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ERIC Number: EJ748589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
The Historical Formation of Modern Education and the Junction of the "Educational Lower Class": Poor Education as the Denominator of Social Position and Status in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries in Finland
Rinne, Risto; Kivirauma, Joel
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v41 n1-2 p61-77 Feb 2005
Modern industrial society liberated the sources of livelihood, gave birth to salaried labour and began to cater for social mobility, i.e. broke the foundations of traditional estate society. Traditional trades and socialization mechanisms attached to families were replaced by mass production and education. Education played a crucial role in the project of modern industrialized society. Its task was, besides production of a productive labour force, i.e. good workers, also the production of good citizens and decent personalities. Education always works, however, in the other direction, too. By opening up life-paths and chances for some, it simultaneously closes them off from others. It also plays the key role as the producer of social exclusion and indigence and eventually as the producer of normality and deviance permeating through the entire society. This paper is based on a comprehensive, longterm research project funded by the Academy of Finland. Its goal is to locate the historically changing meaning of scarce education and no education at all as the denominator, producer and outcome of social exclusion and indigence. The authors are also interested in the change in the whole way of life or "habitus" or moral citizenship demanded of the modern educated man and as its reverse side the habitus of the non-educated man. The analysis of exclusion is extended from as early as the time of "absolute poverty" of the nineteenth-century European modern society to the time of "relative deprivation" of postindustrial welfare societies in the late twentieth century. The research seeks answers to how education and indigence have been linked at various points in time and especially how the so-called modern Nordic welfare model defines the interrelations of education, citizenship, labour market citizenship and exclusion, i.e. the borderlines classifying the population. The criteria of social exclusion have to be defined in the context of historical time and nation and it is not possible to use the same criteria in a historically comparative analysis. "Educational lower class" is used as the tool referring to the excluded. The aim is to define its criteria, composition, outcomes and birth mechanisms at a certain point in time by means of concrete sociohistorical research. Theoretical interest is focused on clarification of the concept "educational lower class" as a "zero-line" concept of the theory of marginal utility, although we are well aware that the explication of that line is as "relative" as the frequently presented efforts to draw the line between relative poverty and relative deprivation. The concrete part of this research is concentrated on the formation of the modern Finnish educational system in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is based on comprehensive and versatile historical data. The educational "zero-line" is located both from educational discourse, and also from the middle and below, i.e. from the viewpoints of public discourse and the users of education. Committee reports, legislation, public documents, clarifications and statistics are used as sources for outlining the official discourse. The intermediary level of discourse is analysed with the help of historical data from the press and periodicals. The "citizen's viewpoints" of the objects of education are searched for in written biographies, interviews and archives of enterprises.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland