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Fantasies of the New ClassIdeologies of Professionalism in Post-World War II American Fiction$
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Stephen Schryer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157575

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157575.001.0001

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Experts Without Institutions

Experts Without Institutions

New Left Professionalism in Marge Piercy and Ursula K. Le Guin

(p.141) 5 Experts Without Institutions
Fantasies of the New Class

Stephen Schryer

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the New Left Movement, focusing on the contradiction within its vision, and examining two works supporting its ideals. The New Left is a movement of young professionals who hope to disseminate their version of the culture of critical discourse throughout the welfare state. However, it was also a movement of young professionals who distrusted the very notion of expert privilege and wanted to subject it to community controls. This contradiction toward the new class is central to one of the movement's most lasting literary legacies: the new utopian science fiction of the 1970s. The two most famous works in this genre are Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time and Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed, both of which attempt to imagine what it might mean for professional expertise to displace economic capital entirely as society's ruling impulse.

Keywords:   New Left Movements, welfare state, Marge Piercy, Ursula K. Le Guin, Woman on the Edge of Time, The Dispossessed

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