Wednesday, April 20, 2005
I looked up the meaning of 'sector' in the Oxford Dictionary of Economics (John Black, 2002 2nd edition)
"A part of the economy. Sectors can be delimited in a number of different ways. One way is by the bodies organizing expenditures:... public/....private/....corporate. ...For national income accounting purposes the rest of the world is sometimes regarded as a sector. Sectors may also be distinguished by the type of product. ...primary/...secondary.../...tertiary sector."
What I am trying to do with this how does your mobile phone link you to the economy homework and with the jigsaw grid-filling task of the Japanese primary, secondary and tertiary sector descriptions I made, is help students realize that they are working with models. Now if, as Lakoff says about metaphors, they match certain areas of reality beautifully, but hide other aspects, then it behoves us to think of what aspects these economic models hide.
I am asking students to go to http://www.grossinternationalhappiness.org/ and think about a different type of economic model. Perhaps we could also delimit the economy into the individual happiness sector, the communal happiness sector, the environmental happiness sector and the global happiness sector?? How would things change? I'm not the expert, I want to see my students standing outside the models a bit and becoming/being the experts, applying their deeper knowledge of economics in innovative ways.
The definitions of economic man on which many of the models are also based are also suspect, and thus the new Nobel Prizes exploring this, methinks, an area I still need to research....
Renata 3:14 pm