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Learning to Be… What? Shaping Education in “Developing Societies”

  • Roger Dale
Chapter
Part of the Sociology of “Developing Societies” book series (SDS)

Abstract

One of the last facets of the Western impact on developing societies to be opened up to criticism or even close scrutiny and analysis has been education. It has been considered one of the few obviously valuable spinoffs of colonial and postcolonial exploitation. It is seen as self-evidently “a good thing.” First, it is held to civilize the backward peoples of the world, to remove them from the chains of ignorance and superstition in which they have been confined for centuries. This attitude often has about it a strong whiff of (usually “Christian”) duty: that it is our duty to the values of our civilization to propagate them far and wide, and bringing them to the poor and hungry people of the world is the least we can do to mitigate those intransigent material hardships they suffer. Of course, this is something of a caricature and its ethnocentric and patronizing assumptions are now widely acknowledged, but it would be a mistake not to recognize that such views continue to inform the moral dimension of educational aid.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    See Anthony Smith, “Reflections and Refractions on the Flow of Information,” Times Higher Education Supplement (London), March 28, 1980; reprinted in this volume.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Quoted in Keith Buchanan, Reflections on Education in the Third World (Nottingham: Spokesman Books, 1975), p. 34.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Randall Collins has done as much as anyone to identify technical-functional theory as an application of a more general functionalist theory of stratification and to expose its shortcomings. See Randall Collins, “Functional and Conflict Theories of Educational Stratification,” American Sociological Review 36 (1975): 1002–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 5.
    Peter L. Berger, Pyramids of Sacrifice (London: Allen Lane, 1977), p. 51.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Caroline Hutton and Robin Cohen, “African Peasants and Resistance to Change: A Reconsideration of Sociological Approaches,” in Ivor Oxaal, Tony Barnett, and David Booth, eds., Beyond the Sociology of Development (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975), p. 115.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    This list is distilled from Alex Inkeles and David H. Smith, Becoming Modern (London: Heinemann, 1975);Google Scholar
  7. and Everett Rogers, Modernization Among Peasants (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    David C. McClelland, The Achieving Society (Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1961).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    See Robert F. Arnove, “Comparative Education and World Systems Analysis,” Comparative Education Review 24 (February 1, 1980): 48–62. On the effect of international organizations on national educational policies, see Roger Dale and Ann Wickham, “International Organiza-tions and National Education,” unpublished paper presented to the International Sociological Association Education Research Committee, Paris, August 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Philip Coombs, The Fourth Dimension of Foreign Policy: Educational and Cultural Affairs (New York: Harper & Row, 1964).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    See, for example, Martin Carnoy, Education as Cultural Imperialism (New York: McKay, 1974).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    See, for example, Philip Altbach and Gail Kelly, Education and Colonialism (London: Longmans, 1974).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Most notably laid out in Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1972).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    See Bill Williamson, Education, Social Structure, and Development (London: Macmillan, 1979), chap. 5.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ronald Dore, The Diploma Disease (London: Allen and Unwin, 1976), p. 30.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    See Richard Devon, “Education and the Development of Underdevel-opment,” Comparative and International Education Society Newsletter 47 (April 6–7, 1978).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    UNESCO, Statistical Yearbook 1972 (Paris: Unesco, 1972).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Randall Collins, The Credential Society (New York: Academic Press, 1979).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Joel Samoff and Rachel Samoff, “The Local Politics of Underdevelopment,” Politics and Society 6, no. 4 (1976): 417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 21.
    John Taylor, From Modernization to Modes of Production (London: Mac-millan, 1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 24.
    For an expansion of this assertion, see Roger Dale, “Education and the Capitalist State: Contributions and Contradictions,” in Michael W. Apple, ed., Economic and Social Reproduction in Education (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Dale

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