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ERIC Number: EJ870849
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
Education, Empire and Social Change in Nineteenth Century England
Watts, Ruth
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v45 n6 p773-786 Dec 2009
This article discusses the effects of imperialism on British (or chiefly English) social life and education in the nineteenth century rather than examining the effects on the colonised as is usually done. It is shown that the nineteenth century was infused with different visual and written images which helped develop attitudes and ideas which influenced social change in Britain. The "imperial gaze" demonstrated a fascination with the unknown and exotic; a scientific curiosity to discover, collect, classify and explain; an economic desire to find and exploit; and mixed motivations from religious, humanitarian and nationalistic impulses to convert, "civilise" and dominate. In different ways and at different levels this entailed a wish to "know" and an urge to pass on presumed "truths" that interlocked imperial influences into educational enterprise, although not necessarily within formal schooling. As the century progressed, events within the expanding empire, combining with scientific theories, helped to develop cultural arrogance, dominated by ideas of white, Western superiority. Yet there was no homogenous, uncontested discourse. As post-imperial debates suggest, chronological shifts, differing gender and class responses are significant. Effects could be paradoxical as those of imperial opportunities and rhetoric were on women's lives. Examples from other imperial nations, especially France and the Netherlands, indicate parallel imperial, sometimes imperialistic, concerns and interests and varying consequences, but in different contexts. The paper ends with some suggestions on how the difficulties of analysing the effects of empire on social change and education could be addressed within history of education. (Contains 1 figure and 79 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Australia; India; United Kingdom (England)