Revista Katálysis (Jan 2009)

Commodification of Higher Education, Distance Education and Social Work

  • Larissa Dahmer Pereira

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 2
pp. 268 – 277


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The purpose of this paper is to analyze the meaning of the process of commodification of higher education, its expansion in the 1980s and 1990s and particularly, the modality of distance education. It first analyzes the transformation of education from a right to a commercial service beginning in the 1970s, inserted in a global context of crisis in capitalist accumulation. It looks at the depth of commodification of higher education in Brazil, since the 1990s and the consequent expansion of this mode, as part of the re-ordering of the functions of the State, inserted in a context of counter-reform. The paper then presents the rise of Social Work courses in Distance Education, analyzing how this new mode of education can impact the professional profile defended by the Curriculum Guidelines of the Brazilian Association of Education and Research in Social Service (ABEPSS). The paper intends to raise some new issues and challenges for professional education in Social Work.