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By conducting a discourse analysis (SKAD) in the field of academic economics textbooks, this paper aims at reconstructing frames and identity options offered to undergraduate students relating to the questions ‘Why study economics?’ and ‘Who do I become by studying economics?’. The analysis showed three major frames and respective identity offerings, all of which are contextualized theoretically, with prominent reference to the Foucauldian reflection of the science of Political Economy. Surprisingly, none of them encourages the student to think critically, as could have been expected in a pedagogical context. Taken together, economics textbooks appear as a “total structure of actions brought to bear upon possible action” (Foucault), therefore, as a genuine example of Foucauldian power structures.
The general idea of a Job Guarantee (JG) is that the government offers employment to everybody ready, willing and able to work for a living wage in the last instance as an Employer of Last Resort. The concept tackles societal needs that are not satisfied by market forces and the systemic characteristic of unemployment in capitalist societies. Being a central part of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), attention for the JG concept rose in recent years.
Behavioural economics deals with observing behaviour and economic decision making behaviour.
Austrian economics focuses on the economic coordination of individuals in a market economy. Austrian economics emphasises individualism, subjectivism, laissez-faire politics, uncertainty and the role of the entrepreneur, amongst others.
Neoclassical economics focuses on the allocation of scarce resources. Economic analysis is mainly concerned with determining the efficient allocation of resources in order to increase welfare.
Marxian Political Economy focuses on the exploitation of labour by capital. The economy is not conceived as consisting of neutral transactions for exchange and cooperation, but instead as having developed historically out of asymmetric distributions of power, ideology and social conflicts.
Feminist economics focuses on the interdependencies of gender relations and the economy. Care work and the partly non-market mediated reproduction sphere are particularly emphasised by feminist economics.
Institutional economics focuses on the role of social institutions in terms of laws or contracts, but also those of social norms and patterns of human behaviour that are connected to the social organisation of production, distribution and consumption in the economy.
Post-Keynesians focus on the analysis of capitalist economies, perceived as highly productive, but unstable and conflictive systems. Economic activity is determined by effective demand, which is typically insufficient to generate full employment and full utilisation of capacity.
Complexity economics focuses on interactions and interdependencies between individuals and structures in economic systems. Those are systems of organised complexity. High importance is given to the analysis of networks.
Evolutionary economics focuses on economic change. Hence processes of change such as growth, innovation, structural and technological change, as well as economic development in general are analysed. Evolutionary economics often gives emphasis to populations and (sub-)systems.
The core idea of ecological economics is that human economic activity is bound by absolute limits. Interactions between the economy, society and the environment are analysed, while always keeping in mind the goal of a transition towards sustainability.