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ERIC Number: EJ748463
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug
Pages: 22
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
Literacy, Schooling and Modernity in Twentieth-Century Portugal: What Population Censuses Can Tell Us
Candeias, Antonio
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v40 n4 p509-530 Aug 2004
While working on the development of literacy in Portugal and comparing it with other European societies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, I not only saw how late Portugal had been in achieving this process, but also how inaccurate the available numbers about it were. I decided that as part of securing a better understanding of the Portuguese literacy and schooling acquisition processes and the way they related to modernisation in the nineteenth and twenty centuries, I had to review, organise and criticise the main sources that provide us with access to them. Although often looked down on, one of the main sources in this field are modern population censuses, which in the Portuguese case have been carried out since 1864. These population censuses, which, to the extent that they offer an account and measure of a country's life, are in some respects true birth certificates of modern nation-states, supply an enormous amount of information, most of which is in a raw condition and are capable of being organised so as to pursue defined objectives. I therefore put together a research team which analysed the thirteen population censuses that were conducted between 1864 and 1991 and which organised the information gathered from a content analysis of the total of 120 volumes in such a way as to make it easier to read and understand. As part of this work we constructed literacy charts for each census, broken down by age group and gender, so as to better understand the different paths taken by Portuguese society on its way from a predominantly orally based society to a modern literate one. This article is a brief summary of some of what I believe to be the more interesting conclusions that can be drawn from this broader research project.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Portugal