This has discouraged the development of holistic individuals in the society.

Irony of the System

            One of the main stylistic techniques employed by the author of this passage is irony. In order to emphasize the main points in this manuscript, Stanley uses paradox in various sections of the document. He criticizes the educational framework utilized in the United States presently by asserting that the main objective of the structure is to instill knowledge in learners for the sake of personal and societal developments in the future. Nonetheless, this academic system is responsible for the occupational problems faced by these individuals in their career paths. Additionally, the society has been experiencing a deterioration of social, cultural, and economic values due to the lack of a connection between the perceived world used in the academic setting and the relevance of the obtained knowledge in one’s real existence. This approach has resulted in an effective manuscript that addresses major issues in the current learning scheme.

            To begin with, Stanley highlights that the coordinators of the curriculum comprehends the need for physical activity in the bodily and mental growth of a child yet disregards it as an element that results in wastage of quality time for the learner. This is evident when he states that academic institutions, especially those of lower levels in this passage, equate playing among children to short breaks situated between long learning sessions. It is clear that the instructors understand the essence of playing in a child since they consider these breaks as vital programs that will aid a child in the revitalization process. This ideology is contradictory since the system restricts the students from benefiting from the obviously useful physical activities. Such situations have not only resulted in health complications such as fatigue and stress but it has also reduced the capacity of a child to absorb high levels of knowledge due to brain exhaustion.  

            Furthermore, based on the stipulations within the syllabus of the American academic structure, instructors expect their students to make concrete decisions independently in their social and economic spheres of life in the future yet create barriers in the facilitation of this freedom in the educational setting (Aronowitz & Giroux, 2003). For example, through the hierarchical structure promoted in these academic institutions, the instructions offered by the teachers should not attract any form of criticism from the students. Such actions attract severe punishments as questioning the decisions made by a tutor equates to disrespect. The students also learn from the relationship between the tutors and the principal of a typical educational institution. Subsequently, the scholars adopt a similar approach in their future workplaces as well as in social settings.

            Stanley also highlights the lack of adequate preparations in the learning passage of an individual in the American educational setting. According to the author’s arguments, the main objective of the syllabus guiding this academic structure is to prepare the students for elements within the real world in terms of social and economic developments. Pupils seek the services of these institutions as a foundation for a successful future in their occupations and social interactions. Nonetheless, they spend a significant amount of their life in these institutions yet attain minimal skills to guide them through the real world setting in their future endeavors. For instance, as highlighted by Stanley, the subjects taught in these schools do not contain a significant amount of relevant information to one’s existence in the outside world. The syllabus emphasizes on instilling a large amount of information in the student without focusing on its relevance and essence in their future developments. This aspect has diverted the system from its core objective (Aronowitz & Giroux, 2003).

            The grading system is also faulty and contradicts its main objective. This evaluation criterion aims at identifying the level of understanding in students within this educational scheme. Its main objective is to analyze the progress of learners at different levels of this broad academic system. Nonetheless, the major outcomes of the grading system promoted by the American educational curriculum are more destructive than beneficial. For instance, a larger portion of the affected students has lacked vital occupational opportunities based on the credentials containing their academic progress. The syllabus in this structure emphasizes on the need to create a holistic framework of existence yet focuses on one aspect of an individual to grade his or her level of skills and competence with reference to a particular profession. Consequently, these conflicting principles have affected the development of a large number of people in a negative manner.

            The promotion of social interactions is also an aspect that contains contradictory ideologies. Since the inception of one’s academic passage, the instructors and courses stipulated in the syllabus emphasize on the need to develop social interactions in different settings. Nonetheless, the educational system in the United States does not offer learners an appropriate platform to execute this informal mandate. To start with, the learning sessions are intense and reduce the time meant for physical activities (Aronowitz & Giroux, 2003). Additionally, a large percentage of students in higher learning levels have to engage in economic ventures on a part time basis in order to cater for their needs and those of close family members. Additionally, the grading process is very demanding and pressurizes the students to concur with the standards set within the curriculum. This pressure reduces the level of social interactions of the scholars, an element that conflicts with the objective of the entire system.


            Based on the points highlighted by Stanley, it is clear that the educational system utilized by learning institutions in the United States is faulty and does not promote the welfare of the students with respect to a holistic framework of development. The entire scheme contains contradictory principles between the objectives and the implementation criteria. Consequently, students have experienced negative results through this system including their social, economic, and occupational developments. Most of the information contained in the syllabus is crucial yet does not modify the principles of the perceived world into applicable strategies that can be helpful to the learners in the outside world. For this reason, as indicated by Stephen, there is need to transform the current educational system in order to assist the scholars in their future developments as well as improving the social and economic status of the community.


Aronowitz, S., & Giroux, H. A. (2003). Education under siege: The conservative, liberal and radical debate over schooling. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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