A central economic imperative of capitalism and neoliberalism is the abstraction of major characteristics of humanness, followed by their quantification and finally their allocation of certain value to the production line. In this way, the human workforce is ‘objectified’ as mere objects of production, devoid of all aspects of compassionate humanity. According to Lukacs, this process of reification leads to alienation not only from the outputs of production, but from what it means to be human itself. Formal education has a key role in reversing this process, to counter dehumanising objectification and to replace it with ‘subjectification’. This latter process will need to emphasise respect for the autonomous action of all persons, the culture, character and knowledgeability of people from all backgrounds, the need for discursive community environments for the development of views and practices and the establishment and consolidation of democratic public spheres for mature and non-coercive free assemblies and debate. Broad subjectification principles of this type then need to be adjusted as need be for application in educational institutions and public schools at all levels, such that the main purpose of schooling becomes the subjectification impulse. One way of thinking about this process is to concentrate on the human subject in terms of ‘Who I am’, although this can overly psychologise the subject and bring identity politics into play. Post-structuralism in particular has influenced the ascendancy of feminism and ethnicities in comparison to social class as the major sociological focus of analysis. In contrast, the concept of ‘How I am’ proposed by Biesta links strongly to pragmatism and practice and the ways in which social action is taken to construct the selfhood and lifeworld. The formation of subjectification therefore builds on the notion of ‘I think, therefore I am’ (action), rather than ‘I am, therefore I think’ (existence).