July, 2017

By Mu-Jeong Kho

University College London, United Kingdom 




Hitherto, the relations between Veblen and Marxist theories have been investigated, but an issue, which has not been addressed in the context, is: the capitalist systems of higher education in South Korea are truly self-regulating? If it is truly right, it is possible to make an analytical framework with two variants: market or non-market on the one hand; and on the other, pro-capital versus anti-capital. This paper, which defines respectively the term ‘self-regulation’ as a process of reconstituting ‘order out of disorder,’ the term ‘order’ as ‘structure,’ and the term ‘capital’ as the ‘result of the laws and institutions,’ aims to answer this research question, particularly based on Thorstein Veblen’s materials (not only his Theory of Higher Learning (1918) but also his other works such as On the Nature of Capital (1908), Theory of Business Enterprise (1904), and Theory of Leisure Class (1899), to list a few) and facilitate an in-depth understanding of his position (including his own radical and normative solutions) through its application to the case study on how and whether current higher education of South Korea in disorder is self-regulating. By doing so, it is also argued in this paper: in Marxism which undermines the issue of self-regulation particularly in the field of higher education, a dialogue with Veblen is a prerequisite for deepening Marxist theories.

Key Words: Thorstein Veblen, Marxist Theories, Self-Regulation, Higher Education, South Korea (Republic of Korea)

JEL Classification: B14, B15

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Kho, Mu-Jeong (2017) “Thorstein  Veblen: Are Capitalist Systems of Higher Education Truly Self-Regulating?” Conference Paper, the 1st Building Bridges Interdisciplinary Conference: BuildingBridges in a Complex World (Samaria Hotel, Chania, Crete, Greece), 6 July 2017 to 8 July 2017

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