1st Edition

Social Origins of Educational Systems

By Margaret Archer Copyright 2013
    848 Pages
    by Routledge

    846 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book presents a study of the development of educational systems, focusing on those of England, Denmark, France, and Russia. It provides a theoretical framework that accounts for the major characteristics of national education and the principal changes that such systems have undergone.

    1. Thinking and Theorizing about Educational Systems Part I: The Development of State Educational Systems 2. Structure: Education as Private Enterprise 3. Interaction: Competition for Educational Control 4. Structural Elaboration: The Emergence of State Educational Systems Part II: Educational Systems in Action 5. Structure: State Systems and Educational Negotiations 6. Interaction: In the Centralized System 7. Interaction: In the Decentralized System 8. Structural Elaboration: Two Patterns of Educational Change


    My fascination with structure (where do they come from and how do they exert effects) was prompted by moving from the London School of Economics to become a post-doctoral student at the Sorbonne. Those were the years of the 1968 événements. It seemed to me that the centralised structure of the French educational system was equally central in accounting for a political outburst which very nearly toppled the Fifth Republic. Conversely, the (then) decentralised nature of English education prompted localised outbursts, whose effects diffused rather than accumulating. The next seven years were devoted to understanding the structuring of national educational systems and their consequences for educational interaction and change. Thus Social Origins of Educational Systems (Sage 1979) is the key book for understanding the research trajectory that followed.
    Margaret Archer is Professor of Social Theory Directrice: Centre d'Ontologie Sociale Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne