The Political Construction of Education: The State, School Expansion, and Economic Change (Hardcover)

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Political actors within the modern state--in both the West and the Third World--argue that more schooling can provide remedies for a variety of economic and social ills. But what is the state's actual efficacy in sparking demands for, and constructing effective forms of, mass schooling? Is the state really an effective agent relative to educational demands originating from other institutions: competing economic interests, the family, and the school institution itself? Under what institutional conditions does school expansion spur economic growth and change?

Since the 1960s, institutional and economic theorists have advanced responses to these important issues from three theoretical perspectives: functionalist human capital, class conflict, and world institution frameworks. This volume reviews historical work on these critical issues, conducted over the past two decades in the United States, Europe, and the Third World. Review chapters are complemented by reports of new findings--authored by a novel array of international economists, sociologists, and political analysts pulled together for this unusual initiative. Following a review chapter on the state's role in boosting mass schooling and economic change, Part 1 focuses on the historical origins of literacy and schooling. Part 2 reports original work on national economic effects of school expansion, drawing on experiences from both industrialized and developing economies. Part 3 turns to the issue of how central states attempt to craft the supply of, and manipulate popular demand for, schooling. Practical implications are discussed throughout. Top researchers have gathered an abundance of evidence, providing a rich reference volume for scholars and social policy makers alike.

About the Author

BRUCE FULLER is Associate Professor of Education at Harvard University. He has worked on social policy and economic issues at the World Bank and the U.S. State Department. His current research focuses on how states attempt to influence local schools and families.RICHARD RUBINSON is Professor of Sociology at Emory University. His research is concerned with political and economic change in the world-economy. He is presently investigating the political determinants and economic consequences of national educational change.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780275938314
ISBN-10: 027593831X
Publisher: Praeger
Publication Date: April 20th, 1992
Pages: 280
Language: English