There is a particular brand of thinking in the UK that has a petrifying view of the past. Not petrifying as in scary horror films, but petrifying as in to preserve in stone. Examples of this view are seen in the English public and popular press in the run-up to the Football World Cup. Where English football is concerned it is forever 1966, the country expects nothing less than England to come home with the Cup (completely ignoring the evidence of past performances). Next month, the British public will vote in large number for a UK independence party in the European Elections, in the mistaken belief that the UK can float independently from the EU, completely ignoring late 20th century history and the evidence of international business activity that demonstrates that many of the UK’s large businesses owe their existence to trade with EU countries. These Little Englanders as I will call them (they tend to be led by pompous white middle-aged politicians and popular press journalists from England—not Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) have this idea that we can petrify or preserve this view of the world in which our the UK can operate independently of the rest of world in a time warp of mid-20th century history that never really existed and certainly no longer exists in our contemporary globalised world.
Category Archives: Society
BOOK REVIEW: “Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation” by Jean Lave & Etienne Wenger (1991)
In the past decade, there’s been a great deal of talk about how the education industry is going to be revolutionized, and that we can do away with classrooms and universities altogether. There is nothing new about this. However, the revolution that has been predicted some many times has never really come. People learn efficiently because they are together, because they can have a discussion about their ideas, because they are with a professor who can adapt to their learning style. This book gives some background ideas to this debate and to why the bricks and mortar university is not quite dead yet.
BOOK REVIEW: “Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods–and How Companies Create Them” by Michael Silverstein & Neil Fiske (2008)
It’s been about 15 years now, since sociologists and marketers were amazed to discover a new phenomenon. BMW is parked in front of our discount stores. Why would somebody who pays fifty or sixty thousand pounds for a car want to save 50 cents on a liter of milk? The answer was, of course, that they were ‘trading up.’ An explanation of this can be found in this excellent book. Trading up is what consumers are prepared to pay a premium price for certain products that they think bring more luxury. It can be in many different areas, from Belvedere vodka or Boston Beer which costs 50% more than standard beers. It can be in things like pub food or in the doll industry, with American Girl.
STUDY ABROAD / INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE : Petr Jiskra gives a Czech view on life and study on a double degree programme in Grenoble
My way to GEM was pretty straightforward. Since my first year at my home university, I knew that I want to do a double degree program abroad. When I reached the end of second year and was about to choose which school to go to, I paid good attention to the recommendations from professors and GEM´s past students. I did not regret it, GEM was a brilliant choice.
Photos and text by Petr Jiskra
I am very grateful to a colleague at work who clearly to took pity on me after seeing all those book reviews on strategy and management stuff. Thinking that I needed a break but realizing that Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy was probably a waste of time, she offered me a collection of cartoons on office humour taken from The New Yorker. Work is one of those things that unite people across borders. Many of the cartoons are easy to identify with whether you are in Stockholm, Shanghai or Santiago de Chile. It is a nice way to take a break.
Does good education lead to low birth rates? If you are a young, thirty-something, childless couple, you will have probably spent a lot of Christmas fending off questions about the arrival of ‘the first little one.’ This can be very irritating. If you are a South Korean couple these questions may have been particularly annoying. Birth rates have fallen to an all-time low. A recent article says that the quality of their higher education is to blame.
For the last few months I have been publishing a series of discussions and photos from French students that have been studying at our partner institutions. From this week, I will be publishing a series of stories from international students who have come to study in France.
The first of these is from Trisha Egberts, a Canadian who used her study abroad opportunity at Queen’s University to come and find out about life in a French business school.