Commercialising comparison: Pearson puts the TLC in soft capitalism

Hogan, Anna, Sellar, Sam and Lingard, Bob (2015) Commercialising comparison: Pearson puts the TLC in soft capitalism. Journal of Education Policy, 31 3: 243-258. doi:10.1080/02680939.2015.1112922

Author Hogan, Anna
Sellar, Sam
Lingard, Bob
Title Commercialising comparison: Pearson puts the TLC in soft capitalism
Journal name Journal of Education Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0268-0939
Publication date 2015-11-16
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/02680939.2015.1112922
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 31
Issue 3
Start page 243
End page 258
Total pages 16
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This paper provides a critical policy analysis of The Learning Curve (TLC) (2012), an initiative developed by the multinational edu-business, Pearson, in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit. TLC exemplifies the commercialising of comparison and the efforts of edu-businesses to strategically position themselves in education policy processes globally. In analysing TLC, our account seeks to proffer a critical analysis of this emerging policy genre, and the way it functions as part of the new ‘soft capitalism’. We analyse TLC in relation to Pearson’s new business strategy, which emphasises corporate social responsibility and accountability to consumers for the efficacy of its products and services. We argue that Pearson is now generating and appropriating various data to legitimise its products and services according to a ‘neo-social’ mode of accountability. Network ethnography is employed to document the global networks of both people and data associated with TLC and we reflect on the emergence of Pearson as a potential education policy actor.
Keyword Education & Educational Research
Education & Educational Research
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
School of Education Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 10 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 23 Nov 2015, 19:18:20 EST by Anna Hogan on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences