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Published quarterly by Unesco

Vol. X X X V I I , N o . 2 , 1985

Editor: Ali Kazancigil

Design and layout: Jacques Carrasco
Picture research: Florence Bonjean

Bangkok: Yogesh Atal
Beijing: Li Xuekun
Belgrade: Balsa Spadijer
Buenos Aires: Norberto Rodrguez
Canberra: Geoffrey Caldwell
Cologne: Alphons Silbermann
Delhi: Andr Bteille
Florence: Francesco Margiotta Broglio
Harare: Chen Chimutengwende
Hong Kong: Peter Chen
London: Cyril S. Smith
Mexico City: Pablo Gonzalez Casanova
Moscow: Marien Gapotchka
Nigeria: Akinsola Akiwowo
Ottawa: Paul Lamy
Singapore: S. H . Alatas
Tokyo: Hiroshi Ohta
Tunis: A . Bouhdiba
United States: Gene Lyons

Topics of forthcoming issues:

Food systems
Time and society

Cover and right: A n allegory of education: teacher and

pupils sitting under a symbolic tree bearing the alpha-
bet in Gothic letters. By Johannes Zainer, U l m , 1490.


The scientific approach
Gaston Mialaret The educational sciences in France 137
Ettore Gelpi Problems of educational research 149

Political economy, sociology and anthropology

Martin Carnoy The political economy of education 157
Fred Mahler A global model of paradigm development in sociology,
of education . 175
Vladimir Shubkin Sociology of the educational system:
society's requirements and the career-choice
attitudes of young people 187-
Stefano Vrese Cultural development in ethnic groups:
anthropological explorations in education 201

Economics and planning

L Thnh Khi The economics of education 217
J. O . Enaohwo Education and the national economy of Nigeria 237
Sylvain Louri Educational planning 247

Social science data: issues and assessments

J. Michael Brittain Relevance of social science output worldwide 259

Professional and documentary services

Approaching international conferences 277
Books received ' 279
Recent Unesco publications 281
ri.rfjfl' ^Wffif^'tt& ;<ij<i)
The educational sciences in France

Gaston Mialaret

Historical background and promising: ' T h e aim of pedagogies is to dis-

thoughts on the relevance of the cover the laws governing those phenomena
term 'educational sciences' which are observable and operative in edu-
cation and which follow from specific premises:
The term 'educational sciences'with the word the goal assigned to education and the action
sciences in the pluralis a relatively recent one of three factorseducation, the learner and
in the scientific world. In 1879, Alexandre Bain the environmenton which education depends'
published a work entitled Science de l'duca- (Cellerier, 1910). H e added, still speaking of
tion, but used the term in the singular; his book the usefulness of pedagogies: 'It brings order
was in fact concerned with methodology and and clarity where without it there could only b
was intended only as a scientific investigation of confusion; it helps us foresee to a certain extent
the art of teaching. In 1898 Gabriel Compayre what the results of a particular educational
wrote that 'ducation is simply a matter of method or approach will be, given constant
chance; it is afieldinto which scientific methods conditions' (Cellerier, 1910). This was obvi-
have not penetrated'. A few years later in a ously a step in the direction of the concept of
similar vein, Lucien Cellerier published his educational science, or in other words a m o v e
Esquisse d'une science pdagogique [Outline of towards the idea of a scientific analysis of the
Pedagogical Science]. T h e word science w a s facts of education. It opened a breach in the
still used in the singular but there was a exclusively philosophical and historical concep-
significant subtitleLes faits et les lois de tions of education. A passage in Paul Lapi's
l'ducation [The Facts and Laws of E d u - La science franaise clearly confirms this point:
cation]which pointed the way to subsequent 'The broad lines of the science of education
developments. In this work, Cellerier set forth have been traced. It is endeavouring to borrow
his view of the conditions that should govern a its methods from the empirical sciences. The-
science which he termed 'pedagogical' to dis- ories of teaching were formerly drawn from
tinguish it both from education in the sense of metaphysical hypotheses, from literary works
the art of bringing up children, and from peda- or from political plans; today they are clearly
gogy as such, which he asserted had not been corollaries of the laws of psychology and
satisfactorily defined at that time. Nevertheless, sociology' (Lapi, 1915).
the preface and introduction to his work were A t this stage in our analysis, w e must

Gaston Mialaret has been a'professor and Director of the Institut des Sciences de l'Education at the University of
Caen. H e has also taught at the University of Quebec and has acted as a consultant to Unesco, the United Nations,
the Council of Europe and the Organization of American States. H e has published somefifteenbooks which have
been translated into approximately ten languages.
138 Gastn Mialaret

pause to note three vital points in order to education being extended almost up to the
grasp the development of the concept: m o m e n t of death. Clearly, however, our under-
1. 'Science' was still being used in the singular. standing of the concept of education is different
2. T h e possibility of studying educational facts at each period of life.
scientifically was beginning to gain accept- The second w a y in which the idea of
ance. education has been extended has to do with the
3. T h e n e w science had privileged relations advance of 'parallel schooling', as it is termed
with psychology and sociology. by sociologists. W e n o w k n o w that the school as
It w a s in 1912 that the turning point came. an institution is not the only source of knowl-
Since 1906, Edouard Claparde, a physician edge or skills. Both the child and the adolescent
w h o later became a psychologist, had been learn a great deal outside the school framework
directing a seminar on the psychology of teach- and acquire a wealth of experience as well as
ing at the University of Geneva; it was during various types of knowledge and skills. S o m e
these study sessions that he had occasion to authors have attempted to quantify the relative
read Rousseau and to work out a new concept, percentage of knowledge acquired at school as
that of 'educational sciences', with the word against that acquired elsewhere. But whatever
science explicitly used in the plural. A s a these different types of education m a y have in
resultfor thefirsttime to our knowledgean c o m m o n , the important point is to realize that
Institut de Sciences de l'Education was founded they are not exactly the same. Here again, any
on 21 October 1912. T h e term had c o m e into thorough study of the situation should take
being, and as w e shall see, its scope became account of differences in the problems encoun-
progressively broader in the course of time. tered and methods used in each of these fields.
A t first the concept covered only psy- The lastfiftyyears have also witnessed an
chology, sociology,, history and the philos- extension of the concept of education in a third
ophy of education. It was not until the idea respect, namely, the range of that concept.
of education had been explored in greater Education as something which all too often was
depth that the concept took on the wealth of concerned only with intellectual processes (the
meaning that it possesses today. 'good student' being favourably contrasted with
the child w h o was 'good at sports') has been
replaced by the idea of forming all aspects of
The broadening of the concept the pupil's personality, including intellectual,
of education affective, social and motor skills. This has
engendered an awareness of the importance of
The concept of education has lost the relative all disciplines and of the equal dignity of all
simplicity it used to have. Whereas it was subject areas. T h e consequence has been, for
formerly restricted to a short period of h u m a n example in France, the wide range of bacca-
life (usually the period of school attendance) laurats or secondary terminal examinations. It
and was concerned only with an action exerted is also obvious that scientific analysis of the
on the individual (chiefly his intelligence) and instruction given in such disparate subjects as
with the learning process, the concept of literature, drawing or physical education has
education has literally exploded over the past to cope with rather different methodological
fifty years or so, and has been extended in at problems in each instance.
least three ways. Another change has appeared as the result
T h e first extension concerns the age of of research in variousfields,particularly social
those for w h o m education is provided. Whereas psychology. T h e classical models of Socrates
it was formerly restricted to those between teaching M e n o n ' s slave, or the master in-
roughly 6 and 12 years old, it n o w begins at structing a group of pupils, are no longer the
birth and continues throughout life. This is only ones taken into account by researchers
borne out by the development of pre-school and practising teachers. N e w forms of edu-
education on the one hand and continuing cational action have emerged: group work, tu-
education on the other; with the advent of toring, individualized learning (well illustrated
'universities for the elderly', w e can n o w see by computer-assisted learning) and so forth.
The educational sciences in France 139

The computer classroom: pupils at the Robert Frost Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States,
.participate in a teaching experiment. Their work is set and corrected by a computer over 1,600 k m away. Teachers
are free to tend to the needs of individual students. Parimage.

Furthermore, when w e speak of education, the subject-matter of education, as when w e

w e m a y be thinking of a number of very distinguish scientific education from literary
different things. In using the word w e m a y be education or technical education from physical
referring to the institutional side of education, education. For greater clarity w e shall use the
that is to say, the social system by means of term 'content of education'.
which a society provides for the education of its T h e 'product of education' refers to the
children. It is in this sense that w e compare, for effects of educational action: w e are well or
example, the American and Soviet systems. In badly educated, our good health is thb result of
such cases w e shall use the term 'education a judicious physical education, and so on.
system' in order to specify that this particular Education m a y also be regarded in
meaning of the word is indicated. terms of the functions it represents. Without
In most cases, however, education is used going into full details or providing numerous
in the sense suggested some time ago by Emile examples, w e shall distinguish within education
Durkheim: 'education is the action exerted three main types: decision-making functions,
by . . . on . . .'. This refers to the edu- administrative functions, and functions relating
cational process, and it is in the light of this to execution. These distinctions are valid at all
usage that the term 'educator' should be under- levels.
stood. The decision-making function is reflected
Education m a y also be used to designate in the choice of the purposes and objectives of
140 Gaston Mialaret

education, in the type of structure and oper- beings, and for this reason it is impossible to
ation chosen for the education system and in m a k e a scientific study of the process; the term
the teaching methods used in the classroom is therefore self-contradictory and should be
(for example, choices m a d e by Ministers of rejected. A t the same time, they deny the
Education or the adoption of a particular existence of the educational sciences. W e must
method of teaching). therefore pause briefly to consider these epis-
Administrative functions, that is, functions temological issues.
which result in the establishment of organiz- Thefirstpoint to notice is that while such
ation and management conditions, m a k e it criticism m a y be founded w h e n directed at the
possible to attain the selected objectives. Here 'educational process' (to use the above-men-
again they can be considered at all levels, from tioned terminology), it is not valid with respect
the highest central administration to that of the to the 'content of education' or the 'product of
operation of a particular school or class. education'. A t the same time, this immediately
Functions relating to execution, for their demonstrates the variety of the educational
part, concern not only practitioners in the sciences, since they are concerned with the four
narrow sense (primary teachers, secondary aspects of education that w e have mentioned.
teachers, etc.) but all those w h o , at every level, There has been, in education, a trans-
work within the established structure and its formation analogous to that undergone by psy-
rules of operation to reach the objectives set by chology during the first part of the present
the decision-makers. century: the latter evolved from the study of
Clearly, w e have had to distinguish these the soul to the study of behaviour, a shift which
three functions for the sake of convenience in enabled it to develop from a phenomenologi-
presentation, but in reality (especially from an cal into a scientific pursuit. T h e same could be
ideal standpoint) they should be constantly said of the educational sciences. In order to
interacting, as shown in Figure 1. avoid any misunderstanding, it would be prefer-
able to speak of the sciences which study edu-
cational facts and situations; as w e shall see,
The scientific study such a definition is adequate to embrace all the
of educational problems aspects of education outlined above. But, it
might be objected, does this merely shift the
For m a n y centuries education was considered problem without offering a solution? H o w , at
an art and hence not a legitimate subject for this level, can the facts and situations of edu-
scientific investigation. This is the outlook cation b e defined? W e shall n o w turn .our
which causes some people to object to the term attention to this question.
'educational sciences': for them, education is It is necessary to define an 'educational
concerned with communication between h u m a n situation' in order to determine whether it is

FIG. 1.
The educational sciences in France 141

susceptible to scientific study and hence can be

used as a theoretical basis for the existence of
the educational sciences. A n educational situ-
ation is essentially a social situation including
at least two subgroups of people, one of which
is responsible for acting upon the other in ac-
cordance with certain m o r e or less explicitly
formulated goals; w h e n these situations take
place within an institutional framework, w e
speak of school situations, though w e k n o w that
such school situations constitute only a pro-
portion of educational situations. W e shall
therefore retain the term 'educational situ-
ation' in order to preserve the comprehensive
scope of our discussion. A fuller analysis of the
educational situation concept m a y be found
elsewhere (Mialaret, 1984).
Educational situations have become in-
creasingly complex. While they consisted in-
itially of a teacher and a pupil (the Socratic or
preceptor situation, for example), they quickly
developed, historically, into meetings between
a teacher and a group of pupils. W e n o w k n o w
that w e must speak of a subgroup consisting of
a teaching team working with several groups of
pupils. T h e question becomes even further
complicated w h e n the educational situation is
seen as including everything that contributes to
educational actionmedical services, social
services, psychological services, educational
and vocational guidance services, examination
services and research. Moreover, although
these school situations are structured in a w a y
that can be defined with precision, they are
none the less highly dynamic, since to repeat a
distinction m a d e earlier they represent simul-
taneously an institution and a m o d e of action
here w e find two of the main categories of the
educational sciences.
T h e n e w element in the history of edu-
cation is the fact that these educational situ-
ations can n o w be studied scientifically. W e
referred earlier to Compayre's claim that the
scientific study of education was practically
impossible. H o w e v e r , scientific progress gener-
ally, and the development of the social sci-
ences in particular, have led us to reconsider
our position regarding the possibility of study-
ing h u m a n activities scientifically. It is in fact
Visit to the Convent. This oil painting by Vittorio-
quite feasible to analyse educational situations Matteo Coreos (nineteenth century) shows a religious
scientifically along the following broad lines, boarding school where young girls of wealthy families
which by no means exhaust the subject. received their education. Roger viollct.
142 Gaston Mialaret

First, the structure and functioning of the W h a t w e shall call the 'local' conditions
educational situation m a y be described from have a m o r e immediate impact on educational
direct observation or through indirect means situations: the environmental setting (urban or
such as video recordings. All the rules of scien- rural, industrial or agricultural, etc.), the actual
tific methodology can and must be followed. facilities available (premises, teaching aids,
Secondly, by using less obtrusive methods etc.) and the existing or prospective teaching
(such as observation from concealed vantage team.
points) it is possible to describe the internal At the classroom level, w e should not
operation of the systemhow messages are overlook the importance of the teacher with his
exchanged between the parties concerned individual personality, the group of pupils with
(teachers and learners), the types of activity their o w n particular characteristics and the
engaged in by each of them, the prevailing room in which the educational situation is
atmosphere, and so on. located.
A third aspect lending itself to scientific Educational situations m a y therefore be
study is content analysis of the messages ex- said to be determined at different levels, and it
changed, or in other words determination of would be out of the question nowadays to carry
the actual content of the teaching (in m a n y out a scientific study devoted exclusively to ob-
instances this is what inspectors w h o are con- serving events in the classroomthe teacher-
cerned only with the teaching of their special pupil relationship, for examplewithout relat-
fields concentrate upon). ing this to the general and local conditions
Fourthly, scientific research m a y be fo- referred to above. Naturally, all this assumes
cused on the product of education: this is a wide range of very different scientific ap-
c o m m o n l y called evaluation and is here taken proaches in that broad array of disciplines
in the broadest sense. T h e impact of edu- which have c o m e to be termed the educational
cational situations m a y also be studied at all sciences.
levels, from analysis of the effectiveness of W e are n o w in a position to formulate a
the school system as a whole to analysis of the general definition: the educational sciences
results of a single lesson taught by a teacher in comprise those disciplines, both n e w and tra-
the classroom. ditional, which study the various components
A n analysis of educational situations that of educational situations; they analyse all the
was restricted to the level of immediate realities dialectical relations between those components
would be in danger of neglecting the influence and the various levels of the factors o n
of other factors which to s o m e extent constitute which they depend. Though they use different
the general determinants of educational situ- methods, they all have the same focus: edu-
ations (Mialaret, 1984). cation in the broad sense as defined above.
T h e simplest and most straightforward
educational situations depend on general fac-
tors which were satisfactorily demonstrated by Classification of the educational
the 1955-75 generation of sociologists (see in sciences
particular Bourdieu and Passeron, 1964; B a u -
delot and Establet, 1980). These factors include Like all groups of contemporary disciplines
the type of society, its structure and philos- belonging to a single scientific field, the edu-
ophy; the history of the society; the resulting cational sciences m a y be classified in various
institutional patternthe structure of the edu- ways: there is n o single criterion for this
cation system is often a m o r e or less unob- purpose.
trusive reflection of major social choices; the O n e might begin by trying to classify them
curricula selected by the decision-makers, either by scientific discipline (existing or poten-
which will give a particular direction to formal tial) or in terms of the 'educational problems'
education; the choice of architecture, the im- encountered in present-day society. In the
portance of which is only just beginning to be former case either w e are faced with the
recognized; and the general approach to the problem of the specific nature of each of the
recruitment and training of teaching staff. various educational sciences, which has to be
The educational sciences in France 143

defined, or w e have to regard these sciences Category A

as applications of different fundamental disci-
plines to education, for example educational This comprises those scientific disciplines which
psychology as against psychology applied to are concerned both with the diverse com-
education. ponents of educational situations and with their
Alternatively, it m a y be asked whether a more general aspects: (a) philosophy of edu-
global approach to problems, regardless of the cation; (b) history of education; and (c) c o m -
subsequent analysis, can engender a specific parative education. These three disciplines m a y
science of educationby analogy with the be focused o n the goals of education, on its
origin of gerontology, for example. Would not structures, on its methods or on its content;
this amount simply to studying groups of they m a y also study the three main functions
educational situations having in c o m m o n a set mentioned above and the persons involved;
of features of varying importance? In that case, they m a y even turn their attention to the
it m a y be doubted whether w e would be dealing relations existing between all the factors con-
with an authentic scientific field; it might be cerned.
more accurate to speak instead of a multi-
disciplinary study of a global phenomenon. Category B
All these epistemological questions need to
be discussed and further developed. Here w e This includes all disciplines which are more
cannot do more than raise the problem. ( O n closely related to the people involved in edu-
all these issues, see Mialaret, 1984.) cation: decision-makers, managers and admin-
istrators, practitioners, and learners.

Classification on the basis Decision-makers

of the functions of education
They will for the most part use the findings of
Figure 2 sums up the general structure of this the scientific disciplines to accumulate a wealth
classification, and w e shall merely add a few of information that will help them set their
comments. In thefirstplace w e shall distinguish objectives in the light of the main goals adopted
two categories of sciences: (philosophy of education) and the historical and

I FIG. 2.
144 Gaston Mialaret

geographical setting (history of education, c o m - The first subgroup consists of two disci-
parative education). T h e principal sciences of plines specific to education: (a) methodology
education at their disposal are: (a) sociology of (the methods and general techniques of edu-
education; (b) anthropology of education; cation); and (b) the sciences and techniques
(c) educational demography; (d) economics of of evaluation.
education; and (e) educational planning. (See The second subgroup comprises the teach-
Fig. 3.) It m a y be noted in passing that some of ing side: each course of instruction presupposes
these sciences are also useful to managers and the co-operation of at least three specialists,
administrators and can in addition help to give namely a specialist in the subject-area con-
the teacher a clearer understanding of his role. cerned, a psychologist and a teaching special-
ist. Their task is to define and organize a
content (curriculum theory), to carry out a psy-
Managers and administrators chological analysis of the subject-matter to
be taught (ideas, concepts, psychological oper-
T h o u g h the central discipline for these people ations, etc.), and to determine h o w the
is educational administration, they will also transmission of knowledge and the learning pro-
have an interest in the social psychology of cess should be conducted (discipline-centred
education, since it will be their task to organ- pedagogy).
ize establishments and/or structures in which The third subgroup contains the edu-
teachers and learners will have to work cational sciences concerned with the edu-
together under the best possible conditions. cational act itself: (a) physiology "of education;
(b) educational psychology; and (c) social
Practitioners psychology of education. All these sciences
enjoy, a special status in relation to the other
These are the people towards w h o m most of the sciences of education, since they provide a
educational sciences converge. Here w e can means of analysing the educational situation
distinguish three subgroups which differ con- and at the same time produce information
siderably from each other (see Fig. 4). which makes it possible to alter that situation

FIG. 3.
The educational sciences in France 145

(this is also true of formative assessment or some current problems), it should be noted that
diagnostic evaluation). T h e physiology of edu- some authors deny the very existence of the
cation, for example, studies the effects of educational sciences and view the present
fatigue on the learner's attention and at the situation solely in terms of problems.
same time provides information which will School failure: this is a general problem c o m -
help the teacher create conditions that will take m o n to all school systems throughout the
account of such a situation and avoid fatigue. world.
In other words, the results of scientific analy- A related problem is that of integrating handi-
sis cannot be divorced from the conditions capped children into the school system.
under which they have been obtained (the edu- School failure also constitutes grounds for
cational situation). N o approach to the teach- suspicion that the educational system m a y
ing of mathematics will affect the particular not be adequately matched to the culture,
scientific discipline k n o w n as mathematics, but traditions and current needs of the c o m -
the method used m a y well alter the learning munity.
processes studied by psychology. In this connection w e encounter the problem of
the school's relations with the world of
Learners work.
This in turn raises the problem of the edu-
Here w e find ourselves on the borderline cational and vocational guidance of pupils.
between psychology and the educational sci- Linked to the problem of school failure is that
ences; child psychology and several aspects of the language of instruction, a particu-
of general psychology (learning theories, per- larly important problem in countries with
ception, theories of motivation, etc.), though a national language.other than one of the
not to be regarded as specifically educational internationally recognized languages.
sciences, are sciences that are essential to edu- This brings us to all the problems connected
cators. with literacy, whether regarded from a
conventional or functional standpoint.
Here too w e encounter the whole range of
The problems of education problems raised by the democratization of
' education and those arising from the appli-
Without going into detail (we shall simply list cation of the child'srightto education.


Basic disciplines

FIG. 4.
146 Gaston Mialaret

All these questions form part of a broader pupils and were in fact produced under the
issue; that of education policies. Here too indicated or requested conditions.
w e find the problem of school zoning.
There remains a problem which is of crucial Methods of observation and measurement
importance for every education system,
namely the recruitment and training of the A s used by the social sciences, these methods
various staff working within it. consist in observation (with or without aids),
surveys (on an individual or group basis),
questionnaires and tests, and the identification
The methods of the educational of quantitative indicators for the situations
sciences under observation. T h e techniques of obser-
vation range from the simplest and most spon-
Though the chief characteristic of the edu- taneous to highly sophisticated approaches
cational sciences is their c o m m o n field of using the entire panoply of modern technical
interest, they derive their methods of research resources (all kinds of recording devices).
from almost all contemporary scientific disci-
plines. T h e methods used m a y be grouped Experimental methods
under five main headings.
This is thefieldof experimental pedagogy and
The reflective method involves the planning, in accordance with the
most firmly established rules of the experimen-
Though this method is more particularly the tal sciences and on the basis of a system of
one used by philosophers of education, it is also hypotheses, of a set of experiments designed to
available to all educators and research workers. confirm or invalidate (in the light of the usual
In so far as any educational scheme implies a statistical criteria) the hypotheses with which
basic system of goals, no research (apart from the research began, for example the differential
its exclusively technical aspects) can ever be evaluation of two or more methods of teaching.
purely scientific: the general scope of the
research and the interpretation of its findings Systemic analysis
presuppose a far-reaching effort of rational
thought in order, on the one hand, to select This method, the most recent arrival in the
appropriate plans, methods and techniques for array of research methods, as its n a m e suggests
the research and, on the other, to interpret the constitutes an attempt to take a comprehensive
findings in terms of their significance for edu- approach to education systems and their com-
cation. ponent parts by analysing a system's inputs, its
operational processes and its outputs. Thus the
approach used by systemic analysis does not
Historical methods or the analysis of documents
begin with the basic components of the situ-
ations but seeks to apprehend a global reality
Education in the sense of an institution, edu-
and its full range of meanings. A s J. Berbaum
cation as content and education as a process all
refer to texts (from the past or contemporary) has noted, the systemic method is characterized
or to documents (books, teaching materials, by the importance it then places on analysis and
etc.) which either define them or lay d o w n by the desire to construct a model of the
their manner of operation. These documents situation (Berbaum, 1982).
are analysed in accordance with the methods T h e result of all this is a body of 'pedagogi-
of historical analysis, content analysis and cal knowledge' which lies at the meeting-point
language analysis. In m a n y cases this requires of practice, theory and research.
both 'internal' and 'external' scrutiny in order
to determine the authenticity and value of the Conclusion
documents being studiedfor example to ana-
lyse texts written by children it mustfirstbe The educational sciences are to education what
established that they are indeed the work of physics, chemistry, biology and the medical
The educational sciences in France 147

sciences are to the practice of medicine. T h e enable the future practitioner to feel at h o m e
doctor's clinical sense is enhanced by his both with the pedagogical theories and with his
theoretical and scientific knowledge. The same natural, h u m a n and social environment. During
is true in education: the time when a person the coming decades educators will be faced with
with responsibility for educationat whatever n e w and sometimes unforeseeable situations;
levelcould disregard the results of scientific they will have to seek out and devise fresh
research in education and rely on nothing more solutions to n e w problems of education; past
solid than his o w n experience as pupil or practical experience will no longer be enough.
teacher isor should beover. The training of T h e educational sciences will serve increasingly
a teacher n o longer amounts to passing o n as one of the leading sources of progress in
tricks of the trade, however useful these m a y be education.
in certain cases; it consists in learning a pro-
fession in an intelligent w a y , and it should [Translated from French]


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L A P I , P . 1915. L a science de
C E L L E R I E R , L . 1910. Esquisse
1980. L'cole capitaliste en France.
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et les lois, de l'ducation. Paris;
B E R B A U M , J. 1982. tude Alean.
systmique des actions de formation. M I A L A R E T , G . 1984. Les sciences
Paris, Presses Universitaires de C O M P A Y R E , G . 1898. Histoire de l'ducation, 3rd d. Paris, Presses
France. critique des doctrines de l'ducation Universitaires de France.
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Problems of educational research

Ettore Gelpi

Educational abundance and dearth be added expenditure by productive enterprises

and also by individuals,. which represents an
Education currently takes up an increasingly item of growing importance in family budgets.
large part of working life.1 Y o u n g people and Education is also becoming a factor in
adults, both employed and unemployed, are international politics. For example, training
often undergoing training in different forms was a subject of discussion at a 1982 summit
(refresher training, retraining, initial vocational meeting of heads of state at Versailles.2 In
training, on-the-job training, technological international relations, the importance of train-
training, learning of foreign languages, learning ing is being realized. Multinational projects are
of survival techniques, civic and art education, being launched within different geographical,
etc.). Children w h o attend school receive only ideological, economic and religious groups and
part of their education there, and large n u m - subgroups. These n e w realities give rise to a
bers of those w h o still do not have access to new type of research and evaluation, of which
school are educated solely in non-formal ways; the educational variable is but one aspect.
in both cases the amount of time spent in O n the one hand there are affluent so-
non-formal education is considerable. cieties where the supply of education is not
This extension of education both in space always matched by the demand and, on the
and in time is perhaps at the root of the crisisin other, poor societies where the d e m a n d for
education and of the n e w struggles in which education is not met through lack of means;
education is at stake. A m o n g social and politi- in the former, motivation has to be aroused
cal issues, that of education is one of the most and developed and in the latter, d e m a n d has
likely to mobilize people's energies. It mobil- to be reduced. Information is available about
izes not only societies where the supply of education, but the resources are not always
education exceeds demand but also those where forthcoming to ensure the operation of edu-
supply falls short of demand. In both cases cational structures. In some cases all that is
education ceases to be of merely social and done is to m a k e transfers from one area of
cultural relevance and assumes considerable education to another, with educational self-
economic importance as well. T o the substan- sufficiency as a remote dream; the building of
tial public spending in national budgets (be- an educational democracy, in which the inter-
tween 10 and 20 per cent on average) should national community will also participate, does

Ettore Gelpi has been in charge of Unesco's Lifelong Education Unit since 1972. H e is Vice-Chairman of the
Committee on the Sociology of Education of the International Sociological Association, a lecturer at the Universit
de Paris I Sorbonne, and his publications include A Future for Lifelong Education (1979) and Institutions et luttes
ducatives (1982).
150 Ettore Gelpi

not appear to, be the result sought. T h e ques- quently the result of the dynamics of pro-
tion is, whether educational democracy is both duction5 which outstrips the logic of social re-
a result and a prerequisite of international production, causing certain training activities (in
democracy. 3 If the answer to this question is science, technology and information science)6
in the affirmative, educational research m a y take connected with the productive process to be
on fresh significance. instrumental in bringing about social advance-
Individual states and the international c o m - ment.
munity are n o w faced with the responsibility Changes in the world of production affect
of finding n e w forms of balance to remedy all countries in one w a y or another. For
the growing disparities existing in education, example, mobility between production sectors
aggravated by the concentration of information (agriculture, industry, tertiary, quaternary) has
processing facilities (95 per cent of computers been considerable even in the developing
are found in the industrial countries, 3 per cent countriesa drop from 72.6 per cent of the
in Latin America, 1.6 per cent in Asia and less working population in agriculture in 1960 to
than 0.5 per cent in Africa) and by living con- 59.1 per cent in 1980; a rise from 12.8 per cent
ditions (47 per cent of the world population, in industry in 1960 to 19.9 per cent in 1980; a
represented by the developing countries most rise from 14.5 per cent in service industries in
lacking in economic resources, have access to 1960 to 21 per cent in 1980. 7 A s regards the
only 5 per cent of total world production).4 organization of work and the introduction of
Given these realities, there is n o need for new technologies, conditions vary from country
research to concern itself with the number to country and from sector to sector within
of illiterates or people's motivation; what it countries. T h e partial replacement of manual
must d o is explore n e w avenues for applying labour by robots and of intellectual labour by
educational policies at the national and inter- artificial forms of intelligence8 coexist with the
national levels which will reduce inequalities most traditional forms of labour organization
in this sphere. and technology,9 not only at world level but
also within a society. These numerous features
of the productive process generate m a n y and
The educational factor
varied activities in the non-formal education
sector and exercise both a direct and indirect
Education as investment? Education as con-
influence on the formal education system.
sumer goods? Education as an ideological pro-
ject? Education as a public service? These A further significant variable of contempor-
various functions of education are to be found ary education is the internationalization of the
side by side in modern society, and often the economy 1 0 and of education. T h e sources of
educational crisis is also the result of clashes the internationalization of education lie in the
between them. T h e increased importance of geographical mobility of workers, transfers of
education is an indication of its growing inter- technology and training, the computerization
relation with social and economic dynamics. of certain educational programmes, the edu-
This relationship accounts for the interest cational software carried by the media, training
taken in education in all its forms and the abroad, tourism, etc. This internationalization
choice m a d e by families to invest m o r e time helps to stimulate the d e m a n d for education but
and m o n e y in it. sometimes also generates forms of dependence.
In most countries educational ideologies 'International education' is also an ideological
advocate equality. Societies with a planned or a and/or commercial product to be exported and
market economy, whether industrial or devel- imported.
oping, invoke the idea of education for all. But
the spread of education often runs counter to The multiplicity of professional
existing social and economic structures. F a m - qualifications required in
ilies seek higher education for their children, education
but qualified posts are often already 'ear-
marked' for the children of certain privileged Current changes in the educational scene are
groups. N e w educational opportunities are fre- thus the result of various advances and crises
Problems of educational research 151


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tf*^ j f l t o ^ : ^ -'^^^i

The Obit Book of the Sorbonne, containing the obits of m e m b e r s and benefactors until the sixteenth century. The
page shown mentions the university's celebration of the death in 1274 of its founder, Robert de Sorbon, with his
caricature in the margin, B . N .

concerning production, international relations, T h e extraordinary growth of educational

ideologies and the n e w function of education. activities, at the national and international
T h e difficulty of understanding educational levels, has often m a d e it difficult to assign
change often lies in the fact that educational duties corresponding to qualifications: pro-
research, policy and action always originate fessional profiles need to be worked out and a
from rather limited circles. A proper under- better balance needs to be struck between dif-
standing of educational needs requires a far ferent functions. T h e futurologist, the Utopist,
greater variety of contributionsfor the plan- the politician, the planner, the administrator,
ning of educational policies and the effective the researcher, the educator, the evaluator and
organization and administration of education, it the programmer are all responsible for ac-
is necessary to secure, o n the one hand, the tivities that are interlinked but that also call
participation of the people concerned and, on for specific qualifications; educational research
the other, contributions from persons with very cannot disregard the problem, of professional
different skills. W h a t is true for educational profiles for these various specialists and the
action also holds for educational research, shortage of skills, or the failure to use them, in
often cut off in a specializedfieldthat no longer particular areas. In s o m e cases it is not poss-
reflects the m a n y aspects of reality. ible, owing to limited resources, to entrust
152 Ettore Gelpi

these specific functions to different people. science and research does not solve the prob-
Here what is important is not to lose sight of lem of their relevance.12 T h e objectives and
their specificity, and to m a k e provision for the content of educational research m a y be deter-
complex training required for those w h o are mined either by corporatist structures and logic
obliged to combine these functions. E d u - or by a resolve on the part of researchers to
cational research m a y be useful in defining not address the basic problems of our societies.
only the educational needs of populations but
also those of all the personnel responsible
for education. History of education
and comparative education

Educational research These two disciplines, which have a long tra-

and development dition behind them but have hitherto remained
somewhat o n the sidelines, are n o w under-
W h a t perhaps lies at the root of the crisis in going considerable development. A historical
educational sciences and educational research is look at education has m a d e it possible for
their lack of relevance to the development of several societies to accede to a n e w form of
individuals and societies. N e w forms of inter- educational identity. This is also true of social
disciplinarity are necessary if educational pol- groups hitherto unable to identify with alien
icies and activities are to meet requirements traditions of formal education. T h e history of
in this sphere, which have very little to do with education becomes a means of reconquering a
the linear reproduction of education systems. In cultural past, learning about the m a n y links
this context, approaches as different as the with other civilizations, discovering one's o w n
pedagogics of liberation and cybernetic peda- specificity and rediscovering c o m m o n experi-
gogics might converge for the very practical ences which belong to the history of h u m a n -
purpose of developing educational oppor- kind. In addition, the findings of historical re-
tunities for all without censorship, selection search are often useful in understanding the
or marginalization. function and relevance of contemporary edu-
T o contemplate participation, develop- cational structures.
ment and the choice of practical strategies is Comparative education is no longer the
not to suggest that educational science and preserve of isolated researchers or teachers.
research should be s w a m p e d in everyday con- Powerful national and international groups
cerns and particular cases: perspective and develop or support research in comparative
breadth of vision are also necessary conditions. education for political and economic as well as
Basic and theoretical research as well as applied scientific ends. T h e n e w function of education,
and empirical research, together with analysis at the national and international levels, is
at both the international and the community responsible for the fresh interest being taken in
levels, are essential to the different branches of such research: governments, industry and trade
educational science. T h e guiding principle is unions are interested in finding out about
respect for reality and creativity (intellectual educational conditions in other countries be-
generosity). Anthropology, economics, soci- cause productive activities and patterns of
ology, philosophy and psychology have m a d e work organization are closely linked in these
important advances, and have been refined countries.
through the use of mathematics, statistics and The objectives of comparative research are
automated computing and information storage m a n y and varied, and this gives rise in m a n y
and retrieval, but often research findings cases to differences in terminology, approaches
fail to influence educational policies and activi- and areas of investigation. T h e scope of com-
ties. Research in education and the social parative education is also becoming broader as
sciences11 fulfils a purpose if it helps to solve new insights are gained into the realities of
the problems impeding the full utilization of education and educational activities acquire
h u m a n resources, the various forms of learning new dimensions. Possible educational reforms,
and creativity. The internationalization of such legislation, education policies and different
Problems of educational research 153

^ - ' .SL.

A n allegory illustrating Emile, Jean-Jacques Rousseau's pedagogical novel published in 1762. Edimagcs.
154 Ettore Gelpi

sectors of the education system require study; search should be associated with economics and
as also do transfers of technology and training, sociology, but frequently stops short of such
the introduction of n e w technologies in the interdisciplinarity.
educational process, intercultural education Is education hampered by the machinery of
and different forms of learning in m a n y n e w education? This hypothesis should not be dis-
educational contexts in both time and space missed, though moral judgements should be
(for example individual and collective self- avoided. T o o little research has been done for
education). us to understand the relationship between
It is, however, difficult to manage inter- demand, creativity and supply in education. It
national research because the world of insti- m a y well be found in m a n y cases that insti-
tutional education is not very communicative tutional knowledge lags behind that already
at the international level and because the facili- present in society. Research aimed at achiev-
ties for international research are characterized ing a comparative understanding of the dy-
by limited resources or constraints due to the namics of these various types of knowledge
sensitive role of education in international would m a k e it possible to renew the content of
relations. educational institutions and m a k e better use
Should comparative education be seen as of existing h u m a n resources.
instrumental in bringing about dependence, the . Individual case-histories, microplanning,
transfer of training, international co-operation micropsychology and the quality of education:
or the pooling of resources? These contra- those concerned are asked questions, but do
dictory aspects all exist side by side; hence educational sciences and research really m a k e
the fascination of comparative education and an effort to establish links between aspirations,
the variety of interpretations it offers. motivations, creativity and the political and
economic context in which educational policies
and activities are developed, and if so, how?
Forms of resistance and creativity W h o takes responsibility for studying the
in education nature of n e w forms of balance between vo-
cational and general education which will meet
The diversification and internationalization of the material and psychological needs of young
educational activity, the complexity of learning people and adults?
processes and the growing relations between The gap between generous declarations
communication and education come up against regarding education and the administrative acts
the institutional world of educational science by which they are followed is widening: the
and educational research, which is not always right to education does not seem to be a central
able to apprehend these dynamic processes and issue in educational research, still less the right
finds it only too easy from its outside position to to equality of opportunity throughout the edu-
impose priorities, research topics and evalu- cational process. T h e right to education is
ation criteria. N e w hierarchies are established affected by n e w obstacles and n e w openings in
which subordinate or relegate to the fringe the the form of the n e w guises assumed by the
research and training structures of economically social and international division of labour,14
dependent places and countries, even where the opportunities afforded by n e w technologies
such places and countries are engaged in and the multiplier effects of communication and
numerous and active educational experiments. education.
Such dependence often means that the appro-
priate educational research is not carried out,
and that conceptual approaches are projected Educational sciences
from other countries to problems that do not and researchers
exist in the country concerned.
In some cases educational research be- The crisis and the need for renewal do not
comes an end in itself, unrelated to the solving concern educational research alone, but the
of obvious problems such as illiteracy, material entirefieldof educational science. Each branch
constraints, repression and unemployment. R e - has however its o w n specific problems. In some
Problems of educational research 155

cases the difficulty lies essentially in the avail- those w h o have understood the cultural sig-
ability of research data for educational action; nificance of n e w educational projects and the
in others, the concern is to extend the field prospects they open up. But educational re-
of analysis. Let us consider, for example, the search needs researchers working in research
psychology of learning: while the theoretical institutions and those w h o are constantly in-
debate is still very open and has yielded n o volved with social, productive and political
definitive answer, at the level of applied re- realities.
search huge progress has been m a d e . However,
this has not greatly benefited educational activi-
ties designed for the general public. O n the one The forms which research can take
hand, it has already been shown to be possible
to teach automata; 15 on the other, school Relations between researchers and those w h o
pupils are frequently taught as they were in commission educational research are often
centuries past. It would be interesting to study difficult. Researchers should b e free to say
the reasons for this timelag between scientific things that are unwelcome to the political,
discovery and its application. Another example economic, administrative and academic auth-
of research findings which are not given circu- orities; those authorities should react at the
lation are those concerned with popular cre- time w h e n decisions are taken concerning edu-
ativity in educationthe educational theory cational policies and activities, not at the stage
of reproduction might be revolutionized by a w h e n hypotheses are formed, or research car-
better understanding of educational creativity.16 ried out. Useless educational research projects
In other areas of research, the concern is abound, filed away in drawers, sometimes even
not so m u c h to disseminate information as to published, which have been based o n false
extend the areas to be explored. For some and compliantly adopted hypotheses.
sections of the population, censorship or econ- Educational research is faced with n e w
omic marginality has prevented research from realities whose effect is to open up considerably
progressing. T o take the anthropology of edu- thefieldof analysis. Such facts as the access of
cation as an example, the learning and edu- n e w groups (educators and learners), the speed
cational behaviour patterns of ruling classes, or of circulation of information and instruction,
of marginal groups in productive systems, have the n e w relations between formal and n o n -
either been given little study or else studied formal education, the development of scientific
from a starting-point which, was not relevant to disciplines and the permanence of the edu-
the country concerned. cational process reveal the need for highly
But w h o are the researchers in educational varied training for researchers.
science, and w h o educates them? A r e they the Initial and continuing training for edu-
result of institutional reproduction? H a s the cational research is no different from training
exceptional development of education in the for other spheres of research: there is a need
past few decades resulted in an influx of n e w for fieldwork, laboratory work and theory, but
talent? D o e s the interaction of research with often departments of educational science and
certain official attitudes in educational systems even national research centres seem to find it
play an adverse role by keeping the most more difficult to engage infieldand laboratory
creative people at a distance? W h a t vocational work than do departments and research centres
and cultural training do these researchers need in other scientific disciplines. This perhaps
today? T h e point is that institutional edu- accounts for one of the characteristics of
cational research often reveals a somewhat self- educational research, namely, the virtually
absorbed cultural universe, relatively out unshakeable stability of teacher-training insti-
of touch with ongoing changes in productive, tutions, which never seem to be called into
social and cultural life and reluctant to accept question by the findings of research. Procla-
n e w proposals for widening thefieldof analysis. mations of faith, whether ideological, political
In the non-institutional context, educational or religious, often foreshadow and condition
research holds an attraction both for those w h o hypotheses. Perhaps the answer to this edu-
see education as a 'paying concern' and for cational conformism lies in the involvement of
156 Etlore Gelpi

researchers in the natural sciences, artists, scope of that research bears witness to a desire
technologists, craftsmen and all types of to consider education across the whole range of
workers engaged in productive activity. its manifestations. A glance at educational
T h e perdurability of educational insti- research topics, while not easy in the case of
tutions and the conservatism of teacher-train- non-formal research, is often a good indication
ing institutions paradoxically go hand in hand of the state of health and the future of a
with the extreme insecurity and instability of society. W h e n w e are faced with educational
educational research. While such research is research without significance, without expec-
often coloured by ideology, the choice of topics tations, without imagination, is the trend irre-
sometimes reflects merely fleeting concerns, versible? W h y is so m u c h attention given to
and the results cannot easily be evaluated from scientific discoveries in our time and so little to
an historical and comparative standpoint. C o n - educational discoveries? W e have only to look
stantly adding to research topics does not at the past to see that periods of transition have
preclude continuity of research concerning been the most fruitful in terms of educational
educational aspects which are present in all discoveriesand what transitions w e are wit-
educational policy and action. nessing today! It would perhaps be worth
T h e underlying hypotheses and forms of while familiarizing ourselves with ongoing
educational research (and, generally speaking, educational research and its results. Unfortu-
of research in the social sciences) reflect the nately information is often sparse in this area.
hopes and disappointments of researchers and
of the society in which they work, while, [Translated from French]
without prejudging the results, the broader


1. G . Friederichs and A . Schaff, Technology as Aids to Development, International Social Science Journal,
Microelectronics and Society, for Ljubljana, Unesco, 1984. N o . 92, 1982, pp. 348-56.
Better and for Worse, L o n d o n ,
Pergamon Press, 1982. 7. International Labour 12. S. C . D u b e , On Crisis and
Organisation, World Labour Commitment in Social Sciences, N e w
Report, 1984. Delhi, Abhinav Publications, 1983.
2. Technologie, croissance, emploi,
Paris, L a Documentation Franaise, 8. G . Lariccia, 'II calcolatore
1983. 13. T . Kennouche, M . H a d d a b and
neU'educaziorie: dall'approccio
I. Khenniche, Les jeunes ruraux et
technologico a quello
3. M . Dia, Dialogue des nations, l'cole, mythes et ralits, Algeria,
epistemolgico', Ulisse, February
Uaf, 1982.
Alger, S N E D , 1980. 1984, pp. 64-87.

9. H . M . Levin and 14. Various authors, 'Education

4. T h e World B a n k , World permanente et division
Development Report, 1984. R. W . Rumberger, The
Educational Implications of High internationale du travail', Education
Technology, Stanford, Calif., et socit, N o . 6, April-May 1984.
5. V . N . Shubkin, Education and
National Institute of Education,
Careers for Young People, Paper 15. A . Bonnet, L'intelligence
Stanford University, 1983.
presented at the tenth International artificielle, promesses et ralits,
Congress of Sociology, Mexico City, 10. H . Makler, A . Martinelli and Paris, Interditions, 1984.
1982. N . Smelser, The New International
Economy, L o n d o n , Sage, 1982. 16. J. C . Tedesco, Reproductivismo
6. A . Kornahauser and educativo y sectores populares en
J. G . Richardson (ed.), Teaching 11. Z h a o F u San, 'Social Science Amrica latina, Caracas, C L A C S O ,
and Popularizing Science and and China's Modernization', 1983.
The political economy of education

Martin Carnoy

Traditional economics of education emphasizes countries. W h a t is the relation between the

the role that education plays in altering indi- state, the private production sectors, and edu-
vidual characteristics, altering the position cation in capitalist societies? A n d that between
of the individual in the labour market, and in- the state and various social class groups? A n d
creasing the economy's capacity to produce. that between the state and the educational
The focus of such views is to estimate the bureaucracy it created? A n d that between state
'universal' relations between competitively de- economic planning and the educational bu-
termined wage rates, individual decisions about reaucracy in socialist societies? T h e w a y in
schooling, and the effects of these decisions which the state provides education m a y have
on the economy as a whole. a lot to do with intergenerational mobility
The political economy of education, on the and changes in the distribution of income over
other hand, treats education as a factor shaped time. Thus, understanding the process of public
by the power relations between different investment in education is necessary to any
economic, political and social groups. H o w political economy theory of education and
m u c h education an individual gets, what edu- economic change.
cation is obtained and the role of education in Political economists (Carnoy, 1974; Bowles
economic growth and income distribution are and Gintis, 1976; Carnoy, 1980; Carnoy and
part and parcel of these power relations. For Levin, 1985), political sociologists (Offe, 1980;
political economists, no study of the edu- Lenhardt, 1979; Weiler, 1980) and even phil-
cational system can be separated from some osophers (Althusser, 1971) have m a d e the state
explicit or implicit analysis of the purpose and a primary focus of analysing education-econ-
functioning of the government sector. Since o m y relations. In that discussion, the state in
power is expressed at least in part through a capitalist economies is seen, in one form or
society's political system, any political economy another, as mediating between the needs of e m -
model of educational change has behind it a ployers to increase profits and workers w h o want
carefully thought out theory of the functioning to increase wages and be employed in better
of governmentwhat w e shall refer to as a jobs. In order for the democratic state to be
'theory of the state'. legitimate, it must give in to the demands of
The state is and has been for a long the mass of voting workers; but to maintain
time intimately involved in trying to develop, its revenue base and the basis of its social func-
expand, and control formal schooling in most tion, the state must also reproduce the domi-

Martin Carnoy is Professor at the School of Education, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-2384, United
States. H e has published widely on economics, political economy and sociology of education, including Education as
Cultural Imperialism (1984) and, together with H . M . Levin, Schooling and Work in the Democratic State (1985).
158 Martin Carnoy

nance of the capital owners and managers over the dominant group's 'cultural arbitrary': a
the investment and production process. In this system of values, norms and languages.
context, education plays a variety of roles: it Bourdieu and Passeron's analysis provides
supplies skills for production and makes poss- a number of important insights into the edu-
ible the allocation of skills to various kinds of cational system and the process of teaching
jobs; it socializes youth to work in particular and selection, especially with regard to the
ways and to accept the work system; and it also 'class' nature of that process. They suggest a dif-
inculcates a general ideology in the population ferent kind of understanding of the relation
which promotes the existing production system between an idealized, meritocratic school and
and the political process as fair and rational. the reality of w h o gets to higher levels of
Yet, as Carnoy and Levin (1985) suggest, this schooling and into higher-paying jobs. Yet,
reproductive role can also be the source of from the standpoint of the development of a
contradiction for the economic and political general political economy model there are a
process; for example, young people m a y be- number of difficulties with this analysis.
c o m e 'overeducated' for existing jobs (Rumber- First, there is no discussion of the source of
ger, 1981) or school idealizations of an equi- power relations. W e learn that the 'dominant
table and just society m a y be taken seriously by group' is able to use the school system to
youth and translated into demands o n the reproduce its power. But where did the domi-
workplace and on politicians. nant group get its power in thefirstplace? T h e
T h e political economy of education, there- implication of the analysis is that the source of
fore, explains the education-economy relation power is power itself: being dominant allows
in the context of conflicting power relations and you to reproduce your dominance through the
the playing out of these conflicts in the state. It institutions of society that you control because
is not unusual, then, that political economists you are dominant. It gives you control over
are similarly concerned with the issue of edu- knowledge, learning, attitudes and values.
cation's role in economic and social inequality. Neither does resistance to power by the sub-
In our survey of specific topics, w e emphasize ordinate classes have any base but resistance
political economic writings that deal with edu- itself. Resistance is implicit only, appearing
cation, social mobility, earnings distribution, solely in the fact that the schools are accepted
and discrimination. But before turning to these by the working class against its o w n 'interest'.
specific topics, w e can better illustrate the This theory of relations between groups has
political economy approaches to education by repercussions for Bourdieu and Passeron's
analysing the several general models that have characterization of education; school is seen
appeared recently in the subject literature. as part of increased domination with a re-
duction of physical violencethe internaliz-
ation of repression and the substitution of
symbolic for real violence. Working class con-
General approaches to the
sent to domination is assumed and explained
political economy of education
by the pedagogical authority and autonomy
of the schools. Nowhere is evidence presented
For the French institutional functionalists, that the working class has in fact accepted a
Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron class-based schooling or a dominant class.
(1977), the principal function of schooling is to Nor are other forms of repressionopenly
reproduce the hierarchical relations between violent forms which complement the more
different groups or classes in the society and to ideological nature of the schoolsdiscussed.
legitimize those relations. T h e raison d'tre of
formal education is to reproduce the existing This difficulty leads to a second problem:
power relationsthe domination of one group this analysis has n o dynamic. W e are left
over othersfrom generation to generation without an understanding of h o w the system
without having to use violence. T h e principal changes. Reform occurs, but the operation of
means to achieve this reproduction is through the school system is fundamentally the same.
the system of teaching, and the language used W h y did the reform occur in the first place?
as the basis of communication in the schools is W h y the necessity to mystify the real power
The political economy of education 159

i i


tj'A^W^4mt|r|^t).^^^femta''vet' vuc&S>iittfti! ,
' ^ 0> t
i pm''fhtwd^i 'Msmmm du^dk^fi^m fcx^xlt, faux s
mim 4*^ w 4 iftttfst imicfiw-Tttixfmftt{:h\ifi*ci<ipet<.u&<p

A n early illustration of relations between political power and education: the French King Philippe II Auguste
(1180-1223) grants thefirstroyal privilege to teachers and students. Bibliothque de la Sorbonne, Paris.

relations in society and the function of the the school system to reproduce this re-
schools? Is this necessity simply a function of lation of dominating-dominated, but the
the dominant group need to reduce physical group or class which does this is not an
violence? abstraction in capitalist society, it is the
T h e assumption of power expressed bourgeoisie which dominates other groups
through institutions, fundamental to the insti- and the bourgeoisie's power is rooted in
tutionalist-functionalist view, makes schooling their economic position as the owners of
itself a definer of the class structure. A Marxian capital and controllers of investment. In
analysis rejects this assumption. Schools are not this view, the schoolwhich is outside the
a 'subject' of power; institutions themselves are production systemis fundamental to the
not considered the 'creator' of class hierarchical reproduction of capitalists' dominant pos-
relations. T h e power structure is defined by the ition, primarily through the inculcation of
system of production, outside the school sys- dominant ideology.
tem; education then reflects class relations Baudelot and Establet suggest, however, that
inherent in the w a y commodities are produced. working class pupils d o not fully accept
A structuralist Marxian alternative to this attempt by the dominant class to
Bourdieu and Passeron is found in the work of impose its ideology; that is, the working
Baudelot and Establet (1972). While agreeing class does resist in the schools. This
with m u c h of what Bourdieu and Passeron say provides the beginning of a dynamic which
about education as a reproductive institution, is absent from Bourdieu and Passeron's
Baudelot and Establet's interpretation differs work.
on two essential points: Rather than speaking of institutional-func-
They describe French power relations in terms tionalist inequalities in the school system,
of their material base. Thus, they consider Baudelot and Establet argue that these are
that one class dominates others and uses contradictions in the schools: 'inevitable contra-
160 Martin Carnoy

dictions in the functioning of the school appar- mental skills it supplies students and for which
atus in which the existence of two types of employers pay in the labor market' (1976,
schooling, camouflaged as the single school, is p. 9). Rather, they argue that the relation
the evident proof (1972, p. 312). between the economy and education must be
M y o w n work (Carnoy, 1974) was the first traced through schooling's effect on 'conscious-
attempt to understand the spread of Western ness, interpersonal behavior, and personality it
educational systems into the Third World within fosters and reinforces in students' (ibid., p. 9);
the context of a critical political economy therefore, any explanation of what schooling
analysis. Using a structuralist framework, I does depends on understanding the economy.
showed that Western education developed in In the United States understanding the econ-
India, Africa, and Latin America as an exten- o m y means grasping the essential elements of
sion of colonial and neo-colonial relations capitalism. A n d this understanding means deal-
between the metropolitan country and the ing with the social process of extracting surplus
periphery. A s part of direct colonialism in India from workers, a process which is 'inherently
and West Africa, British and French education antagonistic and always potentially explosive'.
for their colonial subjects was limited by the There are three principal implications of
prescribed role of colonial economies in the their interpretation. First, the all-important
international division of labour and the pre- point that the dominant group in the ruling
scribed role of the subjects in administering class turns to the superstructure to attenuate
that division. conflict in the base structure, but that the class
In free trade colonialism in nineteenth conflict in the superstructure is not particularly
century Latin America, the n e w economic successful in influencing the shape of the
relationship between the periphery and the educational systemneither its organization
metropolitan country allowed for more flexi- nor its content.
bility, but educational expansion was still deter- Second, Bowles and Gintis put primary
mined by that relationship. emphasis on the reproductive function of
This 'determinism' is an important defect schools in all the different stages of capitalist
of the analysis. In practice, I n o w believe that development in the United States. Repro-
there was and is m o r e autonomy of local actors duction is defined as the reproduction of
(missionaries, local educators and, later, inde- labour powerthe allocation of skilled labour
pendent peripheral states) than m y analysis to different parts of the hierarchy based on
allowed for. Yet the analysis was correct in pupil workers' social class backgroundand
arguing that actors in the periphery and metro- the reproduction of the relations of production.
politan country are bounded by the structure of Thus, the reproduction of economic inequality
their relationships and the international div- and the legitimation of that inequality, as well
ision of labour. S o m e m a y want to change that as the legitimation of capitalist relations in
structure through education, but there has to be production, receive top billing in the role
a conscious knowledge of and attack on the played by education.
structure to do so. Third, Bowles and Gintis are more con-
Bowles and Gintis' work on education in vincing w h e n analysing the correspondence of
the United States (1976), is the best example to the economic sector (structure) and the edu-
date of political economy of education applied cational system (superstructure) than w h e n
to a national educational system. They present analysing contradictions in the superstructure
a model which analyses educational reform as a and its implications for the base. The principal
function of capitalist developmentof changes purpose of their work, indeed, is to show the
in the production sector. Such changes in close connection between changes in the econ-
production, themselves a result of class conflict, o m y and changes in education, to focus on the
determine the subsequent changes in the w a y close links between changes in capitalist re-
schooling is called upon to reproduce the lations in production and educational reform.
relations of production. Bowles and Gintis But if the contradictions in superstructure
explicitly reject non-Marxist explanations of are essential to understanding capitalist crises
education's economic role in terms of 'the that is, if the state and its apparatuses are
The political economy of education 161

Graduation day at an American university. Carticr-Bresson.

also subject to class strugglethen struggle in paid particular attention to the relation be-
the schools can serve directly the process of tween education and economic output and to
change, and it is even conceivable that schools the inequality of educational opportunity. In
in a capitalist society could become largely pursuing these concerns, it has m a d e its more
dysfunctional to capitalist reproduction. Bowles important contribution in analysing education
and Gintis' analysis does not discuss this possi- in relation to its economic value, its allocation
bility, even though in theory their model allows of economic roles, its links with social class,
for it. Because of their emphasis on the close income distribution, and discrimination. Let us
ties between capitalist production relations and consider each of these in turn.
school reform, they lose sight of the possibility
that superstructure m a y gain in the process an The economic value of education
autonomy that allows it to become a focus of
struggle which challenges the structure itself. In the mid-1950s, the interest in expenditures
This could have implications for production, or on education as a possible source of increasing
at least for the nature of the labour-capital output grew out of the failure of traditional
conflict in the production sector. theories of developmentin which inputs were
defined as homogeneous labour and capitalto
Specific topics in the political e c o n o m y explain m o r e than about half of the total
of education increase in economic output during a given
growth period. Early works on education and
W e can n o w turn from these general ap- economic development, therefore, concentrated
proaches in the political economy of education on establishing education as an input into
to more specific topics. Political economy has the growth processa form of increasing the
162 Marlin Carnoy

productive quality of labour. In the earliest M a n y political economists thought that it was
work by Robert Solow (1957), the 'residual' of not. The concept that the correlation of school-
unexplained growth was ascribed to techno- ing with earnings reflects a causal relation
logical change, but later this general term was between schooling as an investment good and
broken d o w n to include improvements in the the higher productivity of labour was not
quality of capital (Denison 1962; Griliches and universally agreed upon.
Jorgenson, 1966) and the investment in h u m a n It is possible that the principal function of
beings (Schultz, 1959, 1961). In a series of schooling in economic growth lies in its legit-
pioneering studies, Schultz developed the idea imation of the existing or emerging social
that expenditures on education were not pri- order. The acceptance by the masses of a par-
marily consumption but rather an investment ticular social structure could have a positive
in the increased capacity of labour to produce effect on economic output. However, if the ac-
material goods. Hence formal schooling was at cepted economic organization (accepted in part
least in part an investment in h u m a n capital, an because schools have helped to m a k e it legit-
investment with economic yield in terms of imate) is maximizing not the total output but
higher product per worker, holding physical only the income of certain groups, schooling
capital constant. could have a negative effect on economic
H u m a n capital theory ultimately provided growth.
a rationale for a massive expansion of schooling Schooling probably does all of these things,
in the developing countries: if expenditures on but the main discussion centres on which of
such schooling contributed to economic growth, these functions best characterizes schooling's
educational planners argued, governments role (Blaug, 1972). The question is not so m u c h
could satisfy the demands for schooling while whether schooling contributes to growth, but
contributing to the overall material growth of h o w m u c h it contributes. It is clear that w h e n
the economy. dealing with measures, such as rate of return,
In the second wave of empirical work on based on individual observations, w e are pick-
education as h u m a n capital, the cost of invest- ing up relationships between individual charac-
ment in education was related to the increase in teristics and income, which are rather indepen-
income (used as a proxy for productivity) dent of schooling (social class, ambition, cul-
realized on average by individuals in the labour ture) in the sense of preceding it, yet which m a y
force. This rate of return on educational spend- be correlated with it. Although there is little
ing showed h o w m u c h education was worth doubt that productivity can rise with increases
economically compared with other possible of physical capital per worker, holding h u m a n
public and private investments in a particular capital constant, does productivity of labour
economy. A s a subproduct of these studies, rise over time if h u m a n capital is increased but
s o m e analysts such as myself (Carnoy, 1967) for physical capital per worker is held constant?
Mexico, and Hanoch (1967) for the United A possible argument based on the legit-
States, measured functions that relate indi- imation hypothesis is that as h u m a n capital in
vidual earnings to years of schooling, age, and the labour force is increased in a society that
other variables. Such functions, unlike the economically and politically favours those with
earlier rate-of-return studies, enabled analysts higher incomes, no matter what happens to
to isolate the part of earnings differences that physical capital per person employed, better-
could b e attributed directly to schooling differ- educated workers are able to keep their wages
ences, correcting for on-the-job training and higher relative to their productivity than less-
parents' social class background. educated workers, because the better educated
Psacharopoulos' work (1973) summarized are closer to members of economically powerful
most of the rate-of-return studies done in the groups than are those with less education. The
1960s and early 1970s. All these studies indi- fact that as education expands secularly relative
cated that the payoff to formal schooling as to physical capital growth, rates of return to
it exists in developing, countries is positive and education fallfirstfor lower levels of school-
even large, implying an important contribution ing, then for progressively higher levels, lends
to economic growth. W a s this research correct? support to this argument (Carnoy 1972; Carnoy
The political economy of education 163

and Marenbach, 1975). Eventually, of course, a m o n g the labour force, but the pattern of
even rates to university education fall if physi- investment a m o n g individuals and groups
cal capital per employed person is expanding would be important in determining w h o re-
slowly relative to investment in education, but ceived the share of output going to labour.
within university education divisions appear Lester T h u r o w and Robert Lucas (1972)
which still ensure high returns to certain kinds contended that education and training are not
of training and the groups that receive it important factors in determining potential pro-
(Carnoy, 1978; Psacharopoulos, 1980). ductivity of workers because productivity is an
attribute of jobs, not of people. Jobs associated
Education as an allocator of economic roles with modern capital equipment are high pro-
ductivity jobs, and workers queue u p for them.
The h u m a n capital approach is based on the Once a worker is hired, the cognitive skills
concept that the correlation of schooling with necessary to raise his or her productivity to the
earnings reflects a causal relation between productivity of the job are learned through
schooling as an investment good and the higher formal and informal training programmes. The
productivity of labour. Sophisticated statistical chief criterion which employers use in selecting
analysisBlau and Duncan (1967), Duncan, workers for jobs is 'trainability', in that those
Featherman and Duncan (1972), for example w h o possess background characteristics which
indicated that even when the parents' edu- employers feel reduce costs for training go to
cation and occupation (highly correlated with the head of the queue and receive the best work.
family income) were accounted for, an indi- The 'queue' concept of education in the
vidual's schooling still provided a significant labour market sees the correlation between
explanation of occupational position and schooling and earnings as unrelated to any
earnings. This implies that additional schooling specific knowledge that schooling imparts to
is a factor in additional earnings even when an workers which makes them more productive;
adjustment is m a d e for a possible correlation schooling rather provides a convenient device
between the socio-economic family position for employers to identify those workers w h o
and children's schooling. Although this did not can be trained m o r e easily, based it seems
prove that schooling was not primarily a con- primarily on non-cognitive values and norms
sumption good, it strengthened the argument acquired by students as they progress in school.
that there was a direct relation between school- Is this a contribution to worker productivity?
ing and earnings (more schooling leading to O r is it a subsidy to employers to m a k e it easier
higher earnings) that had to be explained in for them to select workers for various jobsa
some way. transfer of resources from the public sector to
But, even if more schooling leads to higher owners f capital?
earnings for the individual, does this m e a n Similarly, A r r o w (1972) suggested that
that increasing schooling produces higher pro- schooling m a y act as a mechanism to filter
ductivity? D o earnings equal productivity? 'desirable' from 'less desirable' employees. The
Vaizey (1961) and others were willing to con- screening hypothesis and the queue concept
cede that the individual saw schooling as an both implied that education did not contribute
investment, i.e. that he or she correctly ex- directly to economic growth but served as a
pected to earn more by going further in means to sort people for jobs, higher and lower
school, but that this did not necessarily imply productivity jobs paying higher and lower
that schooling actually produced more aggregate wages. Although some economists argued that
output. Education could be an allocator of the screening did in fact contribute to higher output
share of output going to labour, assigning more' because it m a d e employers' labour search costs
earnings to those with more schooling, and less lower, Arrow showed that such a transfer to
earnings to those with less, even though the employers m a d e the economy no better off.
marginal product of both groups could be ap- This took the discussion back to the level of
proximately equal. In that model, higher in- determining whether there were persuasive
vestment by society in schooling would not reasons to believe that education contributed
necessarily produce more goods for distribution directly to higher worker productivity or
164 Marlin Camay

whether it was primarily a sorter of individuals Bowles (1975) and Gintis (1971) c o m p -
for differentially paying jobs. lemented this perspective; they suggested that
T h e argument for schooling contributing to young people were allocated different occu-
growth lay in the productivity-raising skills that pations and earnings largely on the basis of
schooling allegedly provides to students as their parents' social class (income, occupation,
potential workers. Unlike the queue theory, in education) and that the principal function of
which more schooling m a d e students more schooling was to legitimize the reproduction of
trainable as workers, the screening argument the unequal class structure through a faade of
rested on the certificates awarded to students as meritocracy. Thus, the Bowles-Gintis view
they went further in school. For the screen contended that schooling was more than a
to function, some type of criteria have to be screening device for labour as an input to
used, but these need not be cognitive, pro- production (a benefit to employers as entrepre-
ductivity-raising, or even based on trainability. neurs); it was an institution which served
Segmentation theory goes further: in its employers' class interest in perpetuating the
most technical version, it reinforces queue capitalist social hierarchy. In this view, the
theory, arguing that wages are a function of the growth function of schooling is not rejected;
kind of technology used in particular industries, Bowles and Gintis argue that there is a cogni-
and that there are barriers to entry into the tive component to schooling, but that this
high-pay, high-technology jobs. This is the cognitive component is overshadowed by the
dual labour market theory (Doeringer and importance of class values and norms in school
Piore, 1971). Labour markets in the high- output and in assigning groups of individuals to
technology industries have different promotion various economic roles. But as I have pointed
rules, different payoffs to schooling, different out (Carnoy, 1974), the function of schooling as
rules, etc., to the low-pay, low-technology an ideological arm of the state, reinforcing and
industries. In the Marxian version of the reproducing the social structure, m a y have a
, theory, segmentation is the product of capitalist negative effect on economic growth, since it
development and the class struggle between places priority on distribution of power (profit)
labour and capital; segmentation of the labour and on hierarchical rules rather than on maxi-
force is a structure of the labour market which mization of output.
develops as part of capital's attempts to ex-
tract increased surplus through a more sophisti- Education and social class
cated division of labour (Reich, Gordon and
Edwards, 1973, 1982; Carter and Carnoy, 1974; The literature on screening, queue theory, and
Rumberger and Carnoy, 1980; Rosenberg, labour market segmentation indicates that
1975). In both versions, wages are structured schooling m a y designate w h o gets the high-and
by the nature of jobs and job differentiation, low-paying jobs in an economy. But the vari-
on the. type of capital associated with each ation of income among jobs in that concept
job, not by the h u m a n capital characteristics of of the role of schooling would not be affected
workers in the jobs. Indeed, there is a subset by the distribution of schooling in a society;
of studies within segmentation analysis which income distribution is a function of the types of
estimates the low increase in employment jobs available and the incomes attached to
probability and wages of those in 'secondary' those jobs. Bowles and Gintis' (1976) repro-
(menial, repetitive, low-wage) jobs as a duction of the class structure argument also
result of education arid training programmes implies a distribution role for schooling, primar-
(Harrison, 1972; Rumberger and Carnoy, ily in maintaining groups of people in the same
1980; Levin, 1979). These studies suggest that relative income position from generation to
the 1960s W a r on Poverty programmes in the generation.
United States were not successful because they
incorrectly assumed that poverty could be In order to clarify these relationships and
reduced by marginal increases in the skills of the our knowledge of them, the discussion should
poor, when in fact the job market itself is be divided into two parts: (a) the effect of
m u c h more crucial in explaining wage structure. education on inter-generational changes in
relative income position (mobility), and
The political economy of education 165

The School of Freedom, in Richmond, Virginia, where Miss Cooke educated black children liberated after the
American Civil W a r (1861-65). Edimages.

(b) education's relation to intragenerational status seems to be largely explained by edu-

changes in income distribution. cational attainment, not by parents' social
Thefirstof these issues has been the object status. If these results are correct, schooling ap-
of m a n y studies, particularly by sociologists pears to increase mobility, even w h e n parents'
(Floud, Halsey and Martin, 1957; Havighurst social class background is accounted for, both
and Gouveia, 1969; Jencks et al., 1972; Sewell in explaining h o w m u c h schooling is received
and Huser, 1974). In the United States, Sewell and in the income equation.
and Huser found that the educational and Samuel Bowles (1972) argued that such
occupational status of parents is highly corre- studies generally underestimate the effect of
lated with children's educational attainment, social class on present earnings and occu-
but that while the overall effect of parents' pational status relative to the effect of school-
status and income is the most important single ing on those variables, for two reasons:
variable explaining the child's current income, 1. There is a bias in remembering parents'
the child's educational attainment is almost as education and occupation relative to the
important, and the overall explainability of amount of schooling a person received.
earnings variation by parents' socio-economic People with high education tend to re-
status, and child's I Q and educational attain- m e m b e r their parents as having less edu-
ment is very low (less than 10 per cent). This cation and lower-status occupations than
argument was also presented in Jencks' study. they actually had, and those with less
O n the other hand, a person's occupational schooling tend to remember their parents
166 Martin Carnoy

as having higher education and status than determining h o w much schooling a person gets.
they actually had, thus reducing the vari- Schooling to an important degree appears to
ance in social class relative to the variance reflect the social class of a person's parents, and
of the education of the person interviewed. legitimizes the passing of that social position
2. T h e parents' education and occupation is from one generation to the next. The relation
only a proxy for their class position; varies from country to country; w e tend to
parents' income and wealth are better believe that this role of schooling is more
predictors of the effect of social class and pronounced in Latin America, for example,
child's earnings than parents' education than in Africa, where multiple social structures
or occupation. T h e work of William H . still exist (tribal versus colonial). But even in
Sewell and Robert M . Huser (1974) on Africa, as Mwaniki's work indicates, new social
Wisconsin data bear out this contention. structures based, on European-type peasant/
In low income countries, the effect of schooling worker/urban/bourgeois divisions are devel-
on earnings appears to be greater than in the oping rapidly.
United States (Psacharopoulos, 1973; Carnoy
et al., 1979), but very few of the low income Education and income distribution
country studies carry out an analysis where the
effect of parents' social class background is The role of schooling in intragenerational
related to both child's school attainment and variation in income is m u c h more complex. A s
child's income. In cases where this is done, the early as the mid-1950s Kuznets argued in his
results indicate that the effect of schooling on 1955 Presidential Address to the American
earnings is m u c h greater than in the United Economic Association that he felt that the
States. Also, schooling and social class vari- distribution of income became more equalized
ables together explain a higher fraction of as an economy reached higher levels of income
variance in low income countries. In the per capita (see also Kuznets, 1959; Mincer,
studies where the social class of parents vari- 1958). O n e of the main reasons for this equal-
able does not enter, schooling alone as an ex- ization, in Kuznet's view, was the higher edu-
plainer of earnings is more important than cation of the labour force in higher-income
in American estimates. economies. In other words, an increased level
These results lead us to believe that, m u c h of schooling in the labour force contributes to a
more than in high income countries, schooling more equal distribution of earnings.
and socio-economic background variables in In part, Kuznets came to this conclusion
developing economies are together highly re- because he felt that a more educated labour
lated to earnings and occupational position. In force is m o r e likely to agitate politically for a
other words, there appears to be less of a more equal wage structure, but there are also
chance factor in a person attaining his or her good economic reasons in the neo-classical
economic position in the low income situation. framework for believing that a higher average
Although there is not very m u c h infor- level of schooling will contribute to a lower
mation on whether the parents' social class in variance in earnings. If there is a direct connec-
low income countries is important in explaining tion between education and productivity, and
the amount of schooling received by children, between productivity and earnings, raising the
recent work in Brazil indicates that the parents' average level of schooling could eventually
social class explains about 50 per cent of the reduce the variance of years in schooling in the
variance in individual educational attainment labour force. There probably is an upper limit
(Belloni and Vasquez, 1975). Other work in on h o w m u c h schooling people would be willing
Kenya also shows a high correlation between to take, since there are fewer and fewer years in
paternal income and the amount and kind of which to collect increased earnings from such
schooling taken (Mwaniki, 1973). A s far as additional schooling, and since governments
intergenerational mobility is concerned, there- seem increasingly committed to providing a
fore, schooling undoubtedly contributes in de- minimum level of schooling to its young popu-
veloping societies to such mobility, but parents' lation, with that m i n i m u m rising as the aver-
social class seems to be very influential in age level of schooling in the labour force rises.
The political economy of education 167

These two effects reduce the variance of year (1965/66) w h e n the Brazilian Government
schooling in the labour force over time and intervened directly in the wage structure by
should, if the connection between education, holding wages fixed during an inflationary
productivity and earnings holds, also reduce period, and allowing salaries of higher paid
the variance in productivity and hence earnings. workers to rise more rapidly than prices.
The reduction in the variance of schooling in Although no other country has had an empirical
the labour force can be affected directly by con- debate of this sort, data for Chile (Johnston,
centrating investment in lower levels of 1973; Frank, 1975) also indicate that changes in
schooling (Fishlow, 1973). In any case, varying the distribution of schooling during the 1960s
the distribution of schooling in the labour apparently had a negligible effect on income
force should have a direct effect on the dis- distribution, while direct government wage
tribution of earnings if the causal connection policy during three successive regimes signifi-
between these two variables really exists. cantly increased inequality from 1966 to 1970,
In his study of the drastic decrease in reduced inequality from 1970 to 1973, and
income equality in Brazil between 1960 and drastically increased inequality from 1973 to
1970, Langoni (1973) explains the change in 1975.
precisely this w a y : the distribution became United States data, furthermore, point to
more unequal in part because the distribution unemployment as a key factor in income
of schooling became more unequalBrazilian distribution, apparently more important than
university education expanded much more either the level of education or its distribution
rapidly than primary school education. Indeed, (Chiswick and Mincer, 1972). T h e fact that
Langoni goes along with Kuznets on another employment (number of days worked annually)
implicit assumption, m a d e explicit in Langoni's is a function of policies (business cycles, the
work; not only, was the change in distribution of direct intervention of the state in fiscal and
schooling partly responsible for the change in monetary policy, even direct controls over
earnings distribution, but the pattern of the investment and employment) which have little
expansion of education was a 'natural' phenom- to do with schooling, again suggests that the
enon in the economic growth process.. So, just distribution of income, while possibly related to
as Kuznet uses natural phenomena in the the distribution of education in the labour
economic growth process to predict an evol- force, is m o r e closely related to government
ution to more equal income distribution, Lan- macroeconomic strategy with regard to income
goni uses them to explain an increasingly policies. If a government is dedicated to ensur-
unequal income distribution. ing full employment and reducing the variance
But if productivity is primarily a function of earnings in the labour force as part of its
of jobs, not a characteristic of workers, as in development policy, as in Israel and Sweden, for
the queue and segmentation theories, the effect example, the income distribution will be more
on income distribution of changing the distri- equal than in economies where the government
bution of schooling in the labour force should is primarily concerned with shifting income to
be negligible. It would be the job or income professionals and administrators, as in Brazil
structure itself which would have to be changed and Mexico, a m o n g others. It is likely that, in
in order to influence income distribution. E d u - both cases, educational investment will be
cation would serve to allocate people to jobs oriented to the overall incomes policy (although
with various earnings attached to them. In cases in Chile between 1964 and 1973 it was not), so
where their distribution was highly unequal, the it m a y not be possible to separate the effect of
value of additional schooling would be high, education from the direct intervention of the
and in cases where their distribution was more state. Nevertheless in the studies w e have cited
equal, the value of additional schooling would education seems to play a rather limited role.
be correspondingly lower. Again in a Brazilian It is important to note that in most of the
study, Malan and Wells (1973) present evi- literature o n both intergenerational and intra-
dence that the increased inequality of Brazilian generational education in relation to earnings,
incomes did not occur during the rapid growth the dependent variable being discussed is wages
period of the late 1960s, but rather in a single and salaries (earnings), not income. But wages
168 Martin Carnoy

and salaries represent only a fraction of the between blacks and whites or w o m e n and m e n
total product of the economy, 65 to 75 per cent (Becker, 1957; Smith and Welch, 1977, 1978;
in the United States (Kuznets, 1959; Machlup, Freeman, 1974; Mincer and Polachek, 1974;
1963); 70 to 75 per cent in Western Europe Fuchs, 1974).
(Denison and Poullier, 1967); and perhaps as According to Becker, racism is fundamen-
low as 50 per cent or less in Latin America. tally a problem of race and attitudes. Whites are
Even if changing the distribution of wages and defined as having a 'taste for discrimination' if
salaries through an educational policy could they are willing to forfeit income in order to be
work, therefore, it would affect less than three- associated with other whites instead of blacks.
fifths of the total income distribution in Since white employees and employers prefer
low income countries unless other measures not to associate with blacks, they require a
were taken to equalize wealth. Similarly, m a k - monetary compensation for the psychic cost of
ing the access to wages and salaries less such an association. Becker tries to show that
dependent on paternal education and earnings white employers losefinanciallyfrom discrimi-
through making access to education more nation while white workers gain. Smith and
equal for various groups, for examplewould Welch, on the other hand, explain converging
probably have little effect on the access to non- incomes of blacks and whites in the post-war
wage and salary income derived from period (particularly since 1964) by converging
capital wealth (land and physical capital). quantity and quality of the black educational
While there are large variations in wage and experience. Thus, discrimination is not dis-
salary income in every non-socialist country, crimination at all, but the logical result of dif-
these variations are considerably smaller than ferences in h u m a n capital. A s h u m a n capital
the distribution of all income (which includes converges, productivity and hence earning
income from physical wealth). equalize. They disagree with Freeman's findings
that the main influence on the increasing
black/white earnings ratio since 1964 was re-
Education and discrimination
duced discrimination. Levin (1979) supports
Freeman and questions the h u m a n capital
In the United States, income distribution and
interpretation on three grounds:
mobility issues are closely tied to racial and
sexual discrimination. T h e political economy of 1. Convergence in educational patterns be-
education has considered discrimination an im- tween the races has taken place for at least
portant area of study, particularly in assessing the last fifty years, yet convergence in
the degree of discrimination itself; changes income is a relatively recent phenomenon.
in the relative incomes of blacks and whites or 2. Returns to college education have risen for
w o m e n and m e n , and the role that education blacks relative to whites in the post-1964
plays in those changes; and estimating the period, but the opposite has happened
relation between education and female partici- for returns to elementary and secondary
pation in the labour force. education, which seriously questions the
Discussion of these issues has run closely h u m a n capital hypothesis.
parallel to the discussion of the relation 3. The black/white income ratio rose for older
between education and productivity. T h e race as well as younger workers, indicating that
discrimination discussion has been summarised even those whose schooling experience did
by Marshall (1974), Levin (1979) and Reich not change were affected by the general
(1981); while a summary of women's labour trend of the 1960s and early 1970s.
force participation and wage discrimination 'Rather, the improvements in the black/
discussion can be found in Standing (1978) and white earnings ratio were pervasive and
A m s d e n (1980). Those analysts w h o assume the shift appears to have been an abrupt
that productivity is a function of h u m a n capital one coinciding with the intense civil rights
characteristics have also stressed that race and activity and passage of major civil rights
sex discrimination can be explained largely by legislation in the early and middle sixties'
a combination of employer profit-maximizing (Levin, 1979, p. 107).
behaviour and h u m a n capital differences If the issue is discrimination and not h u m a n
The political economy of education 169

capital, does this m e a n that Becker's 'taste for Similarly, social mobility is not a function of
discrimination' has been reduced? Reich (1981) individual decisions, but of the social class
contends, as does Levin, that it is not 'taste' (an structure and the job structure, again a
exogenous factor) which has been changed, but function of social and political conflicts. Income
that increased struggle by blacks changed the distribution does not depend primarily on the
political possibilities for exploiting black wor- distribution of individual characteristics, but o n
kers more than whites. H e sees racism (dis- the division of labour, the m i n i m u m wage, and
crimination) rooted in the economic system the wage structure, all subject to conflict
and not in 'exogenously-determined attitudes'. between capital and labour in the economy and
Reich shows, in his exhaustive study, that the the state. Finally, discrimination is explained in
economic consequences of racism are not only capitalism as part of the labour-capital conflict,
lower incomes for blacks, but also higher but overlaid by non-class power relationsin
incomes for employers coupled with lower this case, racial and patriarchal relationships.
incomes for white workersexactly the op- Thus, the analysis of discrimination rests on an
posite of Becker's findings. understanding of class conflict combined with
W a g e discrimination against w o m e n is other power relations that pre-date capitalist
the subject of a similar debate. Mincer and classes but are shared by them.
Polachek (1974) argue that m u c h of the differ- Education's role in these conflicts is ines-
ence in wages between m e n and w o m e n can be capably shaped by them as they are manifested
explained by differences in work histories in the organization of the state. This is where
and by differences in job investment and de- political economy most differs from traditional
preciation. Thus, years of work experience h u m a n capital theory: for it is the assumption
differ significantly a m o n g the m e n and w o m e n that the state and education are inseparable
of 30 to 44 years old in their sample (19.4 from inequitable power relations in the 'private'
years for m e n , 15.6 years for single w o m e n , economy that directly opposes the h u m a n
and 9.6 years for married w o m e n ) . capital assumptions of education's neutrality in
However, other analysts see the pro- the context of a 'neutral' state.
g r a m m e from a segmented labour market, or W e are fairly certain therefore that in-
occupational segregation, point of view (Berg- creased schooling in the labour force con-
m a n n , 1974; Chiplin and Sloane, 1974). In tributes to productivity and that reducing the
these analyses, w o m e n are limited in their variance of school investment in the labour
occupational choice by employers and by male force reduces income inequality, but both of
workers and wages are 'customarily' lower in these important economic/social considerations
'women's occupations'. Thus it is not h u m a n m a y be rather irrelevant to actual educational
capital differences but labour market conditions spending decisions in a given society. E d u -
which set lower wages. This position corre- cation is part of the public sectorthe state
sponds to the queue and segmentation view of and reflects state policies. These policies, in
education and labour markets. turn, are influenced by political/social power
conflicts. Education as such has become import-
Educational expansion ant as a symbol of progress and of individual
and political legitimacy success. It is prestigious to be m o r e schooled,
W h e r e does all this leave us? T h e political as well as materially rewarding. If there is
economy of education presents a perspective enough widely observable evidence in a society
that places education in the context of econ- that those w h o are m o r e schooled and have
omic power relations played out through the attended more prestigious educational insti-
economy and the state. Thus, the allocation of tutions are more materially and socially suc-
economic roles is not primarily a function of the cessful, the value of schooling as such increases
individual acquisition of education or training, at all levels. T o reach higher levels of school-
but rather primarily a function of the structure ing requires attending lower levels first, and
of jobs in the labour market. T h e structure of so even these lower levels acquire high value,
jobs, under capitalism, is a function of the more in terms of what they can lead to than
power conflict between capital and labour. for their intrinsic worth.
170 Martin Carnoy

T h e unceasing and probably increasing education as a symbol of development has been

demand for education in developing countries is incorporated into the view that society has of
a fact of political life in such societies. E d u - itself and its 'mission'; the future of developing
cation has become a form of social right for societies is .inextricably tied to their plans for
populations whose material standard of living the expansion and improvement of schooling.
increased slowly in the 1970s. A s unemploy- At the very least, all of these countries have an
ment has risen in the 1970s and 1980s the objective of economic growth that will keep
d e m a n d for education has increased, because pace and hopefully outrun the growth in popu-
unemployment is generally higher for those lation to provide a rising standard of living.
with less schooling, particularly in urban areas. That objective, in turn, is associated with
Thus, more than the rate-of-return or equity educated labour being available in appropriate
arguments put forth as educational spending quantities to attract the necessary investment
rationales by international agencies, political for growth. Education is also associated with
reality dictates educational expansion in increasing the potential productivity of workers
response to education as a public right. A s Alan so they can m o v e from traditional to modern
Wolfe (1979) suggests, such public spending is occupations. Moreover, the reduction of sub-
necessary for a government to maintain 'politi- stantial inequalities between regions and be-
cal legitimacy'. tween families is also associated with edu-
W h y public education expansion has be- cational intervention as a w a y of more nearly
c o m e so central to the legitimacy issue in most equalizing investments in skills and h u m a n
societies is a complex issue. Western education capital. So most developing societies, as so-
has been associated with progress and 'civiliz- cieties, view education as an important instru-
ation' for at least two centuries, but the incor- ment for economic growth and democratization
poration of mass education into this concept in of opportunities. Education is viewed by the
the developing countries is generally a post-war state as having substantial political value in
phenomenon, with some notable exceptions itself for meeting aspirations of populations for
such as Argentina, India, and the Philippines literacy, skills, credentials, and status. A s a
(Carnoy, 1974). Governments in developing public service, education m a y be a cheap w a y
countries focused on educational spending as a to secure such political value or legitimacy,
compared to making structural changes in the
means of developing their societies, and their
economy that would redistribute income and
commitment to education was spurred by the
wealth. Spending on education is on the one
industrial economies' assistance agencies in the
hand a w a y to provide a consumption good
1960s. In addition, the fundamental role of
(children's education) to low income popu-
planned educational expansion in the Soviet
lations, and on the other hand it places re-
development process had an important influ- sponsibility for material gains resulting from
ence on lower income countries trying to gear such educational opportunities squarely on the
up for growth. shoulders of parents and children themselves.
But no matter h o w it began, once the Such spending also probably makes labour
process of featuring education as the means to more 'trainable' and hence subsidizes invest-
individual and national success was under way, ment in physical capital, even though the
expanding the educational system and making social return to educational investment m a y be
schooling m o r e accessible to the population relatively low.
became a crucial element of political legitimacy
for any government. T o a very large extent,
The political economy of education 171


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:i ojljfiVjcyvj,,;=(ciJV|!?/}>:?, '^ifJt^liCJ.f-Ny / H V I / . M ^ C ^ l A l ^ ^ J ^ o ^ r r '

A global model of paradigm

development in sociology
of education

Fred Mahler

Introduction cation, and by taking a critical approach to the

dominant functionalist w a y of defining this
Scholars on educational matters are challenged relation and its consequences for the practical
by an extremely difficult but highly topical development of education as an institutional
question: H o w do education and culture relate pillar of any modern society.
to each other from the perspective of the Therefore, the need is to stress the cultural
sociology of education? component of the interrelation between society
In a world in which, although in variable and education. That means to recognize not
ways and to different degrees, education is only the instrumental but also the expressive
more and more subordinated to utilitarian, feature and role of learning. That also means to
narrowly pragmatic goals, and rather frequently see education as the institution aimed at provid-
becomes a mere producer of the professionals ing not only the skilled m a n p o w e r needed for
required by the labour marketthis question is economic growth, but a global, multifaceted
per se a contestation; It contradicts some of the culture for a true, h u m a n e and emancipating
main theoretical assumptions on education's assertion of the free personality of m a n , fully
social meaning and goals (mainly functional- participating in the development of a better and
ism) and its practical output expressed in the more just world. In order to transform the
specific strategies of schooling and education. schools that are often conceived of as 'plants
T h e answer to the 'school crisis' or to the for moulding h u m a n robots' into 'houses of
school's inadequacy with regard to societal and learning' (Basu, 1984, p . 14) w e have to change
individual demand (proved inter alia by the not only education but society itself from a
'overproduction' of specialists in the North and 'market' into an 'educational city' (Faure et al.,
the 'underproduction' of them in the South) 1972).
could not be the regressive utopia of 'deschool- Obviously, it does not m e a n in the least
ing the society' (Illych, 1970). T h e answer is to that w e could or should ignore the economic
be sought in the real diversity of the historical, function of education: it only means that the
social and cultural development of the different developing countries and the socialist countries
contemporary societies and communities. It can will develop (or continue to develop) n e w
be elaborated only through a new understand- educational systems, corresponding to their
ing of the relation between society and edu- o w n social structures and goals and to their

Fred Mahler is senior researcher at the Youth Research Centre in Bucharest, Romania. A United Nations and
Unesco expert on youth problems and sociology of education and a m e m b e r of the research committees of the
International Sociological Association on Youth, Sociology of Education and Future Research, he has published,
among other books, Sociology of Education (1977), and Introduction to Juventology (1983).
176 Fred Mahler

historical and cultural patterns which, taking of education, to point to their relation to real
into account and assimilating the experience of life, their historical roots and future directions,
the developed countries, will manage to avoid a sort of 'Ariadne's thread' is needed to provide
their errors and shortcomings; and that devel- guidance in the jungle of innumerable publi-
oped countries themselves will also change their cations, data, hypotheses, theses and conceptu-
schooling systems. alizations. This is the ultimate purpose of our
Accordingly, w e have to search for an hypothesis for a global pattern in the develop-
answer to this question: H o w could and should ment of the sociology of education. Despite all
the sociology of education develop in order to the inevitable simplifications and omissions,
facilitate the shift from the present dominant this pattern can provide a useful instrument for
paradigm of an education subordinated to a better understanding of the relation between
pragmatic, one dimensional goals? H o w can it the development of the sociology of education
go beyond both the 'traditionalist' education and that of educational practice and, further-
that provides only general knowledge without more, for predicting their future evolution.
practical utility, and the 'modernist' education, The preliminary results of such a global
lacking the global, humanistic knowledge view are shown in Figure 1, which represents
needed to assert the many-sided personality? the most general evolutionary lines of the
H o w can it m o v e towards n e w paradigms con- sociology of education (Mahler, 1982, p . 25;
ceived in a global, multifaceted and humanistic 1983) and in Table 1, summarizing some of the
way, in accordance with the present and future most important features of these paradigms and
needs of every society on the background of a metatheories. This is, obviously, but afirststep
rapidly and deeply changing world? in the analysis, which should next characterize
the specific views of the various authors, as well
as the general and particular points in their
Hypothesis for a global pattern theoretical contributions with reference to
in the paradigmatic development paradigms and metatheories of the model. With-
of the sociology of education out taking this stop, which is beyond the scope
of this article, the pattern is sure to remain a
T h e sociology of education is one of the fields bare skeleton. W e must, however, recall that
of sociology which is experiencing the most it is based on and has implicitly incorporated
rapid quantitative and qualitative growth. this very range of contributions that succeeded
Lately confronted with the rapid development each other, in continuity or discontinuity, in
and extraordinary diversity of educational complementarity or opposition, throughout
systems and processes in general, as well as the history of the sociology of education.
with a wide range of theoretical and method- In Figure 1, the dotted line divides the two
ological orientations, the sociology of education main paradigms: Paradigm I, which studies
has in recent years appropriated a vast amount education in general and school in particular
of theoretical contributions, some of which from the point of view of equilibrium, consen-
have been confirmed, others refuted, by social sus, and exogenous development; and Para-
practice. There are differentiated and often digm II, which studies them from the opposite
contradictory scientific and ideological trends, point of view, i.e. of change, conflict and
which either develop or break with previous endogenous development. A t the four corners
development tendencies, opening up n e w roads of the rhombus there are the four metatheories
for research and social action. (IA, IB, IIA, IIB):
A s pointed out above, a better understand- IA. A s part of thefirstparadigm, the A d a p -
ing of the relation between education and tation Metatheory, which describes edu-
society through culture calls for a more accu- cation in terms of its formative finality and
rate and systematic definition of the present efficiency, treats it as economic capital,
structure and of the trends in the development and school as h u m a n investment, believing
of the sociology of education. However, in this that their main task is to prepare the
attempt to afford a m o r e accurate understand- labour force by providing vocational and
ing of the present main trends in the sociology scientific training.
A global model of paradigm development in sociology of education 177

N. Paradigm II Metatheory IIB: Structural change

\. Change Goal: personality development - social change
v Conflict Definition: repression/participation
v Endogeneous development Function: endorsement/transformation
Capital: power (political, economic, social, cultural)
Paradigm I \
Equilibrium \
Consensus \
Exogeneous development \
\ Marxism
Metatheory IA: Adaptation \ Radicalism Anarcho- Metatheory IIA:
Goal: learning (new left) utopianism Integration macro
Definition: \ Goal: mobility
Human Social Definition: status
h u m a n investment
capital s. mobility ascription
cultural, WEBER Function: selection
scientific \
MARX and promotion
and practi- \ Capital: social
cal training SPENCER \
Capital: \
economic DURKHEIM Educational
Evolutionism \ mobility

Systemic Symbolic
approach reproduction
G. H . M E A D and socio- \
approach \
Phenomenology Ethnomethodology \
Symbolic ( \
interactionism \
Metatheory IB: Integration micro
Goal: socialization
Definition: value transmission
F u n d on: n o r m and value internalization
Capital: symbolic (culture)

F I G . 1. Paradigms of the sociology of education.

178 Fred Mahler

IB. A s part of the same paradigm, the Inte- tations in thefieldof the sociology of education
gration Micro Metatheory aims at social- in Metatheory IIB, taking into account that
ization (i.e. confirmation, identification, most of the characteristics of this approach
internalization) and studies education comply with the features of the metatheory in
in terms of symbolic (cultural) capital. It question, as seen in the pattern. W e need to
defines school as a transmitter of values, emphasize however that in this case, as in that
of 'role-learning' and takes its essential of all the other trends in the contemporary
function to be imparting values and law- sociology of education attached to one or other
abiding attitudes. of the metatheories,-the suggested pattern does
IIA. A s part of the second paradigm, the not claim that the metatheory is exhaustively
Integration M a c r o Metatheory aims at illustrated by the examples given, or that the
mobility, studies education in terms of theoretical orientation, the Marxist one in
social capital, defines school as an instru- particular, fully complies with its respective
ment meant to confer status and takes its metatheory. These are mere examples, meant
main function to be social selection and to specify the features of the paradigms and the
promotion. metatheories of the pattern. Actually, in the
IIB. Also as a part of the second paradigm, the specific case of Marxism w e think that, in its
Structural Change Metatheory aims at approach to various aspects of educational and
fulfilling the personality and carrying out school practice, it synthesizes, critically takes
structural changes at social level. It studies over and develops the positive contributions of
education in terms of political capital, the other trends in the sociology of education.
defines school as an instrument for sharing
power, and takes the main function of
education and school to be the endorse-
Characteristic features
ment or rejection of the social and political
of schooling from the perspective
of the sociology of education's
Within the rhombus, there are the names of
paradigms and metatheories
authors w h o started or worked out the general
, orientations of the various schools in social
sciences (mentioned barely as examples outside It is nevertheless obvious that, despite these
the rhombus). They define the main tendencies specifications, the above diagram fails to out-
that could regroup the contemporary trends in line with sufficient clarity and richness the
the sociology of education. amount of components in the various theories
pertaining to the sociology of education. Table
Obviously the suggested pattern, as a 1 provides a comparative analysis of the way in
global analytical hypothesis of the main para- which scholars in the sociology of education
digms and metatheories of the sociology of tackle s o m e of the main features of schooling
education, does not claim to be either exhaus- according to the two paradigms and four
tive or unchangeable. It only deals with the metatheories dealt with above.
defining aspects in the most general terms The analysis in the table concerns a global
and therefore describes the salient features of model of the main stages and orientations in the
the various contributions, their convergence, sociology of education, as well as of their
complementarity or opposition points, not the specific means of defining the educational and
complexity of their specific features, but their school structures and processes. Therefore, it
priorities. A t the same time, the pattern does not intend to exhaust all the past and
includes a certain temporal sequence from present contributions in thisfield,nor would it
Paradigm I to Paradigm II, from Metatheory be able to. Fully aware of this limitation of
IA to Metatheory IIB, even though this is no the model w e believe that a debate on it and
linear and irreversible passage: actually, all its improvement would be useful, particularly
these tendencies coexist in the contemporary with regard to its practical testing in the
sociology of education, and what changes is the concrete analysis of the various trends and
prevalence of one orientation or another, and tendencies followed by individual researchers
their interplay. W e included the Marxist orien- or schools of the sociology of education in
A global model of paradigm development in sociology of education 179

various countries, regions and zones. This to reproduce' (Bourdieu and Passeron,. 1970,
would facilitate and improve the quality of the p. 202). Without being either underrated or
difficult research work in the field. It could also overrated, culture is thus perceived as a m e -
reveal the heuristic opportunities in the analysis diating factor between socio-economic capital,
of the relation between education, society and which includes power, and educational capital,
culture, as seen in the diversity of specific social whereby school fulfils its function by dint of
and historical conditions. 'symbolic violence'.
W e will only stress that in our view In her defence of macro-sociology and her
this model could allow one to have both a opposition to the dichotomy between micro
synchronic and a diachronic understanding and macro approaches, Margaret Archer makes
of the perspectives in which the theories that a valuable contribution to the solution of such
succeeded each other or coexisted in various theoretical dilemmas:
stages of the development of the soicology of
education explained the complex relationships Macro-sociology, unlike the various forms of hol-
between society and education, as well as the ism . . . does not neglect the importance of social
mediating role of culture. Thus, the A d a p - interaction . . . This recognition of the importance
of action (uninfluenced by structural conditioning) is
tation Metatheory (IA) usually reduces the
quite explicit in the analytical cycle employed by the
logic of education to biological or economic macro-sociologists under discussion. Each of them dis-
factors, ignoring or underrating the mediating tinguishes three broad analytic phases consisting of (a)
role of culture. T h e Integration Micro Meta- a given structure (a complex set of relations between
theory (IB), although acknowledging the role parts) which condition but do not determine (b) social
of culture in defining the symbolic nature of interaction. Here (b) also arises in part from action
the content of education, confines it to the orientations unconditioned by social organization, and
in turn leads to (c) structural elaboration or modifi-
interaction processes at group level, while the cationthat is to a change in the relations between
Integration Macro Metatheory (IIA), although the parts (Archer, 1979, p . 35).
acknowledging its existence, tends to subordi-
nate the cultural factor to the social, economic Positions complying more or less to Metathe-
and political ones. Conversely, the Structural ory IIB could be found in the analyses of the
Change Metatheory (IIB) acknowledges the sociology of education of m a n y other Western
mediating role of cultural factors, and concur- authors (e.g. Basu, Baudelot, Bernstein, B o u -
rently avoids the deterministic confinement of don, Bowles, Carnoy, de Coster, de L a u w e ,
education to merely biological, psychological or Gelpi, Gintis, Girod, Halsey, Husen, Inkeles,
economic factors. It tends to view this process Jencks), of authors from socialist countries
as a complex social, economic, political but (e.g. Adamski, Ferge, Filipov, Freiova, Fried-
also cultural matter, and as an interaction in rich, Meier, Mitev, Subkin, Szczepanski), or
which education in its turn influences the from the Third World (e.g. Albornoz, Mbiliny,
cultural factors and thereby actively contributes Ly, Freire, Montiel, W e b e r ) , without ignoring,
to the social, economic and political change of course, the peculiarities of their theoretical
of society as a whole. positions and axiological orientations.
There are m a n y examples to uphold this In Romania, the development of the socio-
thesis. Drawing dividing lines between econ- logy of education has seen the same variety of
omic, social and cultural capital, Bourdieu orientations and positions, for instance be-
defines the complexity of the factors involved tween Mahler et al., 1973; Bazac and Mahler,
in replication and the role of education and 1974; Schifirnet, 1982; Bazac et al., 1984.
school within this framework as habitus, a Despite the diversity of viewpoints, this evolu-
mediating factor between conditions, behav- tion is characterized by the tendency to in-
iours and states of mind. H e states that 'an vestigate education within its multiple social
institutionalized educational system must, in interrelations, including cultural relations,
order to fulfil its external function of cultural and towards underlining the active role of
and social reproduction, produce a habitus as education and school in social change. T h e
m u c h as possible in accordance with the prin- contemporary sociology of education in R o m a -
ciples of the culture which it is empowered nia (see, a m o n g others, Brsnescu, 1976;
180 Fred Mahler

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182 Fred Mahler

T h e relation between education and the socio-cultural environment: at Winchester, a famous British public school, a
pupil sits at work beneath a fourteenth century wail painting of scenes from school-life. Hering/Camera Press.

Stoian, 1971; Topa and Truter, 1971; Cazacu, education of the Metatheory IIB type, as well
1974; Pun, 1975, 1982; Miftode, 1976; Mahler, as their application to the relevant social and
1977; Vlsceanu, 1979; Rotariu, 1980; Costea historical conditions, will bring about a better
et al., 1983) focuses on the critical approach solution to the complex problem of the relation
to the relation between education, culture and between education, culture and society. This is
society in the present stage of the country's not to say that w e should work out a d o g m a ,
development. This approach aims at finding but only that certain general tendencies of the
the most adequate ways and means of fitting research should be pointed out. This should be
the content of education to economic, social open both synchronically to various national,
and cultural requirements, and of elimin- regional, social, economic, political and cul-
ating certain dysfunctions and contradictions. tural conditions; and diachronically to the per-
Examples of the latter are the gap between manent changes to which these conditions are
educational demands, needs and oppor- subjectas well as to constructive exchanges
tunities; the gap between educational and with any other scientifically valid viewpoints.
professional aspirations and social priorities,
and the gap between the present specialization
level of graduates and the requirements of econ- Concluding remarks
o m y and social life.
W e believe, therefore, that the continual H o w could the model in Figure 1 and, more
improvement of approaches to the sociology of particularly, the option for the general orien-
A global model of paradigm development In sociology of education 183

Teacher and pupils in a remote rural area of France. Desjardins/Agcncc Top.

tation of the Structural Change Metatheory W h a t is selected and rejected in the transfer
(IIB), contribute to a better definition of the from societal culture to educational cul-
relation between education and culture in the ture depends on the educational establish-
sociology of education? ments which act as a 'socialfilter'in this
Taking into account a suggestion m a d e by process, through their multiple relations
Margaret Archer, it m a y be possible to visu- with the macro-social system and the
alize the complex relationship between the cultural system. This is also connected to
macro-social system, the cultural system and the interaction between the educational
the educational system as shown in Figure 2 . micro-system and the various other com-
If w e accept this model, even as a working munities with which it comes into contact,
hypothesis, w e could draw the following con- such as family, urban or rural environ-
clusions: ment, economic units and communication
The content of educational systems and edu- space. In other words, the content of
cational culture, as the s u m total of knowl- educational systems selectively adopts the
edge and values that are handed over and available cultural patterns, according to
acquired in the process of learning and thefilterof the school establishment and
socialization, is selected from societal cul- the degree of its integration or autonomy
ture, that is from the available societal with regard to the cultural and macro-
knowledge and values at a given historical social systems concerned.
social space and time. Since w e interpret the model in the light of
184 Fred Mahler

Paradigm II and Metatheory IIB, that is tween them. A s to the endogenous de-
in terms of such factors as change, conflict, velopment of the content of educational
and endogenous development, w e regard systems, it entails a n e w educational world
both societal and educational culture as order (Gelpi, 1984; Mahler, 1984), as
heterogeneous. Change in them is based part and parcel of a n e w economic and
not on the importation or imposition of political world order.
foreign models, but on their endogenous From the viewpoint of the paradigm and
processes whereby knowledge and values metatheory w e are recommending edu-
are shared and not transferred from the cational culture is not a mechanical, direct,
strong and wealthy to the weak and linear, one-way product of social struc-
poor (Chombart de L a u w e , 1980). Conse- tures, economic factors, cultural models
quently, educational systems will not adopt and value orientations; but the complex,
cultural models uniformly, mechanically specific and relatively autonomous out-
and only from abroad, but will select from come of the influence of all these factors.
the diverse and often contradictory riches This outcome is mediated by the cultural
of societal knowledge and values those pattern or system in its interrelation
elements that are most compatible with with the educational system. Educational
their o w n aims. In reality, there are m a n y culture, in its turn, is understood as a
cases of disagreement or even conflict be- factor that actively contributes to the en-

Macro-social system

Sociology _
(Macro and micro)

^ Cultural system /~
! Societal culture, including
Sociology of societal knowledge and values

Sociology of Educational
education system

Educational culture,
including educational
knowledge and values

F I G . 2 . Relations between macro-social, cultural and educational systems.

A global model of paradigm development in sociology of education 185

dorsement, denial or change of the cul- convincingly that neither can it be understood
tural and macro-social systems. dissociated from culture, in its broadest m e a n -
Taking into account the fact that general ingthe whole treasure of h u m a n knowledge
sociology (macro and micro deals with the and values. T h e prevalence of the paradigm of
social system and its dynamics, w e may say equilibrium, consensus and exogenous develop-
that the sociology of culture deals with the ment in the sociology of education, as well as of
cultural system and its dynamics (in inter- education seen as a supplier of ' h u m a n robots'
dependence with the macro-social and for a society regarded merely as a market, was
educational systems). T h e object of the the salient feature of a pragmatic and narrowly
sociology of education is the educational utilitarian outlook on homo conomicus. T h e
system and its dynamics (also in inter- prevalence of the n e w paradigm of change,
relation with the macro-social and cul- conflict and endogenous development and of
tural systems). All these are in a state of education seen as a moulder of a multilaterally
mutual dependence, showing the whole developed personality, capable of freely partici-
complexity of the mutual relations be- pating in general development, is n o w the
tween these systems, which are cut off salient feature of a n e w and radically h u m a n -
from the dynamics of social and cultural istic outlook on homo artifex, in which m a n is a
reality only for analytical purposes. creator of material and spiritual assets, of
Our forerunners discovered the impossibility of culture, and whose authenticity is measured by
understanding education dissociated from the the creativity with which he serves the progress
economic factor; it is n o w our task to show of mankind.


A R C H E R , M . 1979. Social Origins of B R S N E S C U , S . 1976. Unitatea C A Z A C U , A . 1974. Curs de

Educational Systems. pedagogiei contemporane ca stiin\ sociologie a educafiei si
London/Beverly Hills, Sage [The Unity of Contemporary nvfmntului [Manual for the
Publications. Pedagogy as Science]. Bucharest, Sociology of Education]. Bucharest,
Editura Didctica i Pedaggica. Universitatea din Bucures,ti.
B A Z A C , D ; M A H L E R , F. 1974.
Ceneza si dinmica idealului in
B A S U , A . 1984. Education, Social CHOMDART D E L A U W E , P. H .
adolescenf [Genesis and Dynamics
Structure and Culture. Paris, (ed.). 1980. Domination ou partage.
of Ideal in Adolescence]. Craiova,
Presidential Address, Mid-term Paris, Unesco.
Editura Scrisul Romnese.
Conference of the Research
Committee of the Sociology of
BAZAC, D . ; M A H L E R , F.; C O S T E A , S.; L A R I O N E S C U , M . ;
V L S C E A N U , L . et al. 1984. U N G U R E A N U , I. 1983. Sociologie
Integrarea invamintului liceal cu romneasc contemporan
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186 Fred Mahler

F A U R E , . et al. 1972. Learning to presented to Session 8 of the R O T A R I U , T . 1980. Scoala si

Be: The World of Education Today Research Committee of Sociology of mobilitatea social in frile
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Unesco/Harrap. Congress of Sociology. Social Mobility in Advanced
Capitalist Countries]. Bucharest,
G E L P I , E . 1984. Education et nouvel . 1983. Introducere in Editura tiinjific si
ordre mondial. Education et socit, juventologie [Introduction into Enciclopdica.
N o . 6, April/May, pp. 4-8. Juventology]. Bucharest, Editura
Stiinjific si Enciclopdica. S C H I F I R N E J , C . 1982. Integrarea
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April/May, pp. 27-48.
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Sociology of the educational system:
society's requirements
and the career-choice attitudes
of young people

Vladimir Shubkin

The past few decades have been marked by a duction needs. Others have stood out for the
steady, and in some countries an increasing, economic approach, seeing education's role as a
interest in the sociological aspects of the devel-
trainer of personnel to meet long-term needs
opment of education. This is hardly surprising. and underrating its role in development of the
The current revolution in science and tech- personality. A third group of countries have
nology makes it necessary to effect constant decided that what they urgently needed was
improvements in the educational system and to to produce the same percentages of people
understand its role in the education of young with a higher, specialized secondary, general
people, in the development of the economy, secondary and eight-year secondary edu-
in the effect it has on the structure of society cation as prevailed in the most highly devel-
and in the resolution of contradictions connec- oped countriesthis has been termed the
ted with social development. Naturally, the 'competitive' approach. A fourth group, pro-
educationists frequently disagree among them- ceeding on the basis of abstract humanistic
selves, and m a n y issues still remain matters of
considerations'the more the better'have
controversy. This applies not only to details c o m e close to demanding universal higher
but to fundamental problems as well. For education. These various approaches, which
example, there is a wide range of views held by no means exhaust the possibilities, reflect
about the objectives to be pursued and tasks differing points of view regarding the poten-
to be undertaken in developing the edu- tial capacities of education, ranging from pro-
cational system. found pessimism all the w a y to enthusiastic
W h e n surveying the tasks and prospects optimism.
for the development of education, the special- It would appear that realistic evaluation of
ists tend to propose various models based on education's various potentials and prospects
their o w n conceptions, assessing the specific requires an occasional review of past experi-
historical conditions in a given country in a ence. The least one can do is not lose sight of
variety of different ways. In practice, too, the the societal mechanisms that are in constant
twentieth century has seen the adoption of an interaction with the educational system, such as
extremely broad variety of educational systems society's requirement for trained personnel
throughout the world. In some places the this requirement being determined by the
premise has been that education must b e existing level of development of productive
oriented towards satisfying immediate pro- forces and by the structure of the social div-

Vladimir Shubkin is Head of the Sector of the Social Problems of Youth at the Institute of the International Labour
Movement of the U S S R Academy of Sciences. H e has published widely on questions of sociology of youth, work and
188 Vladimir Shubkin

ision of labourand the career-choice attitudes pyramid forming a kind of mirror image of the
of the population,firstand foremost of young first. T h e vacancies of the 'solid' pyramid are
people, w h o after all are the ones destined in a sense counterbalanced by the 'broken'
tofillthe vacant positions. pyramid, representing aspirations.2
The shape of the 'solid' pyramid is con-
ditioned by the current level of development
Pyramids of societal of productive forces, production relations,
requirements and career-choice specifics of historical and cultural tradition,
attitudes etc. In other words, the pyramid itself is a
synoptic expression of the life of society. It
O n the theoretical level, the relation between goes without saying that looked at in the his-
societal mechanisms can be illustrated by the torical perspective the shape of the pyramid
following schema. Let us suppose that a given is variable. Nevertheless, it remains relatively
society has people working in a specific number stable during any given period in a country's
of occupations and that w e k n o w : history.
1. H o w m a n y workers in each occupation the The 'broken' pyramid, representing the
society requires. structure of aspirations, desires and hopes,
2. H o w attractive or h o w prestigious each depends for its shape to a large extent on the
occupation is considered to be by the way in which young people rate the attractive-
young people w h o will eventually be en- ness and prestige of different occupations. T h e
tering the job market. hierarchy of occupations, as perceived by the
3. H o w m a n y young people intend to enter social consciousness, reflects the specifics of the
each specific occupation, i.e. the number system of social relations prevailing in a given
of youngsters w h o wish to find work in a society, the actual situation as regards the
given occupation or to pursue studies division of labour and the level of technological
leading to such employment. advance. Understandably, it is much more
W e can n o w range the occupations vertically in mobile and variable than is thefirstpyramid.
descending order of attractiveness. T h e corre- If w e introduce a third component of the
sponding m a n p o w e r needs are indicated hori- educational system, indicated by a dotted line,
zontally (Fig. 1). Let us suppose that the w e see that it generally assumes an intermedi-
requirement for people to enter the least at- ate position between the structure of society's
tractive occupation is the greatest. The require- requirements for trained personnel and that of
ment for people in the next, more attractive, the career-choice attitudes of young people.
occupation is smaller, and so on. The result is a Here the requirements imposed with regard to
pyramid shape, as drawn with a solid outline in such matters as level of educational attainment,
Figure 1. diplomas and degrees, and the possession of
N o w let us suppose that w e have conduc- particular qualities by applicants are most
ted a survey of young m e n and w o m e n intend- stringent towards the top, i.e. for the most
ing tofillall the vacancies, jobs and places at attractive occupations, and more relaxed at the
university, technical school and college shown bottom of the pyramid, where the demand
in the 'solid' pyramid. A s has been d e m o n - exceeds the supply.
strated in numerous studies, thefirstof which Under various conditions, and for various
was conducted in Siberia,1 young people reasons, the educational system or its individual
generally want to enter the most attractive oc- levels can be oriented either towards the
cupations, whereas the d e m a n d for personnel vacancy structure or towards the vocational
in these occupations is usually not very great. desires and aspirations of young people. It is
At the base of the pyramid the situation is re- therefore quite natural to observe continual
versed: here the number of vacancies is m u c h conflicts as regards orientation within the edu-
greater than the number of applicants. Denot- cational system itself, with specialists arguing
ing the number of young m e n and w o m e n about its past, present and future. Finding itself
wishing to embark upon a given occupation by placed squarely between Scylla and Charybdis,
means of a broken line, w e obtain a second the educational system invariably acts as a


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190 Vladimir Shubkin

mirror, presenting a particular interpretation of develop and could well constitute a healthy and
the struggle between various tendencies of dynamically-evolving social organism.
social life. Such structures are affected by a wide
T h e first question that arises in analysing variety of factors that must to some extent be
these pyramids is whether the structures of taken into consideration at various stages of
society's requirements for trained personnel analysis. O n the other hand, there are certain
and of young people's vocational inclinations factors that cannot be lost sight of at any stage
should coincide or whether s o m e sort of gap and must be borne in mind constantly. T h e
between them might be necessary. In principle, most important of these is the scientific and
there are three possible patterns. technological revolution.
First, total coincidence of the currently This scientific and technological revolution
existing structure of young people's desires and is all too often referred to in high-flown
the structure of actual vacancies existing in a language, just as though one were talking or
society, where every person strives only after writing about a social revolution. In fact,
what is possible and where everyone has his or however, the revolution in science and tech-
her wish fulfilled. But a society in which this nology is itself replete with contradictions, as
were the case would probably be very conserva- are its implications and its impact on the struc-
tive, even stagnant, for the elimination of tures under analysis in this article. It is im-
dreams and aspirations would be tantamount to portant to remember also that scientific and
the disappearance of incentives to be creative technological development is far from identical
and to advance. Such a society could hardly be with scientific and technological progress.
expected to develop effectively. T h e scientific and technological revolution
Second, dreams and realities in conflict. unfolds not in a vacuum but in the actual
Let us suppose that, aided by the mass media or conditions of a country: it does not simply
by its educational system, a society has sown coexist but interacts with the classes, struc-
illusions and distorted reality over the years and tures, social strata, forms of activity, everyday
hasfinallysucceeded in awakening aspirations, habits, national traditions and prejudices of
desires and dreams that are unattainable by the yesterday and yesteryear. These conditions are
majority of people. T h e entry into independent not simply influenced by the scientific and
life for young people in such a society is technological revolution: they in their turn
accompanied by enormous disappointments, impinge upon it, altering its forms, its rate and
with a loss not only of illusions but of faith in its results. This gives rise to social phenomena
the society that has so deceived them. In such a that ought never to arise out of progress in
situation w e meet an entire set of highly science and technology.
contradictory phenomena: on the one hand, w e Scientific and technological development
have an explosion of rage, and on the other occasions rapid and radical changes in the
hand a demoralization of societyflight from structure of the social division of labour and in
reality, drug addiction, etc. A s was noted the national economy's requirement for trained
during the upsurge of youth movements in the personnel. This, in turn, cannot fail to have an
West, 'wherever this urge [the urge to reshape impact on the goals of the educational system,
society] runs counter to existing structures, it on the careers of young people and on employ-
generates a contrary tendency towards anxiety, ment and occupations.
escapism and scepticism'.3 It is sometimes held that there are no
Third, one could consider an intermediate problems of employment under socialism. This
option, a sort of optimal relation between the is simply not true: such problems confront all
needs of society and the desires and inclinations socialist countries. T h e denial of the existence
of young people. Such a state of affairs elimin- of such problems would be tantamount to
ates both the stagnation of society due to the admitting the validity of a kind of theory of
coincidence of norms and objectives and the 'automatic regulation' or 'spontaneous absorp-
kind of conflict that is generated by total tion', whereby socialization of the means of
disparity between dreams and reality. In prin- production would, by itself, automatically en-
ciple, such a society would have a stimulus to sure full employment of the population. In fact
Sociology of the educational system 191

no such automatic mechanism operates, since clinations and attitudes a m o n g young people
socialization of the means of production merely tends to favour high-prestige occupations pre-
offers the possibility of coping with such prob- dominantly involving intellectual work. T h e
lems in a planned way. Indeed, disregard for result is that a whole group of occupations
such problems can well lead, and sometimes necessary for the functioning of the national
does lead, to undesirable consequences. economic system are unpopular with young
Meticulous day-to-day effort in this field people.
presupposes an elastic capital investment pol-
icy, a policy that has as one of its objectives the Optimal relations between
creation of n e w jobs and takes into account societal requirements and career-
population dynamics, with particular emphasis choice attitudes
on the number of young people coming on to
the labour market. This in turn requires the H o w then, given the complex and contradictory
timely general educational and vocational train- consequences of the scientific and technological
ing of m a n p o w e r resources and the establish-
revolution, can w e achieve an optimal relation
ment of the requisite material and technical between these two structuressociety's re-
basis for that training. In dealing with the sort quirement for trained personnel, on the one
of contradictions w e have been discussing it is hand, and the career-choice attitudes of young
necessary to plan for the automation and people, on the other?
robotization of production, with a view to Thefirstidea that comes to the minds of
eliminating not only onerous but also more some sociologists is to adjust the 'broken'
menial occupations. It is not only a matter of pyramid in Figure 1. Could one not work upon
purely economic measures and investment pol- public consciousness through the mass media in
icy, even though their role in influencing the such a w a y as to bring the expectations of
structure of the social division of labour should young people d o w n to earth?
not be underestimated. In considering the 'broken' pyramid one
The development of science and tech- cannot avoid a number of specific circumstances
nology proceeds, in large measure, in accord- brought about by the scientific and technologi-
ance with its o w n laws and without any regard cal revolution. Whereas in the past the indi-
for h u m a n beings, for notions of what is good vidual related to the rest of humanity mainly
and bad and for what is just and unjust. A t through the system of division of labour and
the same time, the younger generation entering exchange, the position today is that as a result
working life are more demanding as regards of the giant steps taken in the development of
the conditions of production and labour. They mass communications, within the overall con-
want these conditions to be m o r e humane, de- text of the scientific and technological revol-
manding that work provide opportunities for ution, each h u m a n being is tied to the whole of
creativity, self-fulfilment and career prospects. society by a network of links. Whereas in the
In other words, they are asking that production past the social expectations of young people
no longer be something that subjugates the were clearly differentiated in accordance with
worker, something that turns him into a mere social groups, being oriented towards nearby
appendage, a cog in the hierarchical machine of steps on the 'solid' pyramid; nowadays, when
this or that organization, but that it creates 'everyone knows everything' w h e n n e w needs,
conditions for the harmonious development of expectations and fashions spread like wildfire
the individual and for increasingly active par- throughout the world, the difference between
ticipation by workers in decision-making and the 'broken' and the 'solid' pyramid must
management. inevitably increase. From this standpoint the
O n the one hand scientific and technologi- development of n e w modes of communication
cal progress alters the structure of the social implies not merely a revolution in communi-
division of labour; on the other hand it oc- cations technology but also a revolution in
casionally works even faster to alter attitudes social consciousness and in the psychology of
to work, especially to occupations involving hundreds of millions of people, foremost
manual labour. T h e pattern of vocational in- among w h o m are the young.
192 Vladimir Shubkin

In studying these problems in Siberia, w e constitutes a synoptic indicator of the state of

noted that the mass media tend to raise the society. It should be clear that although the
personal aspirations of young people to an un- 'solid' pyramid is a variable structure in prin-
realistic level and at the same time these even ciple, it nevertheless represents a relatively
out in the consciousness of these same young stable structure within each period in history.
people such social differentiations as continue At the same time, in analysing the given
to exist. W e noted a kind of 'scissors effect' in structure w e must never forget that it has
the perceptions of various physical and intellec- certainly undergone changes in the past. T h e
tual occupations in urban youngsters as op- growth of labour productivity, the development
posed to rural youngsters: young people living of the social division of labour and demographic
in the countryside tended to attach greater processes must have m a d e an impact on it. W e
value to physical occupations, while city young- have excellent grounds for supposing that
sters preferred occupations involving intellec- today, as in the past, scientific and technologi-
tual labour. Since studies in these areas were cal advances will continue to do away with
repeated over a period of two decades, w e certain classes of jobs situated at the very base
were able to observe the w a y in which this of the pyramid.
'scissors effect' operated. W h a t w e found, in It is equally true to say that this process of
fact, w a s that the blades of our 'scissors' ten- erosion is by no means automatic, since the
ded to c o m e together, but in a very special pyramid under consideration has social and
waythe attitudes of young town-dwellers re- national aspects that must not be ignored in any
mained more or less static, while those of analysis. T h e social aspect consists in the fact
rural youngsters drew closer to the intellectual that the upper levels of this structure have
ideal. always been occupied by representatives of the
T h e mass media can therefore have a ruling, privileged classes and social groups;
definite shaping effect on the 'broken' pyramid. while the vacancies associated with low pres-
But, for all their present power, the mass media tige forms of labour were necessarily taken up
are not omnipotent. Their impact runs u p by people belonging to the so-calld lower
against a number of constraints involving such classes. H e n c e , inasmuch as the prestige rating
things as the specifics of value orientations of various occupations in pre-socialist societies
a m o n g small groups. T h e same message can be was closely correlated with remuneration
so transmuted in the individual consciousness levels, opportunities for creativity, and the re-
upon passage through the 'dense layers' closest lative amounts of physical and mental effort
to that consciousness that the individual m a y involved in a given occupation, the structure
well draw conclusions different from those in question reflected social antagonism, d e m o n -
expected by the media. This simply means that strating with utmost clarity that the governing
the mass media must not be regarded with lite monopolized the most prestigious, cre-
fetishistic devotion. They m a y well play an ative and highly paid occupations.
important role in social enlightenment and in T h e aspect of nationality was superim-
disseminating a realistic picture of the world posed in a very interesting w a y upon this social
and of the possibilities of society. This is a differentiation, as in m a n y multinational so-
highly important mission, yet one that does not cieties individual national groups tended to be-
in itself solve the problem of achieving an come identified with particular groups of occu-
optimal relation between the social structures pations. This led to the upper levels of the
under discussion. pyramid being occupied by representatives of
This is w h y w e must inevitably ask thethe ruling nation, while m e m b e r s of exploited
question whether one should not instead work nationalities remained at the bottom.
upon thefirststructure, i.e. the 'solid' pyramid. The present scientific and technological
T h e pattern of employment vacancies is in- revolution, the growth of transport and the
variably determined by the current level of. intensification of international migration have
development of productive forces, production m a d e the national aspect of the structure under
relations, historical and cultural traditions, etc. discussion m o r e significant than ever. Thus, for
In other words, the pyramid in question in itself example, the least prestigious and the most
Sociology of the educational system 193

A professional school in Dushanbe, Tadzhik, U S S R , where young girls are trained in the techniques of weaving.

socially despised occupations are exercised in profit motive that rules such a society. This
m a n y developed countries by people from less- means that a radical restructuring of the pres-
developed countries, whereas the top of tige scale as determined by the system of social
the pyramid remains the exclusive preserve of relations turns out to be an impossible task.
host-country nationals. Naturally, with such a Special note should be taken of the fact
social-national structure prevailing, there is no that the cardinal importance of pure financial
need, at least for the time being, to mechanize gain in such societies means that they are
or automate the more menial jobs, since they governed by certain highly ordered and rigid
are done by immigrants. W e have hedged our determining factors that work to establish not
statement with the qualification 'for the time only scales of prestige but also the correspond-
being' because such a position is necessarily ing social division of labour and the n u m b e r of
transitory: social and national antagonisms in vacancies available within each occupation.
the structure of the social division of labour This inevitably limits opportunities for purpose-
inevitably c o m e to the fore, requiring society to ful and planned changes, not only vertically
look for alternative solutions. but horizontally as well. W h i c h m e a n s , quite
The transformation of the vacancy struc- simply, that the given structure in such a so-
ture and its adaptation to the structure of young ciety is not essentially geared to the interests
people's aspirations presupposes its reworking of those w h o are called upon to perform the
either vertically or horizontally. T h e vertical actual work of that society.
transformation of the 'solid' pyramid entails Only a radical restructuring of the system
changing the hierarchy of occupations. But this of social relations and, most importantly, prop-
hierarchy is itself a reflection in the social erty relations, can create conditions for altering
consciousness of an objectively existing differ- the scale of prestige of various occupations
entiation. Notions as to the 'loftiness' or and prerequisites for the radical transformation
'lowliness' of this or that occupation reflect of such prestige structuring. H o w e v e r , the main
certain specifics within a given system of social thing to bear in mind in this connection is that
relations. Thus in bourgeois society both the once it is undertaken such a restructuring of
hierarchy of occupations, and the prevailing society creates opportunities for the purposeful
social division of labour and the structure of job and planned alteration of the d e m a n d for
vacancies, are rigorously determined by the labour within each occupational category, cre-
194 Vladimir Shubkin

ating the right conditions for influencing the wartime life. Then, once the war ended and the
system of social division of labour in such a way army was demobilized, a significant 'baby
as to reduce, and in some instances even b o o m ' ensued for a period of several years.
eliminate, the least prestigious occupations W e came up against this phenomenon in
through mechanization, automation and robot- connection with the fact that in 1962, when w e
ization. were conducting our initial survey of young
It must, be understood that even in such people w h o had graduated from secondary
circumstances society cannot simply reshape school, the number of 17 and 18 year olds had
the 'solid' pyramid according to its whims. reached its m i n i m u m level, after which it rose
Certain constraints generated by specific his- steeply once again. Thus our term demographic
torical conditions necessarily remain. These are echo of the war covers both the reduction in the
occasioned by the imperative of satisfying the numbers of certain population groups and the
needs of the population and maintaining certain subsequent increase in members of the same
proportions in the development of various age-groups.
branches of the national economy and culture, The demographic wave had its initial im-
as well as by such considerations as the need to pact on primary school. First, the number of
maintain the balance between consumption and pupils in thefirstfour years (grades) dropped in
accumulation. W h a t one does have, however, 1953/54 (pupils born in 1943-46) compared to
are the prerequisites for ensuring the most the number of pupils in the same grades in
rational possible relation between the two 1949/50 (born in 1939-42). In fact, the number
structures, not only through manipulation of of pupils decreased by almost half.
the 'broken' pyramid but also through gradual Ten years later, the demographic echo of
adaptation of the vacancy structure to the the war affected the population of 17 and
structure of inclinations and interests of the 18 year olds. T h e problems connected with this
people. group are of particular significance because this
T h e second group of factors that sig- is the age when youngsters complete their
nificantly affects the relations between society's secondary schooling, search for a vocation and
trained personnel requirements, the career- take some very important decisions about their
choice attitudes of young people and the system future career. Y o u n g people of 17 and 18 are
of education involves demographic processes. embarking on a working life. Fluctuations in
Needless to say, these processes m a k e them- their number affect not only the field of
selves felt differently in various countries, education but also that of production. T h e
inasmuch as they depend upon a multitude of manpower resources of a country depend di-
factors, including historical events. It is enough rectly on h o w m a n y members of its population
to take a close look at the uneven contours of fall within this age group. It is for this reason
the sex/age pyramids used extensively in de- that the processes in question must be very
mography to understand that the turbulent meticulously forecast and allowed for in plan-
history of a country such as the U S R R w h i c h ning.
lost some 20 million people during the Second The reduction in the number of children
World Warhas engendered and will continue and adolescents occasioned by the wartime
to engender considerable demographic sur- drop in the birth rate led to a reduction in the
prises. drop-out rate and increased the percentage
W h e n w e embarked on the empirical of young people graduating from secondary
investigation of these structures in the 1960s w e school. It necessarily reduced competition for
were particularly struck by the extremely large enrolment in universities, colleges and technical
dip in the numbers of young people aged 17 and schools, i.e. it increased the percentage en-
18, as a result of the phenomenon w e came to tering tertiary educational establishments of
call the 'demographic echo of the war'. That is, those w h o ten years earlier had entered the first
the sharp drop in the Russian birth rate that grade of primary school. A t the same time the
occurred during the Second World W a r as a phenomenon brought about a sharp decrease in
result of mass mobilization into the army and the number of school-leavers entering the
the excruciatingly difficult circumstances of labour market immediately upon completion of
Sociology of the educational system 195

The library of the Central H o u s e of Peasants, M o s c o w , in the 1920s. Roger Viollet.

secondary school, reinforcing a latent 'college- for entry into institutions of tertiary education.
bound' outlook based on a nave faith in the Conversely, the growth in the population
ability of institutions of higher learning to of 17- and 18-year-olds occasioned by the d e m o -
absorb all secondary-school graduates. Occur- graphic wave created problems of its o w n .
ring just before the advent of the demographic Moreover, the rate of growth of this age-group
'baby b o o m ' wave, this psychological phenom- (in the Novosibirsk region, to take just one
enon had the effect of augmenting the sluggish- example, the number of graduates from sec-
ness in the value orientations of Soviet edu- ondary schools increased fivefold over the five
cation generated in the pre-war years, when years 1962-67) brought with it not only an in-
schools worked hard to prepare young people crease in manpower resources, but also serious
196 Vladimir Shubkin

difficulties for administrative bodies, planning Demographic processes, in particular the

organizations and educators. T h e growth in long-range consequences of the Second World
the number of young people created a need for W a r , are continuing to influence job placement
more jobs, increased teaching staffs, greater and choice of occupation. Their effect is ex-
enrolment capacity in universities, colleges and pected to be particularly strong in the second
technical schools, expanded opportunities for half of the 1980s.
on-the-job training and much else. T h e rate of Table 1 sets out data concerning the
growth in the number of secondary-school dynamics of the size of the working-age popu-
graduates over these years greatly exceeded the lation (people aged 20 to 59 years) and its
normal growth in the number of jobs available increments with allowance for working-age
in the economy as well as the number of places persons' mortality rates in the U S S R . T h e
available in higher and secondary specialized forty-five-year period for which the calculations
educational institutions. T h e gap between the were carried out breaks d o w n into three equal
number of young people completing secondary and fairly distinct segments. Over the first
school and the number of job opportunities fifteen years, the absolute increment consti-
available to them widened considerably during tuted 14.8 million people; over the second
those years. fifteen years it will constitute 30 million; and
Also relevant in this connection is another the increment corresponding to the last fifteen
phenomenon, which could be termed ' d e m o - years of the twentieth century is expected to be
graphic compensation'. Someone w h o was born 5 million.
. during the most difficult war years and there- Such sharp variations in the increments in
fore belongs to a less numerous generation has the size of the working-age population are
a greater chance, other conditions being equal, associated not only with variations in the
of continuing his or her education and a greater numbers of those entering the working-age
degree of freedom in choice of occupation, bracket (i.e., of those w h o reach the age of 20)
official position, job, etc., and vice versa. but also with changes in the number of those
Since this phenomenon was unknown to w h o leave this bracket at the age of 60. T h e
the majority of adultsat any rate, it was not largest increment, that corresponding to the
scientifically understoodyoung m e n and second half of the 1970s, was due to the
w o m e n were even less aware of it at the coincidence in time of the entry into the
time. But the fact remains that these processes working-age bracket of the most populous
left an impression in the consciousness of the generation in the U S S R , that born towards the
young people w h o personally experienced the end of the 1950s, and the departure from the
phenomenon, in the form of increased or same bracket of the generation born during the
reduced numbers of competitors in an exam- First World W a r and Civil W a r (1916-20),
ination, increased or reduced chances of which was not very numerous to begin with and
obtaining a particular job, etc. This is con- was then heavily depleted by the Second World
firmed by circumstantial evidence: the ques- W a r .
tionnaires used in our annual surveys invariably Periods of decreasing working-age popu-
included the following question addressed to lation are those when the 'departure' of a
secondary-school graduates: 'Are you confi- numerous generation coincides with the 'entry'
dent that you will succeed in gaining access to of a generation whose numbers are small. T h e
your preferred occupation?'. Analysis of the first half of the 1960s was precisely such a
ratio of affirmative replies to the total period: working age was being attained by
number of replies indicated that over several those w h o were born during the Second World
years (1963-68) this indicator dropped markedly, W a r , while persons born at the beginning of the
although not quite so steeply as the rise in the century were retiring. During the second half of
number of young people in the given age- the 1980s the twenty year threshold will be
group. T h e trend in question necessarily had crossed by persons belonging to the relatively
its effect on the career-choice attitudes of small generation of the second half of the
young people as reflected in their actual 1960s, while the persons leaving it will be those
behaviour in choosing an occupation. born in the second half of the 1920sa gener-
Sociology of the educational system 197

T A B L E 1. Population of age 20 to 59 years from 1956 to 2001: size and increments4

Increment overfiveyears

Size of population at the beginning Percentage change with respect

Year of year (millions) Millions to beginning of fivc-yeai

1956 106.4
1961 116.0 9.6 9.0
1966 115.5 -0.5 -0.4
1971 121.2 5.7 4.9
1976 129.7 8.5 7.0
1981 143.5 13.8 10.6
1986 151.2 7.7 5.4
1991 150.2 -1.0 -0.6
1996 154.4 4.2 2.8
2001 155.9 1.5 1.0

ation that was initially large in numbers and This means that today's youngsters will in
suffered a relatively low casualty rate during future be required to shoulder amounts of work
the Second World W a r . considerably in excess of those imposed upon
The impact of decreases in the number of previous generations of workers. Coupled with
people of working age is m u c h greater n o w , the considerable inertia of national economic
especially during the period of the twelfth Five- planning, as expressed in the maintenance of
Year Plan, than it was during the first half existing volumes, rates and relative scales of
of the 1960s. T h e sources of replenishment of development, this will undoubtedly increase
the work-force have changed susbtantially competition a m o n g industries and regions as
since that time. Young m e n and w o m e n e m - they attempt to secure the needed manpower,
barking upon working life have today become thus confronting young people with some diffi-
the principal source, whereas twenty-five years cult choices. It is true that with admissions to
ago the national economy's requirement for higher-education institutions, technical colleges
extra manpower was still being at least partly and various other types of tertiary-education
met by people from other groupssuch as the establishments being kept at no more than their
rural population in particularwho thus ac- present levels, young people's chances of being
counted for the growing number of people in admitted are increasing and a larger percentage
employment. of young m e n and w o m e n are able to pursue
The present demographic ebb is taking studies beyond secondary school. O n the other
place against a background of generally de- hand, during the same period the U S S R will be
creased birth rates in such regions of the Soviet faced with the problem of ensuring the uninter-
Union as the R S F S R , the Ukrainian S S R , the rupted functioning of the national economy and
Baltic region, the Byelorussian S S R , etc. In hence of attracting greater numbers of young
view of the fact that the processes w e have been people to go straight from school into industry,
discussing are all proceeding in the same agriculture, construction, transportation, etc.
direction, the inevitable result will be a major These two trends are bound to clash. Let it be
drop in the number of young people entering understood that w e are discussing these issues
the job market. Moreover, since the former in their most general form without touching
source of manpower, i.e., migration from rural upon the regional aspect and other complex
areas, has. been practically exhausted as far as questions that arise in connection with the need
the aforementioned regions are concerned (it to regulate the migration of young people from
has even become necessary to resettle people one place to another.
from urban to rural areas in certain instances in Quite naturally, modern demographic pro-
order to maintain agricultural production), the cesses are exercising a very direct and palpable
years to c o m e will be marked by an acute influence on the educational system, on so-
shortage of Soviet manpower. ciety's requirement for trained personnel and
198 Vladimir Shubkin

on the career-choice attitudes of young people. and more realistic view of the goals of the edu-
In analysing the three structures of young cational system in a given country.
people's career preferences, the educational In dealing with such questions as w h o m to
system and the system of production, w e cannot train and h o w m a n y people to train for any
but notice the different ways in which they occupation one must always look ahead. W h a t
behave. Career-choice attitudes arefluid:a one must look at, of course, are not the current
young person m a y alter his or her plans very but rather the future needs of society. In other
quickly. T h e educational system is less fluid, words, one must think of the time when the
although, it can change over the years, altering specialists in question will be making their
its profile and introducing training for n e w decisive contribution to the development of
occupations. W h e n w e c o m e to the system of society, science and culture. For this reason,
production, which in the final analysis is what when w e speak about a glut or a shortage of
determines the pace at which the whole of specialists w e must bear in mind the needs of
society advances, w e must not forget that the tomorrow rather than those of today.
creation of n e w job vacancies means building This is w h y a policy directed at ensuring
new plants and factories, which can easily take vocational training to satisfy the immediate
five years and in some instances as long as needs of production is so short-sightedand
ten or fifteen. It is hardly surprising therefore yet such a policy has its proponents.
that the three structures in question are by W h a t is wrong, then, with the 'competi-
no means always in step with one another and tive' approach explicitly or implicitly advocated
that imbalances a m o n g them are certain to in discussions on the subject? This approach
persist. gives rise to the following questions: if labour
All three structures develop in accordance productivity and the level of technical equip-
with both their o w n inner logic and the laws ment are low in a given country, and if the
governing the development of the macrosys- number of jobs genuinely requiring a higher
tem, namely society as a whole. Moreover, education in that country is relatively small,
the three pyramids are not equally responsive then is it really necessary for a young person to
to direct administrative decisions, and even 'overtake' someone else? Is an excess of zeal
the most fluid of them, i.e. the system of appropriate in such a situation? A r e w e need-
youngsters' career preferences, is exceedingly lessly retarding the entry of young people into
resistant. independent life? A r e w e merely encouraging
A s already pointed out, the structure of that social infantilism w e read and hear so m u c h
the national economy's requirement for people about today? Is the young person not simply
wasting five years; while the state fritters away
trained in certain occupations is relatively
enormous resources? Is it not possible to use
stable. Nevertheless, each stage in the develop-
these years and resources in a wiser way?
ment of society demands its o w n specific
distribution pattern of educational levels a m o n g W e certainly cannot be accused of re-
the population. If w e were to plot the level of verting to the 'short term target' position. Even
requirement along the Y-axis; and educational though certain general patterns m a y be said to
level, from the lowest to the highest, along the apply to the evolution of technical progress, the
X-axis; the result would be a wave-shaped development of production has its own specific
curve. Reflecting the uninterrupted advance of features in each country. W h a t one must do is
society and production, this wave steadily shifts study one's o w n prospects ten, twenty and
from left to right over the years, thus indicating thirty years ahead and be guided by them rather
that a country does in fact need ever-increasing than by what is currently happening in other
numbers of highly-educated people. This need countries.
can be more or less faithfully, reflected in Does all this m e a n that w e regard as
educational planning, depending on the extent preferable an economic approach to higher
to which w e have managed to understand the education, an approach based on the in-depth
very complex processes involved. Analysis study of the future needs of the national
of the appropriate structures and of their dy- economy, and exclusively o n those needs?
namics makes it possible to take a broader Certainly not. T h e life of a society cannot be
Sociology of the educational system 199

reduced to economics. Besides, there is more each of these pairs are closely interrelated,
than one type of education. they nevertheless remain separate.
First, there is general education, which has Sociological studies carried out in the
an important humanistic role to play, ensuring U S S R indicate that in order to cope success-
as it does the transmission of culture and fully with the problems of education it is
'historical continuity' as well as promoting the important to identify and resolve in good time
extension of young people's horizons and de- the contradictions that confront young m e n and
veloping the personality. Investment in edu- w o m e n at the start of their working lives. W e
cation is therefore tantamount to capital invest- refer to the contradictions between the subjec-
ment in h u m a n beings, and even though its tive and the objective; between the personal
effectiveness is difficult to measure the divi- aspirations felt by various groups of young
dends are usually enormous, however indirect people and the interests of society; between the
and unquantifiable they m a y be. For example, national economy's requirement for trained
expenditure on providing a humanities edu- personnel and the specific vocational incli-
cation for w o m e n w h o , having graduated from nations of the young; between the burgeoning
college or university, are obliged to stay at urbanization occurring under the impact of the
h o m e for family reasons turns out to be ex- scientific and technological revolution and the
tremely useful upon closer examination because needs of agriculture in the major food-produc-
an educated w o m a n is able to create the cul- ing regions for a stable work-force; between
tural 'microclimate' in the family that is so the sharp decrease in the number of young
important for the upbringing of children and people occasioned by the long-term effects of
for the society of the future. the war and the need to keep the various
Second, there is technical education. It has sectors of the national economy supplied with
been justly noted in the press that in contradis- highly qualified personnel; between the task of
tinction to the general and necessary knowledge ensuring the advancement of society towards
provided by the school and the desirable social homogeneity and the fullest possible use
knowledge that widens a person's outlook, the of the country's intellectual potential.
technically oriented institution of higher learn- W e have ample opportunities for coping
ing purveys specialized knowledge serving a with the problems posed by education in a
strictly defined purpose. T h e subject known as timely and effective way. For example, the set
'strength of materials' for example, is necessary of integrated measures connected with the
for a very specific purpose: to calculate the reform of general and vocational education
strength of constructions. A n d w e can hardly presently under way in the Soviet Union, 5 the
imagine a person studying industrial electrical forging of close links between training and
engineering or sewerage technology in order to productive work and the improvements being
widen his horizons. Technical education can be m a d e in the vocational guidance system. T h e
either narrow or broad. Over the past few years strategic purpose of the reform is to effect
some higher technical colleges, to meet the decisive improvements in the entire process of
needs of the scientific and technological revol- upbringing and training, to prepare young
ution, have been offering a more broadly based people for future life and work. Quite nat-
coverage of fundamentals at the beginning of urally, the implementation of this programme
the course. Such an approach promotes job of improvements in national education will be
mobility both on initial employment and on helpful in the resolution of contradictions be-
retraining. But here the profile and level of tween society's requirement for trained person-
training are determined by specific historical nel and career-choice attitudes and will genu-
needs and constraints and not by limitless inely assist millions of young m e n and w o m e n
opportunities. entering upon an independent working life.
All of this means that one cannot equate The elaboration of an effective policy in
objective and subjective needs, the needs of the field of education is predicated upon an
today and the needs of tomorrow, develop- integrated approach that goes beyond the one-
ment of the personality and the acquisition of sided scientific conclusions arrived at by
specialization. Even though the elements of specialists in particular fields of social sei-
200 Vladimir Shitbkin

eneesphilosophers, economists, sociologists, the setting up of joint research teams and

demographers, psychologists, educational groups (including international research pro-
theorists, etc. This can be achieved not only jects) to carry out integrated studies of specific
through the improved co-ordination of studies, problems in education.
which are all too often unco-ordinated, par-
ochial and overly specialized, but also through [Translated from Russian]


1. V . N . Shubkin, Sotsiologicheskie personnel and the number of young 4. V . I., Perevcdentsev, 270
opyty [Sociological Experiences], people entering the labour market. millionov [270 Million], M o s c o w ,
M o s c o w , Mysl, 1970, 287 pp.; Needless to say, under conditions of Financy i statistika, 1982, 109 pp.
D . L . Konstantionovsky and mass unemployment this balance no
V . N . Shubkin, Molodezh i longer holds, and the 'broken' 5. Materialy pervoi sessii
obrazovanie [Young People and pyramid resembles the 'solid' one Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR
Education], Moscow, Nauka, 1977, more closely. This must be borne in ordinnadtsatogo sozyva [Papers of
159 pp. mind when analysing the structures the First Session of the Eleventh
under discussion. Convocation of the U S S R Supreme
2. T h e diagram was constructed on Soviet], M o s c o w , Izdatel'stvo
the basis of the hypothesis that there 3. Unesco Courier, April 1969, politicheskoi literatury, 1984, 80 pp.
exists a balance between society's pp. 4-5.
requirement for specialized
t INIJJ ffrw'ii "i =d/ ji'oftj/^ iirc jr?j" tf liofe ^^MU^^J^^' 1

Cultural development
in ethnic groups: anthropological
explorations in education

Stefano Vrese

Ethnicity in question sential cultural nucleus has not ceased to act

as a 'reproductive reference matrix'. A s such
In our view, the nature of an indigenous ethnic the ethnic group is a phenomenon that is re-
group is an open question, rather than a< produced in two conditioning contexts: the
definite and unequivocal sociological fact; an internal one, that of its o w n 'reproductive
evolving potential, rather than a mould that is matrix'; and the external one, which imposes
set once and for all; a complex of cultural self- dominant structures that affect and pervade
perceptions and identities, each of which all the dimensions of ethnicity. T h e social
can be retrieved from the depths as circum- areas of interaction between the South Ameri-
stances and the needs of the m o m e n t require, can Indian ethnic group and the rest of society
yet which are essentially collective and shared, have thus become a frontier, a threshold zone,
and have an autonomous existence indepen- an opportunity for the desire of others to
dent of the individual will. Nevertheless eth- enforce their will and a barrier constituted by
nicity is a phenomenon of both the subjective the more or less successful cultural resistance of
and the objective realm. It results from the the Indians. These areas of interaction between
historical accumulation of various factors, the dominant classes of society and the in-
modes of life which m a y be consciously as- digenous ethnic group have varied in character
serted or not; and at the same time it is a pro- throughout the colonial period and the sub-
jection from outside the group of values, ideas sequent neo-colonial periods, which are mar-
and structures that are attributed to the ethnic ked by dependent capitalist development
group, whether it accepts them or not. from the ideological-cum-religious imposition
In this sense, the character of indigenous of evangelization, accompanied by the destruc-
ethnicity is always determined by the historical tion and restructuring of the productive, organ-
condition of interaction with the colonial and izational and political system, to the constant
neo-colonial system and domination by it. But penetration, in innumerable ways, of the edu-
at the same time, ethnicity is a phenomenon cational system and the mass media by the
of 'long historical duration' covering lengthy ideology and culture of the dominant class seen
periods of time during which different modes today, with several periods w h e n the ethnic
of production have emerged, developed and communities were relatively isolated and mar-
given way to others, although the people's es- ginalized. A t such times the force of spoliation

Stefano Vrese, a Peruvian anthropologist, is currently Director of the Regional Unit for the People's Culture, in
Oaxaca, P . O . B o x 379, Oaxaca, O a x . 68000, Mexico. H e has published works on the ethnic question in Peru and
Mexico, including Las minoras tnicas y la comunidad nacional, Proyectos tnicos y proyectos nacionales and has
edited Indgenas y educacin en Mxico.
202 Stefano Vrese

and violent oppression gave w a y to a slow, side, against its will, and which arise in the
inexorable, continual process of the expropri- structural context of what has been called the
ation of indigenous direct producers in favour unequal and joint development of peripheral or
of what S. A m i n calls 'permanent primitive dependent capitalism. This means that in the
accumulation', which, even today, marks the areas occupied by indigenous peoples, 'precapi-
basic relation between the Indian peoples and talist' forms of capitalist production or small
the rest of society. mercantile capitalism coexist with full-fledged
In this w a y , phenomena related to eth- capitalist forms of production. Most indigenous
nicity, to the specific forms assumed by each rural peoples are engaged in thefirstof these
indigenous ethnic group, m a y be understood by forms of production, the rest of the region's
considering general concepts which are a mat- inhabitants being directly or indirectly active in
ter of history and which have a long time- the capitalist productive sector (mining and
spananalytical instruments that can over- energy industries, those in which capital and
c o m e the limitations of short-term, immediate management are principally the responsibility
causality and of interpretations derived from of the state, and privately owned agricultural
economics. H o w can w e account for the will and stock-raising concerns). Production re-
to live manifested by these forms of cultural lations therefore vary considerably. In rural
diversity, when everything would appear to areas, where ethnic populations are concen-
suggest that they m a y be destroyed or else in- trated, relations tend to be predominantly
corporated into the generic culture of the reciprocal and to involve redistribution within
dominant society within a few decades? H o w the community; or they m a y be of a purely
can w e explain the incontrovertible fact that mercantile character, as in the case of inter-
there are large numbers of Indian ethnic communal relations in the form of local mar-
groups in Mexico and America, even after cen- kets; or, finally, they m a y be capitalist in
turies of aggression and oppression and decades nature, in the case of relations between the
of systematic attempts to assimilate them? indigenous peasantry and the external capitalist
According to the most moderate estimates, commercial sector. Production relations are
based on official statistics, there are approxi- different, on the other hand, in areas of
mately 30 million natives belonging to about capitalist investment where the ethnic groups
400 ethnic groups in Latin America (Mayer become part of the permanent or seasonal
and Masferrer, 1979; Rodriguez and Soubie, wage-earning labour force and therefore enter
1979). Recent demographic surveys show that the circuit of fully capitalist production
in 1980 there was an indigenous population relations.
of more than 9 million in Mexico, and it is
The function performed by the indigenous
likely that by the year 2000 there will be
peasant sector in a subordinate capitalist econ-
about the same number as at the time of the
o m y is related to the fact that, in peripheral
invasion in the sixteenth century (Vrese,
areas, the system as a whole needs a reserve
1983a, pp. 141-7).
labour force linked to the land and to a sub-
sistence economy. T h e maintenance of such a
semiproletarian peasantry, with specific ethnic
and linguistic loyalties and differences, or as-
The reproduction of ethnicity similated to a generic rural subculture, per-
forms two complementary functions. O n the
T o help the reader understand the mechanisms one hand, it means that the salary scale on the
and the process of the reproduction of Indian labour market is lowequal to or less than the
ethnic groups in Mexico as distinct social and production of use value in the rural economy.
cultural entities, w e shall refer to some ideas set O n the other hand, it implies the permanent
forth in previous works (Vrese, 1983). availability of a labour force whose members
First, the reproduction of the indigenous are self-supporting and not dependent on out-
ethnic group takes place within the framework side employers, and w h o usually work on their
of conditions external to the ethnic community, own land to produce and distribute commonly
conditions which are imposed on it from out- used commodities, even in the worst conditions
Cultural development in ethnic groups 203

of constant demographic, biotic and ecological structural reproductive reference matrix, which
deterioration. gives continuity and cohesion to a group's
The maintenance and development in local system of cognition. A n ethnic group is more-
areas of a majority sector of indigenous over a m o d e of organizing the production of
peasants with a subsistence economy, plus goods and the manner of their distribution,
another sector producing merchandise, is an in- marketing, use and consumption.
evitable consequence of the law of capitalist ac- Third, ethnicity is expressed in the w a y in
cumulation on the periphery of the world which people define surplus production and the
capitalist system. It is due to the fact that use they m a k e of it. T h e socially accepted
underdeveloped capitalism needs to maximize definition and use of goods, work and time that
its profits by keeping wages d o w n . This, in turn,
are not directed towards subsistence and repro-
drastically limits the expansion of the internal duction, together with the other factors w e
market and perpetuates the divisions in society have mentioned, m a k e up the central core of an
that result in the permanent 'ghettoization', ethnic group's w a y of life and determine its
marginalization and exclusion of the indigen- character.
ous peasant sector in commercial agriculture, Here, of course, w e again encounter the
commerce and industry. But the other side of relation between the external and internal
the coin is the opposition and resistance of- conditions of ethnic reproduction. T o what
fered by the peasant sector. T h e existence extent are internal conditions affected, modi-
of non-capitalist modes of production in the de- fied or perpetuated by the action of external
pendent sector of a country also implies the conditions? H o w can w e continue to speak of
maintenance of the conditions of ethnic repro- 'Huichol ethnicity', for example, if the external
ductionthe reproduction of cultures, organ- conditions of reproduction exert such pressure
izational forms and ideologies which, despite on the group that it loses all control of the
their economic function in the global context, consumption of the hallucinogen peyotl, thus
conflict with the desired national integration substantially altering the entire symbolic, cos-
and are incompatible with the plan of a domi- mological and socio-economic order that is
nant national class. centred around this plant? W h a t is the critical
Second, each indigenous ethnic group re- threshold of the economic organization of
produces itself through a n u m b e r of internal Zapoteca or Mixe peasants beyond which it can
conditions which are basically expressed in the be claimed that they have entered into 'the
relations of the ethnic group with its spatial logic of capitalist accumulation' and have relin-
environment, its history, its conception of time quished all connection with the 'logic of reci-
and, most of all, the linguistic system which procity', of use value and of 'anti-accumu-
orders, expresses and reproduces these cat- lation', which is precisely one of the basic
egories of thought. These are essentially the characteristics of the reproduction of ethnic
spheres of social activity in which the specific, specificity? no easy answer to these
particular character of a culture is manifest. For questions. T w o points call for discussion: (a)
of course an ethnic group is not only a social the long historical time-span as a characteristic
entity that is held together and sustained by its dimension of the ethnic question; and (b) the
relation of dependence on the dominant so- question of the contradictory coexistence
ciety, an entity that can b e objectively and of use value and exchange value within the
subjectively defined by the w a y it contrasts with ethnic group.
the society in which it lives; it is basically a Except for prerural ethnic groups (tribal
relation of the group with the historically micro-ethnic groups mostly living in the A m a -
structured environment, enduring and beyond zonian tropical forest) the vast majority of
political and economic upheavals which, though indigenous peoples in Latin America, especially
they determine its nature, d o not define it in Mexico, are rural societies, that is to say
completely. A n d , as w e have said, it is a societies in whose economic system a substan-
particular m o d e of reproducing k n o w n reality tial proportion of production meets the needs
by employing a specific language, each n e w of internal consumption, while the remain-
experience being referred to a semantic and derwhich m a y be culturally defined as surplus
204 Stefano Vrese

productionenters the essentially inequitable non-accumulative and the logic of a centrifugal

commercial exchange circuit through the capi- value which is individual, accumulative, differ-
talist market. In both prerural and rural ethnic entiating and asymmetric.
groups, a considerable proportion of the ac- W e believe that an Indian society's ca-
tivity of society is directed towards the pro- pacity to maintain this dialectical interplay
duction of use values. Whereas in micro-ethnic between the two systems of logic, without
groups with a domestic m o d e of production the allowing exchange value to take over all the
production of use value is the main social and spheres of collective life, is the factor that
economic objective giving shape to the whole; constitutes and expresses the ethnic group's
in rural ethnic groups with a purely mercantile resistance and its style of civilizationits cul-
economy the production of use value, that is, ture and specific ethnicitywhich, in the final
the zone of self-sufficiency and reciprocity in analysis, is the w a y in which society has in
services and exchanges, is always in a state of the past organized and continues to reproduce
competitive tension with the production of the utilization of use value and related factors
exchange values. Competitiveness increases that define surplus production and determine
with the increasing penetration of the capitalist its purpose.
economy. There can be no doubt that this T h e points w e have discussed, therefore,
contradictory coexistence of two economic, are important not so m u c h for their defining or
social and cultural systems, this permanent classificatory qualities, but because if the group
tension between two loyalties and two forms of understands them correctly it can m a k e wise
identity, is generally characteristic of rural decisions. In so far as an indigenous ethnic
indigenous ethnicity as opposed to the rest of group, acting collectively, handles this relation
society. between use value and exchange value indepen-
T h e presence of this competitive tension dently, without being dominated by the capi-
between the two values is more than a matter of talist culture's hegemonythe primacy of the
transformation and transition from one m o d e logic of exchange valueone can say that
of production (domestic, communal, tax-pay- cultural independence exists, and consequently
ing, etc.) to another (small-scale mercantile that it is possible for the group to decide upon
production, capitalist production). T h e ethnic an original plan for the future.
communities of Meso-America are k n o w n to Regarding the other important point in this
have been involved in tax-paying modes of discussionthe long historical timespanwe
production for several centuries. Consequently, think that consideration should be given both to
these communities have experienced the con- the findings of the French school of histori-
tradiction of the coexistence within each c o m - ography as set forth in the Annales and to the
munity of the two values, and the need to ideas m o r e recently formulated by a minority
define the character of surplus production and school of thought in Mexican anthropology
decide h o w it should be used: they are part of a (Bonfil, 1983). These show that a group's 'own
complex power g a m e between the demands of culture', that is the culture that it regards as
the political and ideological centre and the unquestionably genuine and endogenous, is
needs of the c o m m u n a l or regional productive very often merely the 'appropriated culture' of
unit. a specific point in history, which it has re-
T h e result, then, is not a process of thought, understood, and asserted to be its
transition from one m o d e to another, exchange o w n . H o w else can w e explain the fact that the
value being slowly but surely substituted for use compound of age-old elements of disparate
value until the latter disappears altogether and origin, which have been put together, which
the complete primacy of the former is estab- function, and which n o w constitute the out-
lished. It is rather a question of the permanent ward, concrete signs of the culture of an ethnic
and structural condition of the reproduction group, are ethnicity itself, the entity to which
of indigenous rural ethnicity, which centres loyalty is due, the community which acts as a
around the age-old dialectic between the logic reflecting mirror and in which ethnic identity is
of a centripetal value which is shared, collec- reaffirmed?
tive, levelling, reciprocal, symmetrical and
Cultural development in ethnic groups 205




A n adult literacy course for Peruvian Indians. Kay Lawson.

206 Stefano Vrese

Ethnic alienation ferent collective self, expressed through social

forms and p h e n o m e n a which reveal the dif-
T h e ages of domination and subordination did ferent levels of shared understanding of the
not pass without a struggle, and the resistance relation between diversity (field of culture) and
of indigenous ethnic groups w a s marked by inequality (field of economic exploitation and
ambiguity, dilemmas, contradictions and con- the class struggle). In this aspect of ethnicity,
flicts. Unity is possible, but it remains a therefore, w e can identify the two extremes
challenge to political construction and cultural indicated: o n the one hand the corporate ethnic
redevelopment. Every Mexican Indian ethnic consciousness which is organic, passive and
group is an objective historical unit which, by distinct, traditionally defined in anthropology
virtue of its structures and its political and as ethnocentric; on the other hand the active,
intellectual organizations, m a y b e c o m e a his- political, militant ethnic consciousness which
torical and political unit that makes its o w n seeks hegemonic consciousnessthat is, a syn-
decisions. A t this point w e c o m e to the question thesis of plans and programmes shared by
of individual and collective consciousness of the members of the group. This hegemonic ethno-
nature (cultural specificity), size (in society and political consciousness is inevitably class-con-
in space) and depth (in time) of the people. sciousness: it solves the apparent contradiction
O n e can identify two levels of ethnicity, between diversity and inequality (Bonfil, 1983)
that is, two levels of the conscious and de- and seeks to overcome economic, social and
liberate organization of an ethnic group. T h e political inequality while preserving the ex-
first level, which is organic (or natural) is that pression and development of diversity on the
of the ethnic group which recognizes itself and cultural and linguistic levels.
expresses its identity through a corporate con- But this growth of social consciousness and
sciousness. T o paraphrase M a r x somewhat therefore of ethnicity, essentially inspired by
freely, w e m a y say that the 'ethnic group in local intellectuals and organizations, does not
itself defines and perceives itself only on the take place without a n u m b e r of conflicts within
basis of the recognition of its character which the ethnic group. T h e fact that the Indian group
is different from and contrasts with the other, has been in a permanent colonial relation has
i.e., the rest of society. This 'consciousness of brought about the fragmentation of ethnic unity'
the different self m a y or m a y not be critical, into disconnected, isolated village and c o m m u -
and m a y be based o n a comparison of the nal nuclei, which were for centuries unilaterally
nature of the ethnic group's situation with connected only with the chieftains responsible
that of other groups which m a y be in a domi- for economic extortion and political control.
nant position. But it is an ideological formu- T h e network of multilateral and complemen-
lation, an idea, an affirmation, which does not tary ecological and economic relations that
lead to an initiative or a programme of deliber- connected local units of Indian groups vanished
ate action directed towards the situation itself. as early as the sixteenth century, and a collec-
It is a 'passive consciousness of the different tion of units emerged which lacked cohesion
self. and became progressively 'ghettoized' on the
T h e 'active consciousness of the different cultural and linguistic levels, with increasing
self is situated at another level, that of the dialectalization, until they no longer saw them-
'ethnic group for itself, which is not organic selves as part of a larger whole. T h e subjective
but politicalthe group that subjectively per- historical unity of the ethnic group w a s lost,
ceives itself as different, yet recognizes the and with it the group's capacity to affirm itself
inequitable nature of the interethnic structure as a potential unit with power to take decisions.
of which it is part, as well as its class position in T h e role played by cultural alienation w a s of
relation to the overall social context. the utmost importance in this long process of
political and economic fragmentation by the
Seen thus, ethnicity is not only an analyti-
colonists, which was the lot of indigenous
cal category defined on the basis of the descrip-
peasants in Mexico and generally throughout
tive (and quantitative) criteria used in the fields
the Meso-American and A n d e a n zones. Apart
of anthropology and sociology; it is the very
from the dislocation of all the mechanisms
manifestation of the consciousness of the dif-
Cultural development in ethnic groups 207

which created a sense of economic, political, ing such collective practices they also help to
linguistic and cultural unity on the interethnic bring about an ethnic culture of subordination,
and supracommunal planes, the Indian people a culture that is fragmented, schizoid and can
of every ethnic group were cut off from the be used for specific purposes in different areas
collective m e m o r y of their past and left with of social interaction, a culture that is mimetic,
nothing m o r e than fragmentary and partial imitative, bilingual and cognitively impover-
glimpses of it, unrelated to each other and ished; while the indigenous culture leads a clan-
constantly invalidated by the imposition of the destine existence, being used in domestic, c o m -
conqueror's views. munal and ethnic environments. This differ-
A s w e k n o w , the task of historical and entiated, subordinate use of culture has led
cultural alienation was eagerly undertaken by to the 'ghettoization' of Indian culture and
the parish priests in the earliest colonial period, language, a p h e n o m e n o n marked by voluntary
carried further by the m o r e systematic work of isolation and retreatalthough the strategy of
evangelization and administrative control under clandestinization has been successful as a form
the vice-royalty, and subsequently adopted of resistanceand at the same time a p h e n o m -
with equal enthusiasm by the republics, in this enon imposed and maintained by the overall
case in accordance with lay ideology which structure which isolates the ethnic group and
posited the need for national homogeneity and prevents it from appropriating and benefiting
integration. T h e important-point here is the from the cultural progress and development of
basic role that cultural and historical alienation the rest of society. T h e process of 'appropriated
has played, as it does today, in the subjugation culture' noted by Bonfil (1983) is partially
and domination of indigenous peoples. Alien- blocked by those combined mechanisms of
ation transformed them into a divided and isolation and external domination ' which pro-
disorganized labour force which reproduced duce a culture of resistance by omission.
itself for reasons of self-sufficiency, constantly
threatened by poverty, within the productive or
residential units of the community. Obviously, T h e critical step:
this process was neither uniform nor constant in active ethnic resistance
time or in space. S o m e ethnic areas were
reduced to subjection from the beginning of the W h a t is the sociological and statistical signifi-
invasion; others, of less importance to the cance of such an alienated culture for a Indian
colonial e c o n o m y , managed to remain in rela- ethnic group? D o e s the rejected culture really
tive isolation. S o m e ethnic groups' were robbed affect most of the m e m b e r s of the indigenous
of their resources and broken up; while others society to such a degree that any attempt at
were retained as a reserve labour force. But in liberation and cultural disalienation would pre-
every case, sooner or later, the imposition of an suppose a heroic effort that is destined to fail?
ideology and cultural fragmentation became the Although w e distrust statistical figures as ap-
norm in interethnic and class relations between plied to political or revolutionary programmes,
the colonizer's dominant society and the domi- w e think it worth while to reproduce data de-
nated society of the colonized. rived from a survey carried out s o m e years
This system of economic and political ago in a Zapoteca ethnic community in the
domination and subordination, decay and the southern state of Oaxaca (Ayre, 1982; Vrese,
loss of cultural and linguistic legitimacy has 1983e).
resulted in the individual and collective forma-
tion of a rejected, negated, devalued ethnic T h e militant ethnic nucleus:
identity which, interacting with the external, beyond a m e r e statistical verification
non-indigenous world, tends to shrink and
become clandestine, manifesting itself only in In carrying out a survey some time ago a m o n g
imitative and mimetic replicas of the dominant 3,173 people at different levels of the edu-
culture. In this w a y m e m b e r s of ethnic groups cational system, w h o c a m e from twenty Z a p o -
try to reduce the degree of ethnic and racial teca urban and rural localities in the region
aggression and discrimination. But in encourag- of Oaxaca, w e were mainly interested in ob-
208 Stefano Vrese

taining a representative sample of the type of that have been in contact for the longest time
information and ideology provided by the with the rest of society, with which its relations
educational system. W e also wanted to observe have been those of inequality and subordi-
the ethnic groups' capacity to resist, and their nation, w e m a y reasonably suppose that this
ability to maintain local lore and concepts of a uncompromising nucleus m a y be of equal or
cultural nature.1 A m o r e sophisticated statisti- greater statistical importance in other ethnic
cal analysis carried out some time later (Ayre, groups that have been subject to less pen-
1982) revealed an important and somewhat etration.
surprising characteristic which reappeared W e believe that this nucleus will provide
throughout the survey. Approximately a quar- the intellectuals and leaders w h o will develop
ter of the sample turned out to be an ethnically an active consciousness of the different self, a
uncompromising social nucleus loyal to its militant ethnic consciousness. It is important to
culture and language and impervious to the note that this part of the ethnic group is not
attraction and the ideological and cultural necessarily or exclusively the most 'traditional
penetration of the school system. This dis- and isolated' (the part that has a passive
covery was all the m o r e striking because all consciousness of the different self), but pre-
those interviewed in the sample belonged to the cisely the part m a d e up of people w h o have
official school system, the curricula, pro- come back to their community and w h o , having
g r a m m e s and activities of which are governed reflected upon their o w n culture and that of the
by the principle of deculturation and the cul- dominant society, are making a determined
tural and linguistic assimilation of the pupil. effort to analyse and compare the two, devising
T h e following is a typical profile of a m e m b e r of ways of appropriating the foreign culture and
this uncompromising nucleus, as deduced stat- adapting their o w n . According to A . Cirese,
istically from the sample on the basis of the they are in m a n y cases people w h o have lived
questionnaire. H e is between 16 and 18 years through the critical generational phase of 'nos-
of age, and he thinks that the Zapoteca and talgia'.
Indian peoples enjoyed better living conditions
A n important role in this area of the ethnic
before the colonial invasion, and ought to
question, but one to which little attention has
organize themselves politically in order to rise
been given, is that of migrants w h o leave the
above their subordinate status and defend their
ethnic community to go to urban centres or
interests more effectively. H e is aware that
to the United States, then return to the com-
there are a great n u m b e r of indigenous ethnic
munity from time to time, or for good. W h a t
groups in the country and that they comprise
effect do they have on the group's identity?
m a n y people. H e is familiar with his people's
What do they do with their savings? D o they
history, respects its language, and believes that
spend them on expensive consumer goods, or
education ought to be bilingual. His most
do they invest in land and agricultural pro-
outstanding characteristics are his ethnic pride
duction, or in commerce? W h a t is their atti-
and militancy and his confidence in the poten-
tude towards the ethnic language, the situation
tial of his culture and its traditions.
regarding ritual and festive events, lavish
Clearly, if a m o r e diversified and represen- spending, and the external signs of their ethnic
tative sample were taken of all indigenous culture?
ethnic groups in Mexico, this profile would be Empirical observation of the lives of intel-
different, as adults, elderly people and a lectuals, poets, artists, militants and political
greater number of w o m e n would be included. leaders belonging to indigenous ethnic groups
W h a t conclusion can be drawn from this confirms that people w h o have returned to their
survey? W e believe an uncompromising nucleus community tend to criticize the whole state of
such as this is probably to be found in all the affairs and keep militant ethnicity alive. This is
ethnic groups which have survived deliberate particularly evident a m o n g the more numerous
or biological genocide, and that this same nu- ethnic groups: Nahua, M a y a , Zapoteca, M i x -
cleus is responsible for the group's continued teco, Mazateco, Mixe, Chinanateco, Otomi.
existence. If w e consider, moreover, that the Professional people w h o have done university
Zapoteca people is one of the ethnic groups studies are not necessarily lost to the cause of
Cultural development in ethnic groups 209

their ethnic group. S o m e of them return to Research, training and ethnic

their people to play an active role and m a k e an development: an experiment
ideological, technological or cultural contri-
bution. In this context of theoretical and factual investi-
Special attention must be paid to those gation, in 1981 a small team of twelve started
members of the ethnic group w h o belong to the an experimental programme in Sierra Jurez,
teaching profession and w h o , as a rule, suffer a Oaxaca, and in the mountainous isthmus re-
considerable degree of cultural alienation. They gion, a m o n g three indigenous ethnic groups:
have a superficial training, undergo an urban the Chinanteca, the Mixe and the Zapoteca. 2
type of resocialization (general secondary edu-
cation or teacher training) and return to the The socio-ethnic context
community withfinancialprestige and power (a
salary) and political power (external contacts Only a few areas of the vast mountainous
and knowledge) of which the communal auth- regions occupied by the three groups were
orities are unaware. T h e most serious thing chosen for the project. Mainly for reasons of
about this indigenous group of teachers is the logistics and to facilitate the investigation, three
fact that the small amount of training they are districts contiguous to the Sierra Jurez and a
given is designed to discredit the culture and municipality in the district of Juchitan, in the
language of their peoples. O n the other hand, isthmus, were selected. About twenty-five com-
all their combativeness and social nonconform- munities were involved in the project. Approxi-
ity finds a formal, legitimate outlet that is mately 50,000 people were covered by the
socially acceptable in trade union activity, programme, including 20,000 Zapoteca, 20,000
which has been to some extent 'tamed' by the Mixe and some 10,000 Chinateca ( U R O ,
semi-governmental union structures and ideol- 1982). The average community numbers 2,500
ogies that constitute the dominant tradition of persons, and all the villages are situated in
post-revolutionary Mexico. remote mountainous country, the only access
So the teacher, with a number of note- being by u n m a d e roads or tracks.
worthy exceptions, becomes a kind of spokes- Almost all the communities suffer from the
m a n and standard-bearer of cultural alienation. effects of a constant decline in natural forest
H e transmits the unjustified cultural prestige of resources and the erosion of arable land due to
the general ideologized information that makes over-exploitation. T h e land is being eroded
up school syllabuses, and, worst of all, he because the population has increased steadily in
constantly attacks the ethnic community's the last few decades, despite the high rate of
language, lore, technology and rites, and its emigration, and more commercial crops are
organizational and economic systems. The in- being grown. S o m e communities are barely
ability of the community's authorities and of its self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs (maize, kidney
members to exercise real control over the beans, chili beans, pumpkins, etc.); others have
teacher gives the latter a sort of social and to import these products from the central
cultural extraterritoriality which is envied by valleys of Oaxaca. O n the other hand, the
some and criticized by others, but in all cases he growing of certain commercial crops, in
is estranged from both groups. In the ethnic particular coffee, not only leaves less arable
groups in Mexico, the teacher has no social land for subsistence farming, but also requires
obligations within the community. H e does not intensive seasonal labour, which means that
perform communal tasks, and does not dis- even less labour power is available for the pro-
charge his financial obligations when absent. duction of essential commodities.
H e does not assume his responsibilities w h e n In all these ethnic regions, small artisanal
the communal assembly has to take decisions, industry using appropriate traditional tech-
but relies on the prestige conferred on him by nology has been deteriorating as a result of the
the fact that the state school system has been growth of a precarious monetarized econ-
operating forfiftyyears in almost all the ethnic omycyclically linked to the periods when
territories, and also on the support of the labour is taken on, both within and outside
educational administrative authorities. the regionwhich encourages the purchase of
210 Stefano Vrese

poor quality, overpriced and industrially m a n u - ties are appearing, more noticeable in some
factured consumer goods from outside the than in others. A few small sectors, for in-
regions. stance, have taken over the mechanisms and
T h e road communications sytem follows channels of distribution and commercial-
the typical colonial pattern for isolated areas: ization, and in some cases certain commodities,
all communities of any importance to consump- and there is also a local bureaucratic petty
tion and production are connected to Oaxaca bourgeoisie which is tied up with the state
City, which is the commercial and political administrative and productive system. Never-
centre. T h e result is a star-shaped communi- theless, as w e have said, the basic contradic-
cation system with branches radiating from the tion between use value and exchange value
centre to the regions, but with no connection continues to function as a powerful instrument
between neighbouring communities. This can- of social levelling and economic redistri-
not be called a communications network. bution: individual accumulation continues to
Communities which are only a few kilometres be socially controlled and criticized.
apart often have to communicate with each
other by going through the Oaxaca Valley. T h e
system of exchange by means of traditional Methods of work
markets (market places rotating weekly) is still
in existence, so that there are no roads except The programme began by the selection, in
for purposes of intercommunal communication. conjunction with ethnic communities and their
But obviously this form of exchange is not as ethnopolitical organizations (if they had any),
efficient as capitalist penetration, which uses of members of a community as candidates to
the network of roads radiating out to isolated participate in the eight-month course. T h e
areas. A traditional communications network is candidates were selected after they had been
in use for the exchange of festive and ritual given a talk on the nature and objectives of the
services of a cultural nature, especially per-
training programme and had been told that
formances given by orchestras and dancing
participants would be expected to return to
their communities, after training, as cultural
C o m m u n a l political organization conforms workers (officially known as Bilingual Cultural
with the colonial model, adopted by the ethnic Workers).
community in cultural matters, of the system
of civic and religious posts which governs ap- Principles
pointment to positions of prestige and auth-
ority (not necessarily power in the modern Central to the theory underlying the course and
economic and. political sense of the term). the activities subsequently undertaken and
U p o n this model is superimposed the modern carried though by the organizers and the
municipal systemtheoretically electiveim- Oaxaca Research and Promotion Unit are a
posed by the state and federal government as a number of principles and basic ideas which are
necessary political and administrative condition. always explained to the members of the com-
T h e community operates this administrative munities involved in the programme. They are
machinery, which is of urban origin, with prag- briefly summarized by the Unit ( U R O , 1982;
matism and as circumstances require. Never- Vrese, 1983c).
theless this political system, based on the Subordinate and repudiated though it is, the
central government, is sometimes favoured by culture of the Indian peoples could be the
those members of the community w h o are be- driving force of a will, a determination to
ginning to stand out as authority figures opt for development and self-assertion.
tough m e n with political and financial aspir- This principle recognizes the primacy of
ations. If this is so, there m a y be a violent, the mind, ideas and language as opposed
closely contested conflict which splits the c o m - to the desire to imitate and reproduce
munity along the lines of the two systems of the economic growthof questionable
civic and political administration. valueachieved by sectors of the domi-
Internal differences within the communi- nant society.
Cultural development in ethnic groups 211

A school for young Cora Indians in Sierra de Nayarit, Western Mexico, 1896. Muse de l'homme, Paris.

Throughout the centuries the Indian peoples of production. ( A p h e n o m e n o n that is

have always shown a determination to characteristic of capitalist development is
survive. Expressing their ethnicity in their not found in Indian ethnic groupsthe
o w n w a y , they have gone through the substitution of cultural activities for cul-
different stages of pre-colonial, colonial ture, so that the people b e c o m e an object
and national development, adapting to of culture, of the consumption of culture,
profound economic and social changes rather than a subject creating and repro-
while remaining different from the rest of ducing culture.)
Mexican society. A n ethnic group's reflection on its o w n culture
The social identity (primarily and necessarily is a matter of such concern to all its
that of the individual) of an indigenous m e m b e r s that it can arouse the group to
people centres around its cultural activi- action and stimulate its development.
ties, that is, all its activities concerned T h e problems and obstacles which prevent such
with production, distribution, use and con- action have their origin in the long process
sumption, which can be divided into two of the colonial and neo-colonial depen-
broad categories of time whose nature is dence and subordination of the Indian
quite distincttimes for everyday life and people. T h e social and economic sub-
times for celebrating rites or festivals. mission of a people conceals the pro-
Basically, however, the culture of an gressive weakening of its specific form of
Indian ethnic group originates and evolves civilization, the loss of its cultural initiat-
in the world of work, in the whole process ive and its lack of confidence in its o w n
212 Stefano Vrese

proposals, until it is not really aware of biology, geography, pedagogy, musicology,

its situation. T h e immediate problems, es-
visual arts, theatre and so on) co-operates in
pecially financial ones, are so great that the preparation, presentation and discussion of
culture tends to be relegated, to the back-the teaching modules and units. Teaching is
ground and regarded as being of little based on the realization that the 'pupils' have
importance. People think that once urgent already acquired some knowledge and experi-
financial problems are solved there will beence and that the function of the 'advisers' is
time enough to consider ethnic and cul- to motivate them, guide them, stimulate them
tural questions and to deal with difficult to learn and help them to see what other
problems such as those of identity and members of the ethnic group m a y k n o w or
creativity. think, as individuals or as a group. The object is
Nevertheless, to propose to solve afinancialor to systematize 'popular ethnic knowledge and
social problem in one w a y rather than thought' and enhance its value by critically
another is precisely to take a cultural comparing it with universal knowledge and
decision, opt for a particular way of life,enriching it thereby.
choose (even if unwittingly) a specific This kind of exploratory project has a
manner of going about the maintenance, number of aims, but the principal one is to
construction or reconstruction of one's restore to participants a sense of security and
o w n society. confidence in their o w n systems of thought and
T h e cultural question thus ceases to be coveredknowledge and their w a y of looking at the
up, put in the background and ignored. world: in their o w n ethnic language; their
A n erroneous consciousness 'constantly af-history, which has been restored to them;
fects the base on which it is formed as their land, whose importance they have redis-
covered; their forms of social, economic and
such', and this m e a n s that a false concep-
tion helps to reproduce the social and political organization; their place in the re-
gional framework; and finally the social future
economic structure which gave rise to it, at
the same time amplifying and justifying it.of their ethnic communities.
So it is of the greatest political importance The method of teaching is such that the
that an Indian people should be able to exposition of cultural questions and reflection
regain a real consciousness of its historicupon them are not separated from research and
and cultural specificity and of the potential
proposals for practical projects. The idea is to
of its cultural plan. Liberation, therefore,
avoid dissociating learned theoretical concepts
takes place strictly within the context of from the possibility of applying them in practice
cultural creation. and from the ability to do so. Thus the course is
T h e ethnopolitical project, as an undertaking designed to train people to think about culture
aimed at cultural mobilization, rehabili- rather than to copy it; to produce militants and
tation and development, is a long-term activists rather than scientists.
and wide-ranging collective task; no social There remains the problem of reading and
activity is excluded from it. Cultural writing in ethnic languages. There is as yet no
workers.are catalysts, but the community written form of the languages of the three
as a whole, at the communal level and ethnic groups involved. During the course,
also, possibly, at the ethnic-cum-regional participants work out and learn an alphabet
level, is the real mobilizing agent. which makes them 'literate' in their o w n
languages. O f course this is only the beginning
Teaching practice of the real problem of introducing the c o m -
munities to literacy in ethnic languages, with
T h e main pedagogical feature of the modular the attendant problem of uniformity and stan-
training programme is that it is highly flexible dardization.
and can be adapted to suit participants at the The collective task of teaching, research
outset and as they progress through the course. and cultural promotion performed by members
T h e multidisciplinary team (consisting of of the ethnic groups in conjunction with the
people qualified in anthropology, linguistics, advisers hasfivemain objects.
Cultural development in ethnic groups 213

In the first place, the recovery of ethnic society regarding the organization of life on the
time, that is, placing the history of the ethnic basis of corporate decisions that will be
group as an objective and analytical unit within increasingly independent.
the regional and national context. T h e object is
to retrieve the history of the native group at Ethnopolitical practice
important stages in its civilization and in all its
length and depth. Participants study the history T h e process of introducing cultural workers
of subjugated peoples, discover their contri- into the community and into the ethnic region is
bution to civilization, and see what a partial a difficult one, and gives rise to conflict. It was
and false view has been given by the domi- of the utmost importance for us to select
nant culture. candidates on the basis of incontrovertible
The second object is to study the group's criteria, and it was desirable that the origin and
space, their territory (both n o w and in the social status of each cultural worker selected
past), their environment, and all the knowledge should enable the community to identify fully
possessed by the ethnic group about these with the person. T h e level of education attained
categories of nature, with a view to stimulating was not of major significance, the only con-
critical reflection about the land where the dition being that the candidate should be able
group lives, the people's ideas about their land to read and write Spanish. T h e aim was to ap-
and the w a y they use it. point an equal n u m b e r of m e n and w o m e n ,
The third object of the programme is to but this was not always possible. People w h o
revive the language, that is to say, to set in had shown a high degree of 'ethnic militancy'
motion a systematic process of reflection on the were chosen. Finally, recommendations m a d e
language itself, the critical analysis of the by the community and ethnic organizations
language and categories of thought and of the were taken into account in the selection.
structurization of the universe that it embodies, T h e most determined opposition to the
expresses and reproduces creatively. This is work of those organizing the project came,
central to our idea of education, because w e first, from teachers, m a n y of w h o m ideologi-
acknowledge that language is the principal cally represent the interests of small business-
matrix of any civilization. T h e knowledge and m e n in the community w h o attempt to break
imagination, the future and the dreams of a the force of ethnic resistance and to introduce
people exist in and are expressed in its the changes required for greater monetarization
language. T o regain confidence in the gener- of the economy and the growth,of exchange
ating and creative power of one's ethnic value. Besides this, the teacher perceives a
language is to begin the process of cultural threat to his traditional monopolyknowledge
mobilization. This implies inventing or rein- of the content and the principles of the national
venting a way. to write the ethnic language and culture. In the end, the conflict between the
exploring its potential. teacher and the cultural worker centres, round
The fourth object, closely linked with the the complete incompatibility of what they are
third, is the rehabilitation of ethnic conceptions doing, though this has seldom been m a d e clear.
and knowledge, or the rediscovery of the O n the one hand there is faith in official
various ethnosystems, cognitive and classifi- education as the conveyer of 'civilization' and
cation systems, technologies and knowledge in progress for native peoples; on the other, there
all areas of social life. is the rehabilitation and upgrading of a people's
Fifth there is the futureplans for society, culture and of all that the school identifies as
systematized imagination and thought directed signs and causes of 'backwardness', from the
towards the possible future of the ethnic group. people's language to its festivals.
The object of this aspect of the programme is to In addition to these sources of conflict, in
give people an idea of the role that each of the the first few months of the cultural workers'
ethnic groups taking part can actually play in activity in their communities there were a
the future, in the national context as it really is: number of misunderstandings, sometimes on
as well as the practical means of working out the part of the community: the intangible
ethnic projects and giving effect to the will of nature of the cultural workers' efforts was the
214 Stefano Vrese

object of criticism that was difficult to refute. habilitation of ethnic music and dance, acting
A s rural people see it, exclusively intellectual as, promoters or participants, or providing
activity is not real work. T h e teacher (who technical assistance.
actually works in the school) is the only person All these predominantly cultural activities,
w h o , thanks to the considerable degree of which were part of the superstructure, had two
approval accorded to him in the last few noteworthy results. M e m b e r s of the community
decades, is allowed not to be 'productive'. Even became aware of the hidden aspects of their
musicians, a very special and highly respected culture, and they were somewhat startled to
social group, have to perform productive work. realize that their identity had been ignored or
So the cultural worker is a complete newcomer, driven underground. But at the same time
w h o has to find his o w n place within the ethnic members of the community, cultural workers
community by persuasion and example, which and members of local organizations became
is not easy. In one of the Zapoteca regions the polarized around two apparently irreconcilable
people coined the term guendashaba to refer to questions: native culture ('customs' is the local
bilingual cultural workersa term meaning term) or development; tradition or change;
'those w h o do nothing'that is, those w h o go conservation or innovation.
around asking questions, but w h o do no work
and produce nothing. The question of development and culture
O f course, at the beginning the cultural
workers were alarmed and lost confidence as a Discussion and debate have begun and are in
result of this social pressure, and they were on progress. O n e point became clear at the out-
the point of giving up; but none did so. Small setthat the contradiction between a people's
groups of residents began to discuss the pro- culture (ethnicity) and its development is only
jects for cultural rehabilitation before they apparent and is intentionally maintained as an
came up for consideration by the entire com- ideological instrument of control. T h e best
munity meeting in a general assembly. Various example of the entire compatibility between
ways and means, both traditional and modern, ethnicity and development is provided by the
were used to publicize ideas, projects, progress Zapotecas of the isthmus, whose militant loy-
and results. The theatre was certainly one of alty to their ethnicity and language is contribu-
the most effective means of arousing aware- ting to the success of a development and
ness, informing people, and getting them to modernization project undertaken by the
think about and discuss such matters, especiallypeople.
in cases where few people could read either Nevertheless it also became clear that the
Spanish or the n e w alphabets of the ethnic time had c o m e for the cultural workers and
languages. other ethnic activists to progress from reflection
In these early stages, the cultural workers and action concerning the superstructure to
worked out research and promotion projects action at the economic base. This means that
(constantly supplying the ethnic community the nature and implications of economic, tech-
with information about progress and results, by nological and organizational options must be
various means) in the different fields corre- constantly studied and discussed, and that a
sponding to the five themes covered by the careful assessment must be m a d e of the kind
course. Various kinds of material were pro- of productive economic plan which should
ducedbilingual leaflets of instructions for be supported and the social and cultural reper-
using medicinal plants; travelling expositions cussions it produces. A t the same time, the
of useful plants k n o w n to ethnic groups in study of these options led the entire team to
the region and classified by them; posters review the question of 'support for the rehabili-
showing suggested alphabets for discussion tation and development of the local cultural
and testing; booklets for teaching the read- heritage'. M e m b e r s of the community tradition-
ing and writing of ethnic languages; booklets ally involved in music, drama, dance, literature
and textbooks on ethnic techniques and other and art (those w h o m a d e masks, costumes,
information possessed by ethnic groups. S o m e ceramics, baskets, etc.) realized that the wide-
cultural workers decided to work for the re- spread impoverishment suffered by the c o m -
Cultural development in ethnic groups 215

munities affects these areas of culturefirstof all. A simple experimental model w a s chosen.
Musical groups are disbanded, dance troupes A c o m m u n a l organization is formed to which
cease to perform, masks and the complex, elab- the entire community belongs, or a 'solidarity
orate ethnic costumes are no longer produced. group' (part of the community). A production
In short, the most obvious external signs of eth- project of c o m m u n a l interest is planned with
nic identity are thefirstto be lost as a result the key factors of technological options, the
of poverty. W h e n the external signs cease to scale of the project, markets and distribution.
exist, the mirror of identity, in which the ethnicExternal financing is sought at the outsetthe
groupfindsits identity, recognizes and reasserts state and various other bodies provide funds,
itself, also disappears. and the independence of the project is nego-
Contrary to the myth propagated by de- tiated with them. T h e project is set up and
velopmentalist theorists, these external signs of income is divided a m o n g three sectors: expendi-
ethnicity are not the causes of the poverty, ture; reinvestment and maintenance of fixed
obsolescence and underdevelopment of the capital; and a cultural fund. T h e small scale
Indian peoples; they are their riches, their of the project and the technological option are
cultural heritage, the outward expression of the key points calling for special attention. A few
people's social and historic decision as to the examples of c o m m u n a l productive concerns will
nature of the surplus wealth produced by give the reader s o m e idea of what is being done
society and the use to which it should be put. in the matter of cultural rehabilitation and
Most communities are well aware of the decline ethnic projects: silk production; sheep raising
of indigenous culture in the conditions de- and traditional wool production; ceramics;
scribed, hence the enthusiasm with which production of cochineal (a natural dye); plan-
proposals to support these areas of communal tations of fruit trees; baking of bread in
life are adopted. earthen ovens; basket-making; small-scale irri-
But at the same time it became evident to gation; a farm forfishbreeding (with ducks
the cultural workers and the team that a and irrigated gardens); carpentry shops (furni-
dangerous state of dependence might arise if ture and masks), and so on.
external economic support were provided in T h e experiment is still in progress, and it
these areas of culture as a result of a state is impossible to assess its results at the present
decision and administered by the state system, time. Eventually the income generated by
as has been done recently in Mexico through s o m e of the production projects will begin to
different agencies. There is such a thing as a support the culture that is n o w asserting itself.
'resuscitated culture', one that is kept alive by T h e gap that had been opened up by poverty
external financial oxygen and permanently will be closed: production feeds culture, and
threatened with sudden a bureaucratic culture flourishes in the context of production
decision or by shortage of funds. It was there- and consumption. So far, w e have only taken a
fore clear that the economic capacity and the few tentative steps: a little m o n e y for the
organizational skills that provided structural costumes for a dance; a musical instrument,
support for the cultural activities which were perhaps a violin, for the old teacher w h o still
part of the superstructure must be regained. remembers s o m e airs from the past; payment
The qualitative improvement in the condition for the w o m a n w h o knows all about silk and
of cultural workers, which was merely a return looms, and can teach a few Zapoteca w o m e n
to the original situation of the really organic the ancient craft once practised by their ances-
members of the indigenous ethnic group, c a m e tors; support for a Mixe cultural centre, and
about in this way. Their role changed from that for another very ambitious centre for the
of thinkers and workers in the area of culture Chinantecas; the scholarshipa symbolic
to that of 'productive intellectuals', directly sumfor secondary-school pupils w h o obsti-
involved in productive c o m m u n a l and co-nately insist on learning to read and write in
operative projects aimed at retrieving an econ- their o w n ethnic language; and the safety net
omic profit margin which w a s to be allocated so that D o n Urbano's tightrope walkers m a y
to the rehabilitation, support and development continue to walk their colourful ropes, and
of ethnic culture. no municipal authority from the city can say
216 Stefano Vrese

that this custom must stop because it is too no indication of what will happen, but the
dangerous. communities are determined to resist and not to
Thus a few dozen cultural workers in a few relinquish their distinct and uncompromising
Chinanteca, Mixe and Zapoteca communities cultural personality. If the work being done
in the mountains of Oaxaca sierra are organiz- today is any indication of the future, then the
ing and leading a collective investigation of future is on their side, on the side of perma-
their peoples into the possibilities and limi- nence and of the convergence of diversity to
tations of the successful survival of cultural form a project for all.
diversity and its forms of civilization. These
people are facing the u n k n o w n . The past gives [Translated from Spanish]


1. T h e sample comprised mainly sample were in the last year of 2.. The programme, co-ordinated by
young people (56 per cent male, primary education, 28 per cent in Stefano Vrese under the official
38 per cent female) between the the basic secondary school and auspices of the Oaxaca Research
ages of 13 and 15 (36 per cent), with 17 per cent in higher secondary and Promotion Unit ( U R O ) , comes
an almost equal proportion aged school or the senior classes in under the General Directorate of
between 10 and 12 (20 per cent) and technological institutes. See Popular Cultures in the Under-
between 16 and 18 (22 per cent). S. Vrese, Proyectos tnicos y Secretariat for Culture of the
People older than 18 years proyectos nacionales, p. 85, Mexico Federal Government of Mexico.
constituted 14 per cent of the Gity, Fondo de Cultura Econmica,
sample. 47 per cent of those in the 1983 (SEP/80).


A Y R E , Linda. 1982. Etnicidad y en 1978. Amrica indgena, Year V R E S E , Stefano (ed.). 1983a.
educacin: una encuesta. XXXIX, Vol. XXXIX, No. 2, Indgenas y educacin en Mxico.
Diagnstico y evaluacin de April-June. Mexico City, Centro de Estudios
alternativas educativas para la Educativos y G E F E .
poblacin indgena, Vol. II. Mexico R E U T E R , Jas (ed.). 1983.
City, Grupo de Estudio para el Indigenismo, pueblo y cultura. . 1983. Proyectos tnicos y
Financimiento de la Educacin Mexico City, Consejo Nacional proyectos nacionales. Mexico City,
( G E F E ) . (SEP.) Tcnico de la Educacin. (SEP.) Fondo de Cultura Econmica.
B O N F I L , Guillermo. 1983. L o propio R O D R G U E Z , N . ; SOUBIE, E . 1979.
y lo ajeno, una approximacin al La poblacin indgena en Amrica . 1983c. Recuperacin cultural
problema del control cultural. Latina. Nueva antropologa, N o . 9. y capacidad de gestin tnica: la
Educacin, etnias y descolonizacin Mexico City. propuesta de las unidades
en Amrica Latina, Vol. I. Mexico regionales. In Jas Reuter (ed.),
City, Unesco/Instituto Indigenista U R O . 1982. Etnias y Ungues de Indigenismo, pueblo y cultura,
Interamericano. Oaxaca. 2nd ed. Mexico City, Mexico City, Consejo Nacional
Unidad Regional de Oaxaca, Tcnico de la Educacin, 1983.
M A Y E R , E . ; M A S F E R R E R , E . 1979. Direccin General de Culturas
La poblacin indgena de Amrica Populares.
\}a^^^^jSi^]^^^SS.'.. -1
The economics of education

L Thnh Khi

Introduction The pioneer of studies of the economics of

education in the twentieth century is Strumilin.
The application of instruments of economic During the preparation of a ten-year develop-
analysis to education is a branch of economics ment plan for Soviet education in 1924, he
which has only recently emerged. It can, compared the wages and productivity of differ-
however, be dated back to William Petty (1623- ent categories of blue-collar and white-collar
87), the 'founder of English political economy', employees in relation to their level of edu-
w h o was the first to attempt to calculate the cation, taking account of age, work experience,
'value' of an individual by capitalizing his technical qualifications, etc. H e noted that the
annual expenditure in relation to per capita improvement in productivity resulting from
income. H e also estimated the productivity of one year of schooling was 2.6 times that re-
various occupations on the basis of their re- sulting from one year of factory apprenticeship.
muneration: the sailor w h o topped his list was Higher productivity means higher wages for
worth three farmers. In the classic works on the worker and a higher national income for so-
capitalism three factors of production are con- ciety. Education's contribution to growth is
sidered: land, capital and labour. They are measured by comparing expenditure on edu-
assumed to be homogeneous, without regard cation with the resulting increase in the
for qualitative differences, although A d a m national income.
Smith, Stuart Mill and Alfred Marshall did In 1935 J. Walsh applied the concept of
point out the role played in the economy by capital to the individual, whose 'value' is
education, which enabled an individual to earn considered to be equivalent to the updated
more money than he had spent on his training value of his future net earnings, that is, his
(Smith) and which must consequently be a gross earnings less the cost of his training, the
'national investment' (Marshall). Marx, h o w - probabilities of employment and death being
ever, m a d e a distinction between unskilled taken into account.
work and skilled work, the latter being re- The event which gave impetus to the econ-
flected in proportionally higher values. Large- omics of education was the launching of the
scale industry imposed the need for varied Sputnik by the U S S R in 1957. This triggered
labour, that is to say the greatest possible de- off a whole series of research projects in the
velopment of the various abilities of the worker, United States and in Europe on the role of the
w h o must become a 'whole individual'. h u m a n factor in growth, the term being used to

L Thnh Khi is Professor of Educational Sciences at the University of Paris V , 12 rue de l'cole de Mdecine,
75270 Paris Cedex 06. H e has been a consultant to Unesco, the International Labour Organisation, the United
Nations University and the United Nations Development Programme, and is the author of numerous works on
education and development, including L'ducation en milieu rural (1974) and L'ducation compare (1981).
218 L Thnh Khi

include education, research, health and organ- need or a desire) and education as an invest-
ization. T h e theory of h u m a n capital began to ment (a commodity which helps to produce
take shape. This theory, following the lines of other goods or services). In actual fact both
that of homo conomicus, considers that the aspects are usually present,both at the micro-
individual invests in his education (his health, economic level (that of the individual w h o
his information, etc.) even if it means a loss of acquires an education either for his personal
potential earnings with a view to deriving pleasure or to earn a living) and at the
higher future earnings from it. Assuming that macro-economic level (that of the community
occupational incomes reflect productivity, e m - or the state, which spends money on education
pirical studies sought to measure the contri- in order to impart culture, socialize young
bution of education to economic development, people, or train a labour force).
which it was felt could be greater than that of Though education performs numerous
capital. T h e 1960s were the heyday of the functions in society, economics is concerned
economics of education, whose findings en- mainly with its productive aspects, and it is to
couraged hopes that expenditure on education these that it applies its methods and techniques,
would at one and the same time lead to an notably cost/benefit analysis: h o w can limited
equalization of the distribution of incomes and resources be put to best use, that is to say h o w
maintain or accelerate growth both in industri- can their yield be maximized? If education is
alized countries and in the Third World. considered as an industry, what is the opti-
But disillusion soon set in. Since the mal combination of the factors of production:
beginning of the 1980s growth in the West has the work of the learners and teachers; the
been cut back, and n o lasting solution to the structures, content and methods; the teach-
crisis can be seen. This situation is even more ing materials; the premises; the architecture?
serious in the South where, apart from a few E c o n o m y does not consist only of reducing
isolated pockets, backwardness, hunger, u n e m - costs, nor only of increasing benefits, but of
ployment and inequality are rife. In m a n y cases maximizing their ratio. O n e m a y accept equal
education is seen to be not a factor of growth, costs for greater benefits, lower costs for equal
but a hindrance to growth. benefits, or higher costs if they result in more
In such circumstances, does the economics than proportionally greater benefits.
of education still have a role to play? In order I have used the term 'benefits' instead of
to assess its prospects w e must reconsider its 'profits' (in the financial sense) because by
purpose and its fields of study and establish a reason of its multiplicity of functions, m a n y of
critical balance-sheet; that is to say, take note the effects of education are not measurable. It
of its achievements, its shortcomings and its is dangerous to confine oneself to an over-
weaknesses. In fact, the problems posed by the narrow, quantitative conception of the econ-
economics of education m a y be more satisfac- omics of education. This has been borne out by
torily clarified if it is combined with other experience: m a n y educational plans produced
disciplines, in particular sociology and peda- by economists have failed because they have
gogy. Similarly, it is in an overall context, failed to take sociological aspects or teaching
taking account of all aspects of the p h e n o m - methods into account.
enon (political, social, cultural, etc.) that the This being the case, what are the fields
economics of education can offer valid, even if covered by the economics of education? They
limited, solutions. are (a) the functioning of the educational
W h a t instruments of economic analysis can system; and (b) its relations with the environ-
be applied to education? Economics is the ment as a whole.
study of the production, distribution and con- The first question is that of internal ef-
sumption of goods and services. B y analogy, w e ficiency. W e have on the one hand to measure
could say that the economics of education is successes and failures in the educational sys-
concerned with the production, distribution and tem, the number of those w h o progress from
consumption of the commodity of education. one stage to the next, and the number of those
Thus a distinction is m a d e between education w h o drop out, and on the other hand to try to
as an item of consumption (the satisfaction of a explain them.
The economics of education 219

Internal efficiency

Efficiency means the capacity to produce maxi-

m u m results with m i n i m u m effort and expendi-
ture. This concept is more general than that of
productivity or return.
Productivity is the ratio of the production
of a commodity or a service to one of the
factors involved (capital, labour) or all of the
factors (global productivity). It is a measure-
ment of economy of means.
Return is defined as the ratio of a result to
the means employed to achieve it, both being of
the same nature and expressed in the same
units. It has been extended to m e a n any ratio
between two quantifiable facts, one of which is
considered to be an effect of the other.
These definitions bring in the notion of
'system': a set of interdependent elements,
organized for the purpose of attaining a given
goal, to form a coherent and integrated whole
which is greater than the sum of its parts.
All these notions are applicable to edu-
Sir William Petty (1623-87), considered as the founder cation. It is a system which receives factors or
of English political economy. inputs (learners, teachers, knowledge, values,
Detail of a painting by Closterman at B o w o o d .
materials, financial resources), and transforms
them in varying degrees (by its structures,
content and methods) to create outputs or
External efficiency can be regarded either products. T h e inputs, the process and the
from the individual or from the community outputs are governed by external goals and
angle. In the former case, w e set the individ- objectives (political, social, economic, etc.) or
ual's education against his work, his earnings by goals and objectives specific to the system
and his mobility. In the latter case, w e consider (quality).
the relation between education and economic From the internal point of view, the
growth. economics of education has highlighted the
Another question relates to cost and scale of dropping out, especially in the Third
financing. A t what cost has progress been World. Subsequently it has sought to measure
achieved? H o w is education financed? H o w can the causes, both inside and outside education,
costs be cut and financing improved without of educational failure and success, without
lowering quality or, better still, by raising it? however reaching uniform conclusions.
All these problems are interrelated. Exter-
nal efficiency depends on internal efficiency to Internal return
the extent that the educational system prepares
individuals to play their part in economic life. The first studies in this field were carried out
The contribution of education to growth is mainly at I E D E S (Institut d'Etude du Dvelop-
often measured in terms of wages in relation to pement conomique et Social) in Paris, by the
productivity (we shall discuss later the criti- research group on the economics of education
cisms that have been levelled against this tech- formed in 1960 by Michel Debeauvais and L
nique). Thnh Khi ( I E D E S , 1964).
Return is the converse of wastage of pupils
resulting from the combination of two factors:
dropping out and repeating. A distinction is
220 L Thnh Khi

m a d e between apparent return, which is the the final figure. In thefirstcase, w e have the
ratio of the size of a class to the size of the class following:
below it, or of terminal enrolment to initial
enrolment, and real return, which takes drop-
outs and repeaters into account.
I first formalized this in L'industrie de
l'enseignement (1967, p. 153 et seq.). If:

E{ = numbers in grade / (/ = 1, 2 ,
3 . . .) in year t;
Ni = n e w enrolments in grade / in
year t;
Ri = repeaters of grade i in year t;

A{ = drop-outs from grade i in year In addition, w e m a y m a k e projections of

t; numbers, even when w e have figures only for
two successive years, assuming that the ob-
Pii = promotions from grade i to
served proportions of repeats and promotions
grade i+1 in year t+1;
are valid for the future, taking it that:
D{ = graduates of grade i in year t. p/+i 1'
Pi 1 "-Ih A'
A, - E til-
, ,
then, for a three-year course of study, w e have
the following:
P;+R;'+A; = i

i+i /+2

m 1+2

This model makes it possible to calculate

the final production (total numbers of gradu-
ates from the system) in relation to the initial
numbers. T h e repeaters includled a m o n g the But counting repeaters from other cohorts: R 2 , + 1 ;
initial numbers m a y or m a y not* be counted n R] + 2
The economics of education 221

This model is approximate, because on the of pupils per class, number of hours of
one hand it takes no account of mortality, and classroom teaching, size of school, etc.);
on the other hand it does not relate to cohorts M = characteristics of the environment (per
proper (which would be represented by N and capita G N P , predominantly agricultural or
not by E = N + R ) . N o r does it take account of industrial, etc.).
pupils w h o change their place of residence. The most comprehensive study in this field at
T o evaluate the exact return of a cohort, the national level is J. Coleman's Equality of
w e must be able to follow the career of each Educational Opportunity (1966) in the United
pupil in detail. In most countries such data are States. Performance tests (verbal, non-verbal,
not available. W e can simply m a k e the kind of reading, mathematics, general knowledge)
calculations indicated in the preceding diagram, were given to 645,000 white and non-white
distinguishing between boys and girls and some- pupils and the results were compared with
times between town and country and different school-related and non-school-related factors.
geographical regions (L Thnh Khi et al., Coleman found that the influence of the school-
1972; I E D E S , 1967, 1970), very rarely drawing related factors on pupils' success was similar
distinctions based on social background. w h e n their socio-economic background was
The return w e have just been speaking of is taken into account, but more marked on
the quantitative return. It gives a rough idea of non-whites than on whites. While the predomi-
the quality of the education if it is true that the nant school-related factor was the level of
higher the production, the higher the quality. qualification of the teacher, pupil motivation
Conversely, low production would be a sign of was the most important factor overall.
a profound maladjustment of education: in Coleman's study has been subjected to
some African countries, out of 1,000 children criticism of various kinds. It has been pointed
w h o enter primary school, only one enters out in particular that the explanatory technique
university. employed, step-by-step multiple regression,
But this is not adequate as an indicator, overestimates the contribution of thefirstvari-
because on the one hand high selectivity can be ables introduced into the equation (non-school
due to the inadequacy of intake capacity and of variables in this case) by comparison with the
teacher qualifications, and on the other hand subsequent variables (school-related variables).
success and failure depend on examinations In fact, this is the logical order, since the
involving subjective assessments. Even though influence of the family always precedes that of
they are not i m m u n e from criticism, objective the school.
tests improve the evaluation process. The same criticism was levelled at the
studies of the I E A (International Association
The function of education
for the Evaluation of Educational Achieve-
Just as the function of production indicates ment), which sought to compare the perform-
which factors (inputs) contribute to the pro- ances of various groups of pupils in some
duction of a given commodity (output), so the twenty countries in the following subjects:
function of education (although it is easier to mathematics, science, literature, written com-
measure instruction and knowledge than atti- prehension, French and English taught as
tudes) m a y be expressed in the form of an foreign languages, and civics. O n the whole,
equation: the variables adopted account for only 39 per
E = / ( A , S,M) cent of pupils' performances (56 per cent if one
where considers industrialized countries alone), the
E = level of education (knowledge and/or fraction of the variance accounted for ranging
attitudes); from 11 per cent to 79 per cent, depending on .
A = characteristics of learners (age, sex, population groups and subjects. T h e social and
motivation, socio-occupational category, family environment (including age and sex) is
parent's level of education and income, the best predictor of scholastic success. But if
etc.); w e exclude age and sex, school variables take
S = characteristics of the school (qualifications, precedence over non-school variables (Passow
experience and salary of teachers, number etal., 1976;Peaker, 1973).
222 L Thnh Khi

Generally speaking, these studies and 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent in the engineering
others show that socio-economic factors have a industry, 0.4 per cent to 0.7 per cent in ferrous
greater influence o n success at school than , metallurgy, and 1.5 per cent to 2.2 per cent in
teaching factors. But if w e analyse the impact light industry. The number of tools broken falls
of each factor, w e do not find complete con- appreciably as the level of education rises, as
sistency. For example, certain school character- does the time required to learn n e w types of
istics, such as the size of the class or of the tasks. O n average, one more year of general
school, and the qualifications of the teachers, education (from grade V I to grade X ) reduces
seem to exert a significant influence in some this time by 50 per cent. Similarly, a direct
cases and an insignificant influence in others. relationship is observed between the level of
T h e explanation can be found if a thorough education and the number of suggestions m a d e
study is m a d e of each case and if the notion of for innovations and the rationalization of pro-
threshold is introduced; w h e n the number of , duction. A worker w h o has completed grade X
pupils per class is between twenty and thirty, takes onefifthof the time taken by a grade V
the effect on quality of teaching is not the same or V I worker to improve his qualification by
as w h e n the number exceeds sixty. one degree. It has been established that a level
Lastly, it m a y be thought that the econ- of general or technical secondary education is
omic analogy is not appropriate for studying the necessary to become proficient in 90 per cent
operation of a school, which has different goals of specializations in ferrous metallurgy and in
and does not conform to the same rules. T h e 80 per cent of specializations in the mechanical
function of production is a positivist, mechan- engineering industry.
ical and linear model. But research based on Kostanian recognizes that labour pro-
this analogy has its uses, because it makes it ductivity depends not only on the level of edu-
possible to identify the m o r e important factors cation and qualifications, but also on work
and to indicate where m o r e effort has to be organization and equipment. Nevertheless,
made. the introduction of n e w technologies and the
reorganization of work cannot produce the de-
sired results unless the educational level of the
Education, productivity workers is raised. T h e two processes are linked,
and incomes and it is not possible to measure accurately
the respective shares in the increase of pro-
Marxist and liberal economists all take the view ductivity attributable to technology and to the
that education produces higher qualifications qualification of the worker. In any case, the
and returns, and consequently higher wages. level of education must be raised in order to
But their approaches differ. achieve this increase in productivity.

Education and productivity The theory of h u m a n capital

in a socialist e c o n o m y
In the West, the theory of h u m a n capital takes
The Marxists take the worker as their starting- as its starting-point not the worker, but the
point and try to measure directly the effects individual. O f neo-classical inspiration, it pos-
of education on productivity in its different tulates that every individual (homo conomi-
forms: higher or better quality productivity, cus) seeks to maximize his income. H e invests
less waste, ability to acquire a specialization in in himself (in education, health, information,
in a shorter time, etc. According to Kostanian etc.) in order that this capital (human, not
(1979, pp. 80-2), studies carried out in the merely intellectual) m a y in the future bring him
U S S R on workers classed according to special- , profits that exceed the costs (including loss of
ization, job complexity, qualification, length potential earnings) that he has incurred. T h e
of service and age showed that the attain- individual is both free to m a k e this investment,
ment of production norms increases in pro- and capable of making it.
portion to the level of education. O n e extra The theory of h u m a n capital has several
year of study raises average productivity by extensions:
The economics of education 111

A classroom in the Soviet Union, decorated with a model of a Sputnik, the launching of which in 1957 gave impetus
to research in the economics of education in the United States and Western Europe. Marc Riboud/Magnum.
224 L Thnh Khi

T h e level of economic growth. Since wages the courses followed. In 1975, in France, M i n -
are a measure of productivity in a perfectly gat and Perrot, using the 1970 survey of train-
competitive market where the factors of pro- ing and professional qualifications, found it to
duction (capital/labour) are interchangeable, be 20.7 per cent for m e n and 13.5 per cent for
increased production is accounted formore women.
satisfactorily than by the classical theory, which W h e n w e introduce variables other than
distinguishes between capital and labour only education into the regression model, the per-
by an increase in h u m a n capital and by centage of the total variation accounted for
changes in the composition of physical capital. never exceeds 60 per cent. T h e M a l m study,
W e shall c o m e back to this later. which is the only longitudinal study to have
T h e level of the distribution of incomes. A kept track of 1,544 individuals from the age of
higher level of education tends to raise wages 10 to 46 (1938-74), showed that the respon-
and hence to reduce inequalities. dent's income in 1971 was influenced by his
T h e level of international trade. The theory level of education directly (0.306) and in-
provides an explanation of the paradox of directly (through his occupation, his I Q or
Leontief, w h o pointed out that the United both). T h e most important factor affecting the
States exports mainly consumer goods and level of education reached (in terms of n u m -
imports capital goods, and has high wages and ber of years) was not the father's level of edu-
an abundance of capital. This is because the cation, but the father's socio-economic status.
highly qualified labour force ensures a higher Altogether, however, nearly half (0.44) of
productivity than that which would be achieved income is not explained by any of the factors
if imported equipment were manufactured at (Fgerlind, 1976).
home. The theory does not seem to be borne out
Lastly, migrations are also a form of where the distribution of incomes is concerned.
h u m a n investment. The level of education has risen everywhere
W e shall confine ourselves here to the without markedly reducing differences of in-
relation between education on the one hand come between people with a secondary edu-
and the level and distribution of incomes on the cation and people with a higher education. In
other. the United States in 1960, m e n aged between
A first sight, the theory is confirmed by 35 and 44 with four years of higher education
studies carried out in numerous countries at earned 1.91 times as m u c h as those with eight
different times, all of them indicating a very years; in 1970 they earned 1.92 times as m u c h ;
close correlation between the average level of in 1972, 2.1 times as much.-
income and the average level of education The same conclusion emerges from studies
measured in terms of paper qualification or on the rate of return of education. Pecuniary
number of years of schooling. In other words, return only is considered, because it is difficult
the higher this level, the higher the income, to take account of other types (education/
with proportionately more for those with the consumption) or of the indirect effects of
highest level of education than for others. O n education in society (which leads to an under-
more thorough study, however, several criti- estimation).
cisms can be m a d e of this theory. In the first In calculating the private rate of return,
place, there is a considerable variation in the costs are set against return for individuals. T h e
incomes of those with the same level of edu- costs comprise family expenditure on schooling
cation, and this variation depends on age, sex, (books, transport, meals) and loss of potential
social and ethnic background (whites and non- earnings (when people could get jobs, bearing
whites, nationals and immigrants), the school in mind the level of unemployment). T h e
attended and the course followed, the sector of returns are measured by incomes according to
activity (booming or in decline), the region, the age and the duration and type of studies, in
occupation, and the hours of work (full time, principle net of social security contributions and
part time or unemployed). T h e percentage of direct taxes. Marginal returns are measured,
the variation accounted for by education varies that is to say what one level of education pro-
from 8 per cent to 23 per cent depending on duces by comparison with the preceding level.
The economics of education 225

W h e n calculating social return, expendi- attended school. In developing countries, it can

ture borne by the state and local communities is be calculated in relation to illiterates; the
added to private costs, and individual incomes private return is thus about 25 per cent in
are calculated before deduction of social secur- India, Malaysia, Thailand and G h a n a , and
ity contributions and taxes, but not counting more than 100 per cent in Colombia; the social
unemployment benefit. T h e idea, like the return varies between 8 per cent (Philippines)
method of calculation itself, is open to con- and 82 per cent (Venezuela). Such variations,
siderable criticism, because the individual which also exist for other levels to a lesser
and community are considered together. Wages degree, are a clear indication of the unre-
correspond to marginal productivity only in a liability of these figures.
perfectly competitive market, which does not Generally speaking, the returns are higher
exist anywhere, least of all in developing in developing countries than in developed
countries. Thus the wage cannot be considered countries, because in the former education is
as the individual's contribution to social pro- less widely available, and private returns are
duction, not to mention the multitude of higher than social returns, the difference being
unproductive people in the service sector. N o r more marked in developing countries. This is
does loss of potential earnings necessarily explained by the fact that a large share of the
correspond to failure to produce, because from cost is borne by the community (which in-
the social point of view one must reason not in creases the denominator).
terms of individuals but in terms of groups, Finally the rate drops as the level of
whose entry into or exit from the labour market education rises. T h e costs of secondary edu-
has far-reaching repercussions on the average cation, and especially of higher education, are
level of income. O n e cannot add individual very high. This does not mean there is less
losses of potential earnings, which are potential inequality of distribution, for absolute differ-
costs, to effective public expenditure, which is a ences in incomes are considerable, and incomes
response to political, social and economic depend not only on education but also on
considerations. Social welfare benefits are also financial situation, social position, and the
not counted. appropriation or control of m e a n s of pro-
However, none of these problems have duction. Furthermore, economic growth can
deterred economists from calculating social lower the rate of return of primary education
rates of return the accuracy of which must be and raise that of secondary and higher edu-
subject to the greatest reservations. For infor- cation. For instance, in Brazil from 1960 to
mation and comparison w e nevertheless give in 1969, the rate of return dropped from 48 per
Table 1 the average private and social rates of cent to 32 per cent for 4 years of education
return for developed and developing countries and from 26 per cent to 21 per cent for 8 years
(Psacharopoulos, 1973, p. 67). of education but it rose from 20 per cent
to 21 per cent for secondary education and
from 6 per cent to 14 per cent for higher
education. During this period the average level
Secondary level Higher level of education increased from 2.2 to 3 years of
Private Social Private Social schooling. But the distribution of incomes
rate rate rate fate became more unequal, the Gini coefficient
Developed countries 11.9 9.5 11.9 9.4 (which measures concentration) rising from
Developing countries 18.5 15.2 22.0 12.4 0.54 to 0.66 (Carnoy, 1973).
U p to n o w w e have considered average
levels of education for a given population. But
R e m e m b e r that these are marginal rates of the range m a y be considerable, depending on
return, that is to say calculated for a given level sex, ethnic origin and social background.
of education by comparison with the preceding A s far as ethnic differences are concerned,
level. T h e return of primary education cannot American statistics show that the rates of
be calculated for developed countries, as there blacks are lower than those of whites, except
is no reference group of people w h o have not in the case of graduates and w o m e n w h o have
226 L Thnh Khi

received higher education (Carnoy and Maren- Costs and financing

bach, 1975).
Social background also plays an important This question concerns both internal and exter-
role, as French studies have shown. In France nal efficiency. W h a t is the cost of education?
there is a very marked hierarchization of H o w has this cost been financed? In analysing
age/wage curves, according to the 1964 survey this situation, the economist sets benefits
of training and professional qualifications, against costs and asks whether the method of
covering sons of senior executives and of financing corresponds not only to the criterion
m e m b e r s of the liberal professions, sons of of economic optimum, but also to the criterion
middle-level executives and technicians, sons of of social equity.
white-collar employees, sons of blue-collar and W e must first distinguish between cost and
agricultural workers. expenditure, between the economic concept
T h e 1970 survey showed the same trend. and the financial or accounting concept.
T h e private yields calculated by Lvy-Garboua
and Mingat are shown in Table 2.
All these results invalidate hypotheses of Cost and expenditure in education
perfect competition, remuneration proportional
to marginal productivity, and the free choice of Expenditure is an outlay of funds. Cost can be
the individual as to his investments in edu- monetary or non-monetary. W h e n an indi-
cation. ' O n e is free only when one has the vidual decides not to take a job in order to
m e a n s to be free, and these means are greater continue his studies, he incurs a loss of poten-
or less depending on the social class to which tial earnings which is for him a cost. Similarly,
one belongs' (L Thnh Khi, 1978, p . 69). when a village community agrees to build a
Moreover society is not a sum total of individ- school without being paid for the work, it does
uals, but of groups which fight to defend their not spend money, but incurs a cost represented
interestswhich are not only economicand by its time and labour. In both cases, w e refer
which exert an influence on one another. A s to the 'opportunity cost', for the individual or
for the labour market, it is neither perfect the community. It means sacrificing one c o m -
nor homogeneous, especially in developing modity or activity in order to acquire another
countries; in reality there are several markets commodity or activity (in this case, education).
which cater for non-competing groups, inde- This is a key concept in economics, since
pendently of the level and course of education. any production or consumption involves a
Generally speaking, there is discrimination choice a m o n g limited resources. It is an integral
against minorities (national or immigrant), part of the theory of decision-making, whether
young people, w o m e n , and unskilled workers. the decision is m a d e by the state, the company


Grades Men Women

Agricultural Blue-collar Agricultural Blue-collar

workers workers Independent workers workers Independent

Short technical 8.2 8.5 9.4 10.8 10.6 17.0

Baccalaurat N o t given 11.9 12.9 14.4 14.8 18.5

All Liberal All Liberal

Categories professions and categories professions and
senior executives senior executives

Higher 16.3 20.9 6.1 9.2

The economics of education 227

or the individual. T h e state must plan the scholarships, transport, accommodation,

allocation of h u m a n and financial resources, catering).
because what goes to education is no longer T h e volume of public spending depends on the
available for other sectors. Similarly the amount of expenditure from private sources
company which allows its workers to attend and on foreign aid. It is set against the budget
training courses during working hours suffers a and the national product in order to evaluate
'loss of potential production', but it hopes thatthe priority rating assigned to education. T h e
this will be more than offset in the future by anpercentage of the budget is less significant than
increase in productivity. T h e need for childrenthat of the national product, because the
from poor families to work at an early age budget itself represents a m o r e or less high
largely explains the wastage through dropping proportion of the national product, depending
out observed in agricultural countries, even on the country. Between 1960 and 1977 the
w h e n education is provided free. percentage of the G N P allotted to education
But opportunity cost does not apply w h e n increased m o r e steeply in developing countries
w e analyse a country's effective expenditure on than in industrialized countries. But it is higher
education and try to assess its return. T w o in the latter than in the former (Table 3).
concepts are used in this context: (a) expendi-
ture on education and its breakdown by level T A D L E 3
and type of education; and (b) unit expendi-
ture per learner. Industrialized countries Developing countries

1960 4.0 2.3

Expenditure on education 1965 5.2 3.0
1970 5.7 3.4
This measures a country's overall effort in this 1977 6.4 4.1
field, and includes foreign aid where applicable.
W e must thus distinguish between total expen-
diture and national expenditure: But w e must try to push our analysis
Education must be understood in its widest further, to take into account the fact that
sense, even though available statistics generally developing economies involve subsistence ac-
m a k e it possible to take account of public tivities whose importance varies from country
spending only (including subsidies for private to country. For it is obvious that a m o r e monet-
education). W e shall examine this expenditure arized economy will find it easier to bear an
from several angles: equivalent financial burden than will a less
1. T h e government department which dis- monetarized one. In 1963-64, the United R e -
burses the money: the central government; public of Tanzania and Senegal devoted re-
federated states (e.g. Brazil, Federal R e - spectively 3.5 per cent and 3.7 per cent of their
public of G e r m a n y , Nigeria); provinces G I P to education. But G I P was 61 per cent
(e.g. Madagascar); local administrations monetarized in the former country as against
(e.g. France). 88 per cent in the latter, so that in terms of the
2. T h e ministry responsible: National E d u - monetary G I P the Tanzanian financial burden
cation; Agriculture; Health; Public W o r k s ; was heavier than the Senegalese: 5.7 per cent
National Defence; etc. as against 4.2 per cent (L T h n h Khi et al.,
3. T h e nature of the expenditure: (a) invest- 1971, p. 242).
ments (capital outlay, non-recurrent costs, Lastly, evaluation of the effort a country
etc.) including land, building work and puts into education must take account of its
durable facilities; and (b) running costs population and in particular its age-structure.
(recurrent, current, etc.), comprising the Per capita expenditure on education depends
amortization of capital outlay and running directly on the per capita national product. But
costs proper: teaching and non-teaching the cost is greater in proportion as the popu-
personnel; water; gas; electricity; rent; lation is younger and the proportion of work-
insurance; maintenance; supplies of teach- ing people lower, since it is the activity of the
ing materials; social costs (health care, latter which finances expenditure on education.
228 L Thnh Khi

W e see this when w e compare developing it is futile to reduce costs if this results in a
countries with industrialized countries. In the decline in quality.
former, the 5 to 19 age-group represents nearly
40 per cent of the population, as against 25 per Capital outlay per pupil place
cent in Europe, and the proportion of working
people is less than 40 per cent as against 45 This is in inverse proportion to the size of the
per cent. T h e influence of the demographic class, but there is obviously a limit that must
factor is aggravated by that of the low per capita not be exceeded if a good educational return is
income. to be attained. It depends on m a n y factors:
Analysis of expenditure by level and type geographical (climate and topography); econ-
of education determines the priority rating omic and technical (cost and transport of
assigned to each level or type. In general, as a materials, labour and local or imported equip-
country develops, the proportion of expendi- ment); political (sitting of schools on basis of
ture on primary education drops and spending electoral considerations, mixed education); and
on secondary and higher education rises pro- pedagogic (concept and structure of education,
portionately. In fact interpretation of these especially higher educationcampus or not,
figures can be distorted by two factors: the relative importance of scientific, technical and
importance of foreign aid, and the inequality of literary subjects).
unit costs from one country to another. T h e more expensive a building, the higher
its running costs. A ratio of recurrent costs
Unit expenditure on education should be calculated, defined as the ratio of
running costs to initial capital outlay (hence
Expenditure on education is a rough and ready with a time-lag of at least one year).
measure of a country's effort on behalf of
education; it gives no indication of the nature Running costs per learner (pupil, student, adult
of that effort or of its efficacy. For instance, trainee)
universities m a y be set up for prestige purposes
and absorb m o n e y which could be better used This concerns the ratio between total running
to improve the teacher training or to provide costs (generally excluding amortization because
better teaching facilities. It is not the amount of of lack of data) and the number of learners by
m o n e y spent which matters, but h o w m a n y level and type of education. T h e elements of
people benefit from it and the quality of the these costs must be analysed, and in particular
education they receive. a distinction must be m a d e between direct
T h e analysis of unit costs by level and type teaching costs (teaching staff and teaching
of education makes it possible to assess the materials) and indirect costs (administration
effectiveness with which the different 'factors and social charges). This kind of analysis
of production' (teachers, materials, premises, reveals the extent of the maladjustment of
etc.) are combined and h o w savings could be higher education in certain countries.
m a d e . It is therefore an essential instrument of For example, in R w a n d a w e have calcu-
planning and management, making it possible lated that the cost of a student in 1983-84
to forecast future expenditure in accordance was 343,000 Rwandese francs ($3,775), nearly
with different assumptions as to h o w the fifteen times the per capita income! Even in
situation will evolve. But costs m a y be high for rich countries, for example the United States
opposite reasons: because the quality of edu- and France, a student costs a third or a half of
cation is high, oras in Africabecause it is the per capita income. A n d the Rwandese cost
not suited to economic and social conditions. does not even include all foreign aid. It is to be
W h e n evaluating the productivity of edu- explained by the top-heavy administration (ac-
cation, cost is only one of the aspects to be counting for 30 per cent of expenditure), the
considered; the other is production. Rising small number of students per teacher (7 to 1;
costs are justified if they result in a more than and as low as 4 to 1 in medicine), and grants
proportional increase in the number of gradu- (equivalent to 40 per cent of the operating
ates (at the corresponding level). Conversely, budget of the university)grants are given to
The economics of education 229

W f


A n overcrowded university classroom: the educational rate of return is the ratio of the result to the means employed
to achieve it. Boubat/Agence Top.
230 L Thanh Kiwi

all students irrespective of the income of their and the final 'production' matter more than
family. A grant of 90,000 Rwandese francs the amount spent, so, where financing is con-
represents twice the earnings of an industrial cerned, w e have admittedly to cope with in-
worker and four times the earnings of a peasant creased expenditure, but more importantly w e
farmer (90 per cent of the population are have to seek the most appropriate ways and
peasant farmers). This makes the student feel means (economically, socially and politically) of
he is entitled to be supported, that he is a mobilizing both national and foreign resources.
privileged person, a feeling that is intensified by
the fact that he is a boarder, which cuts him off Internal financing
from his family and social and cultural environ-
ment and from the practical problems of the Education being considered everywhere as a
working world (Le Thnh Khi and Ziarati, service of national utility, most of the financing
1984). comes out of the fiscal resources of; govern-
ments and provincial and local authorities. T h e
The cost of training direct contribution m a d e by families varies
depending on whether public education is free
This is the cost of the learner w h o completes his
or fee-paying. The contribution of companies is
course of study, or w h o passes the final exam-
mainly in the area of vocational training. Trade
ination, if there is one. It is different from the
unions and religious bodies also m a k e a contri-
theoretical cost of a particular course of study
bution. Several questions arise:
because of wastage.
Is there an optimal distribution of cost
W e have compared the costs of elementary
contributions between the state and the various
training in Madagascar with those in T o g o ,
public authorities? This distribution depends
where primary education also lasts six years and
firstly on whether the structure of the country is
incurs almost the same annual running costs:
federal or unitary and on whether the adminis-
5,770. and 5,280 C F A francs respectively
tration is centralized or decentralized. Decen-
in 1966. But the rate of return in Togo is
tralization makes it possible to gear education
1.36 times that of Madagascarfor every
more closely to the interests of the population.
1,000 pupils w h o begin the course 217 c o m -
But the state must always intervene to 'level
plete it, as compared with 159 in Madagascar.
out' to s o m e extent, otherwise the quality of
Assuming that each repeater repeated only
education would differ from one region to
once, the cost of each pupil trained is
another, according to the resources at their
4.09 times the theoretical cost in Madagascar
and 3.77 times in T o g o ; in terms of m o n e y :
141,600 francs instead of 34,620 francs in Is free education always democratic and
Madagascar; 119,430 francs instead of 31,680 effective? It is not if the privileged classes
francs in Togo. benefit most from secondary and higher edu-
cation, bearing in mind the taxes they pay,
Consequently w e can say that the rate of
especially since those with higher qualifications
return in Togo is jlZ = 1.36 times higher,
earn higher incomes as a.result. This is particu-
while the cost of the training is H ? v =
larly true in the Third World. Free education
0.84 times lower. Combining these two co-
m a y also m e a n that the learner does not m a k e
efficients, w e can say that the productivity of
so much effort. Various economists have stud-
schools and universities (the ratio of the pro-
ied the implications of a system of loans for
duct to the factors) in T o g o is A 4 4 = 1.62 times
students in terms of efficacy and equity.
that of Madagascar.
What are the redistributive effects of edu-
This comparison is at the quantitative .
cation? Theoretically, to study these effects w e
level. T h e quality of the education provided in
should compare, for each social category, the
the two countries remains to be compared, of
charges (taxes and social security contributions)
course (L Thnh Khi et al., 1971, p . 260).
levied by the state, and the benefits provided by
The financing of education the state (expenses and aid of all kinds), taking
account on the one hand of various costs
Just as the nature and content of expenditure (schooling, etc.) and opportunity cost, and on
The economics of education 231

the other hand of the resulting income accruing vided on a bilateral or multilateral basis, and
to the individuals concerned. is usually accompanied by personnel (experts,
Researchers' concern has been mainly with teachers) and equipment.
higher education. In France, Horrire and Petit T h e cost of aid to the country that provides
(1973a, 1973b), confining their attention to theit is not equivalent to its value to the ben-
ratio between benefits and 'immediate' levies, eficiary, except in the case of direct transfers
found that it is: such as scholarships and grants. There are
Positive for teachers, m e m b e r s of the pro-several reasons for this: the 'tied' nature of the
fessions, senior- and middle-grade execu- aid; savings effected by the staff sent; and
tives, people employed in the commercial indirect imports of consumer goodsthe more
so since aid always entails accessory costs, for
sector, the clergy, the army and the police.
Almost zero for shopkeepers, manufacturers, example housing and transport. It is estimated
technicians, supervisory grades in indus- that only 20 per cent of technical assistance
accrues to the country that receives it, the
try, office employees, artisans and farmers.
Negative for blue-collar workers, wage-earning remainder benefiting companies and nationals
farm employees, service personnel and of the country providing it.
people not in gainful activity. Here, as in the economic field, it is not so
The category benefiting most from the redis- m u c h the amount of the resources that matters
tributive effects of higher education is that ofas their composition and the effectiveness with
teachers, w h o receive benefits amounting to which they are deployed. T h e limited effects of
almost three times the contributions they pay. aid show the persistence of this problem, which
B y contrast, the benefits of unskilled labourers
has m a n y aspects: waste and corruption; low
represent only 30 per cent of their contri- absorption capacity; lack of qualified personnel
butions. on both sides; non-integration of the various
In the United States, several studies havekinds of aid; lack of information, m o r e often on
shown that low-income families derive less the beneficiary's side than on the donor's;
advantage from public expenditure on higher errors in planning, organization or execution;
education than high-income families; in other administrative inertia and delays; lack of conti-
words, the system redistributes the incomes of nuity for political or other reasons; and the
absence of evaluation.
the poor in favour of the rich. But these studies
are based on transverse datain reality the From the economic angle, w e m a y define
benefits of higher education are felt later andeffective aid as that which tends to m a k e itself
are enjoyed by individuals w h o are not as yetredundant. It must step up the production
paying taxes. Since statistics taking this intocapacity of education rather than its consump-
account are not available, w e can construct only
tion; train teachers rather than teach pupils;
theoretical models. Everything depends on h o wimprove content and methods; and assist in
progressive taxation is, on the magnitude of planning, management and research.
income differentials due to higher education, But efficacy can run counter to democ-
and the participation of different social categ-
ratization, independence and cultural develop-
ories in higher education. T h e more this parti-
ment, if the foreign teacher emphasizes the
cipation depends on parents' income, the value of his o w n culture to the detriment of that
lower the intergenerational modality and the of his host country, or if the use of sophisticated
more public spending on higher education tends teaching materials increases technical, ideologi-
to favour social categories that are already cal andfinancialdependence on the countries
favoured (Blaug, 1982). and firms which provide both the hardware and
the software concerned.
External resources It would be naive to imagine that aid is not
a policy instrument of states and transnational
Developing countries receive capital in varying companies. This does not m e a n that at a
amounts from external sources, only a part of particular time and in a particular place
which consists of aid proper (donations and national interests and external interests m a y
low-interest loans). This capital m a y be pro- not converge. But it does m e a n that a country
232 L Thnh Khi

should rely mainly on its o w n strength, that is workers to be trained. T h e coefficients measur-
to say the strength of its people, and that it is in ing the degree of complexity of the work are
some cases preferable to refuse rather than calculated on the basis of either wage differ-
accept aid (L Thnh Khi, 1976). ences or expenditure on training, or again the
length of training. N o n e of these techniques
is satisfactorythe argument is tautological,
Education, growth going round in circles andfinishingat its point
and employment of departure. T h e effect of education on pro-
ductivity is assumed, but not demonstrated;
A s w e have already seen, the impossibility of no account is taken of the incidence on pro-
explaining economic growth solely in terms of ductivity of natural abilities, the job itself,
the factors of production (capital and labour), or the sector of activity.
considered as homogeneous, has led econ- H o w e v e r this m a y be, m a n y authors regard
omists to study the role of other factors: edu- the growth of the national income as being due
cation, information, health, organization, etc. to two factors: the growth of the labour force
N o really satisfactory method of measuring and the increase in its productivity. T h e latter
the contribution of education has yet been results from providing the worker with more
found; moreover, findings differ considerably equipment and raising his level of education
from one study to another. N o n e the less, its and qualifications (factors such as the organiz-
contribution is substantial in industrialized ation of work are not taken into account).
countries. This conclusion cannot, however, be Estimating that the average coefficient of
transposed to developing countries, particularly complex work is 1.3 in relation to simple work
as statistics for them are even less reliable. (the coefficient increasing in accordance with
Education in developing countries m a y hinder the time spent on training) K o m a r o v calculated
as well as help growth and development, as that between 1960 and 1963 23 per cent of the
evidenced by graduate unemployment and the rise in the national income in the U S S R was
'brain drain'. due to the increase in the labour force and
77 per cent was due to the rise in productivity.
Education and economic growth Productivity in turn was broken d o w n into
38 per cent for the raising of the level of
T h e simplest method of measuring the effect of qualification (44,100 million roubles) and
education on growth is to compare the develop- 39 per cent for improved equipment per
ment of education and that of the G N P over a worker. Over the same period, expenditure on
given period. It is also the least satisfactory education rose by 10,600 million roubles,
method, because correlation is not the same which gives a rate of return of 4.1; in other
thing as causality. T h e expansion of education words, every rouble spent on education brought
m a y be due to that of the G N P , or vice versa. in four roubles (Kostanian, 1979, pp. 83-7).
Liberal economists take the view that
Direct evaluation of the effects of education wages reflect marginal productivity under con-
ditions of perfect competition, which, like that
This method consists of considering education of the Marxists, involves a circular argument
as an investment for both society and the (apart from the fact that such conditions are
individual. W e compare expenditure on edu- nowhere to be found). In the United States,
cation with the resulting increase in the prod- Schultz has evaluated the stock of instruction of
uct. But w e must distinguish between the the working population on the basis of the cost
Marxist and the liberal viewpoints. of one year of studies at different levels, taking
Marxists take as their starting-point the loss of potential earnings into account. T h e rate
idea that complex work creates more value of return of this stock is estimated on the basis
than simple work, and consequently increases of earnings differentials according to levels of
the national income. This greater complexity education. In the period 1929-57, according to
of social work is achieved through public ex- the hypothesis adopted for the return, the rise
penditure on education, which enables skilled in the level of education accounted for between
The economics of education 233

17 per cent and 33 per cent of the increase in But growth rates were higher in Europe than
the national income. in the United States, and education does not
This method is based o n the theory of help to explain this.
human capital, criticisms of which w e have Transposed to developing countries, and
already discussed. regardless of the reliability of data, this method
further distorts understanding of the problems
Education in the production function by assuming identical production functions and
structures, having us believe that the total
The traditional production function explains product can be increased by simply raising the
production (P) in terms of labour (L) and level of education, and ignoring foreign influ-
capital (C), as in the Cobb-Douglas equation ences. M a n y countries have invested in edu-
P = bLkQ where b, k and ;' are constants. It is cation not only without seeing their income
a homogeneous function (which excludes any rise, but even in s o m e cases seeing it decline,
rising or falling yield), it is linear, and its factors and their graduates, trained at great expense,
are interchangeable, that is to say labour m a y remain unemployed.
be substituted for capital and vice versa. N o n e
of these hypotheses are borne out by reality; in Education, employment
particular, although there is a certain degree of and unemployment
interchangeability, there is usually also comp-
lementarity. Despite the fact that their growth rates are in
Since this function does not account for general higher than those of the industrialized
contemporary trends, an attempt has been capitalist countries, especially since 1974, Third
m a d e to find a 'third factor' and identify its World countries have a considerable proportion
components. of unemployed and underemployed, accounting
Denison, for example, studied growth in for up to 30 or 40 per cent of their labour
the United States from 1929 to 1957. H e force: 350 million individuals. Y o u n g people
explains 14.4 per cent in terms of the increase and w o m e n are worst affected, together with a
in capital and 53.6 per cent in terms of the growing number of graduates and people with
increase in labour (a total of 68 per cent), with secondary-school leaving certificates.
education accounting for 23 per cent. T o ex- Does education contribute to unemploy-
plain the remaining 32 per cent, Denison brings ment? First it should be noted that it does not
in various factors, including economies of scale itself create jobs, except in its o w n sector of
and the advancement of knowledge. teaching. But it is not a good preparation for
In addition to the criticisms of the economic life if its content and methods have
Cobb-Douglas function which w e have already no relation to practical activities, if it awakens
mentioned, concerning the arbitrary nature of aspirations a m o n g young people which m a k e
certain assumptions and recourse to the theory them leave rural areas and refuse jobs they
of marginal productivity, the fundamental ob- have come to consider beneath them. These are
jection is the reduction of education to quali- real problems, as is the demographic growth
fications. This approach does not do justice to which aggravates them. However, they must be
the complexity of the relations between edu- considered in the general context of the prevail-
cation and growth (not to speak of develop- ing economic system.
ment), which involve the qualitative aspects of The driving force of capitalism is profit,
education and the structural diversity of econ- and it is sought through increased productivity,
omies and their various sectors. In fact, when not increased employment. The ruling class is
Denison applied the method to European imbued with the Western model, and despite
countries, he found that the contribution of talk of a 'third w a y ' priority is given to
education to growth in the period 1950-62 industrialization rather than to rural develop-
varied from 2 per cent in the Federal Republic ment. But industrialization imports capitalist
of G e r m a n y to 14 per cent in Belgium (6 per techniques which economize on labour, so that
cent in France, 12 per cent in the United employment rises less rapidly than production,
Kingdom, 15 per cent in the United States). if indeed it does not drop. In the 1970s,
234 L Thanh Khi

industry expanded by on average 5 per cent per Conclusions

a n n u m , and employment by less than 2 per
cent. Often inefficient management and under- W e have thus identified the contributions that
utilization of capacities reduce employment can be m a d e by the economics of education,
possibilities still further. But the highly capital- and its inadequacies. In m a n y areas it has
intensive approach also has a social and politi- reached a dead end, for the use of increasingly
cal function: it keeps in check both the forma- sophisticated techniques adds nothing to what
tion of a working class and the demands it is w e k n o w alreadyif indeed it is not pure
likely to m a k e . sophistry. In others, endless controversies are
In agriculture, capitalism is making in- debated because existing data do not m a k e it
creasing inroads, in respect of food production possible to opt for one thesis rather than
as well as cash crops, with direct or indirect another. However, some findings are accepted
state aid. There is no place for peasant farmers by the majority of authors, even though their
in this system, which makes their structures and veracity and accuracy vary from one country to
knowledge redundant, transforms them into another:
wage-earners and gives impetus to the rural There is m o r e complementarity than inter-
exodus. changeability between capital and labour;
This analysis makes it clear that education on the other hand there is interchange-
plays a secondary role in the division of labour ability between different levels of job
and the appropriation of wealth. International qualifications.
capitalism and the local classes w h o favour it Success at school and university depends more
need a large pool of unemployed in order to on children's family and social background
keep wages low. O n the other hand the creation than on specifically pedagogic factors; but
of a place in school costs less than the creation this is truer of industrialized countries than
of a job in industry, and has the advantage of of developing countries.
making people feel that they have only them- Analysis of education costs and financing is a
selves to blame for their failure to rise in the useful instrument for the management of
occupational and social hierarchy. M o d e r n resources, provided that it does not disre-
technology needs only a small number of highly gard specifically educational problems
skilled workers and supervisory grades. T h e and that the possibility of contradictions
m o r e access the lower and middle classes have between efficacy and equity (democra-
to education, the less benefit they derive from tization) are not overlooked.
it, since diplomas count for less as their supply The relationships between education, employ-
increases. It is social position in the control or ment and growth are extremely complex.
ownership of means of production that plays Even if w e were to disregard the social and
the central role. cultural aspects of development, the tools
of economic analysis alone would not be
able to explain the functioning of the
economy, still less that of education.

[Translated from French]

The economics of education 235


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1975. The Returns to Schooling in planification de l'ducation. Paris,
the United States. Journal of Presses Universitaires de France.
P A G E , A . 1971. L'conomie de
Human Resources, Vol. 10, N o . 3,
l'ducation. Paris, Presses
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l'enseignement du premier degree en
C O H N , E . 1979. The Economics of Afrique francophone. Paris. 5 vols.
PASSOW, H . ; N O A H , H . ;
Education. 2nd ed. Cambridge,
ECKSTEIN, M . ; MALLEA, J. 1976.
Mass., Ballinger. . 1970. Cots et rendements de
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EICHER, J. C ; L V Y - G A R B O U A , L. quatre pays africains d'expression
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Stockholm, IEA/Almqvist &
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K O S T A N I A N , S. L . 1979. The
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Education and Adult Learning. and Method. Soviet Education, P E A K E R , G . 1973. An Empirical
Stockholm, Almqvist & Wiksell. Vol. 21, N o . 9, July, English Study of Education in Twenty-one
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ducation!revenu dans une analyse Prospects, Vol. V I , N o . 4, Value of Education. Columbia,
des effets redistributifs de pp. 583-94. Columbia University Press.

Education and the national
economy of Nigeria

J. O . Enaohwo

Introduction of Western Nigeria, whereas the later study by

E n a o h w o was conducted as a comparative
In his book The Future of Socialism Crosland analysis of two states. Furthermore, the con-
(1956) argued conclusively for massive invest- clusion of the Western Nigerian study was
ment in education because of its generous derived from income levels not adjusted for in-
returns both from the economic point of view come tax. Secondly, the observed decline m a y
and on the ground of social justice. Although be due to changes in government policy on
Crosland was a politician and later one of the grants to students and the impact of standard-
United Kingdom's most prominent education ized taxation rates throughout the country.
ministers, such an early recognition of the For example, in Nigeria one cannot ignore
economic importance of education had to be the impact of the discontinuation of scholarship
given further credence and impetus through programmes and bursary schemes on costs to
empirical and theoretical evidence provided by students. Similarly, the national tax policy and
Schultz (1963), Blaug (1970), O ' D o n o g h u e the increased efficiency in collecting taxes from
(1971), Sheehan (1973), Denison (1962), Miller employees go a long w a y towards reducing
(I960), Woodhall (1972) r Vaizey et al. (1972) expected returns to the individual. Other
etc., in their analyses of the economic relevance relevant factors are theflexibilityof income pol-
of education in different parts of the world. A t icy and the influence of spiralling inflation, es-
the local level in Nigeria, studies of this subject pecially in developing countries (Wilson, 1980);
have been carried out by E n a o h w o (1982) and a government policy on providing places in par-
much earlier one was reported by Psacharo- ticular courses and professions; government in-
poulos (1973) o n returns to education. Both fluence on demand and supply; and the labour
studies reveal a positive connection between market. These factors have either a positive or
education and economic satisfaction, either an adverse impact on real income, and where
from a private perspective or from a social one. this is negative there is a drastic reduction in
Furthermore, both studies have shown the grad- actual earnings.
ual decline from a private rate of return of
about 17 per cent in the 1960s to about 5 per
cent in 1982. This drastic decline m a y be ex- Cost differentiation
plained by the following considerations.
In thefirstinstance the study reported by It must be realized that the tendency of
Psacharopoulos was based on the former state ascribing low cost to education in developing

J. O . Enaohwo is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Educational Management and Planning, Faculty
of Education, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
238 /. O. Enaohwo

countries such as Nigeria is; due to the fact that of factors like leisure, travel time or waiting
w e often ignore the welfaje cost of free state time, w e often ascribe monetary values to them
schools. Comparing costs in both private and in cost analysis. It was in this respect that
state schools, Sonstelie;' (1982) described the Weisbrod (1962) argued that monetary value
welfare cost of state schools as the difference should be imputed to external benefits to arrive
between the cost of operating these institutions at a more accurate index of cost/benefit ratios
and the m a x i m u m parents are willing to pay to in the economics of education.
send their children to these schools. This
difference is the social cost, which is borne by
society from taxes and rates. In this context Human capital formation
social rates of return refer to the percentage
levels of economic benefits which accrue to Although economic benefit from education is
society from providing education. O n the other readily considered from the monetary returns
hand private rates of return refer to economic accruable to additional education, a more
benefits derivable from investing in one's edu- crucial aspect of relevance to the Nigerian
cation. The influence of welfare cost is one of situation is the development of skilled m a n -
the reasons w h y social rates of return are power for the enhancement of productivity in
generally lower than private rates. This element the national economy. Even the colonialists of
tends to lower private costs, which are deter- the pre-independence era harnessed education
mined by the willingness of the consumer to to their imperialist ambitions by emphasizing
pay. In other words, parents not willing to pay the importance of skills development. Thus,
more than a fixed amount can avail themselves education to the British colonialists in Nigeria
of the opportunities in state schools by sacrific- was an instrument for domination and the per-
ing the quality of private or fee-paying schools. petuation of Western culture. Because of this,
Apart from the welfare costs of state the two main objectives of colonial education
schools, which vary from one individual to in Nigeria became (a) to increase the stock
another, there are capital and current costs of semi-skilled labour because skilled people
which are standardised orfixedfor each unit of could provide the m a n p o w e r to administer and
consumption. A k a n g b o u (1983) shows that the exploit the colonies; and (b) to create a cul-
recurrent unit cost of primary education in tural and political atmosphere favourable to
some states of Nigeria between 1977 and 1980 the maintenance of the colonial system by e m -
was between 52.00 nairas ($63) and 82.00 nai- phasizing the superiority of Western culture,
ras ($99) while the rates for secondary school and the virtues of submission, obedience and
were between 52.00 nairas and 337.00 nairas collaboration with the colonial system ( A k e ,
($409) for. the same period*. Also of import- 1981). It was with these expectations that the
ance in costing in education is what is c o m - colonial government invested m o n e y in edu-
monly referred to as joint costs. These are the cation in the form of subsidies for the acqui-
costs borne by various units or departments as a sition of technical skills through on-the-job
result of joint use of resources, for example the training. Paradoxically, products to emerge from
use of permanent equipment in the universities this colonial policy were the petit-bourgeoisie
such as computers, photocopying and cyclo- w h o later challenged the colonial system and
styling machines. For accurate computation in led the country to independence because of
rates-of-return analysis these must also be their relatively special positions, status, wealth
taken into account. Closely related to this is the and exposure to ideas of emancipation, free-
adoption of shadow pricing when trying to d o m and self-determination. Thus in the pre-
establish the cost of factors that usually do not sent-day Nigerian context, w e think in terms of
show a market price. Thus to ascertain the cost human capital development or accumulation of
human capital through investments such as
education, health, internal migration, etc. A s a
* Cost equivalents in United States dollars based on result, it has been realized for some time that
exhange rates as at 10 October 1984, as provided in people invest in themselves to offer better
West Africa, p. 2090, London, West Africa Publish- quality labour, gain better individual remuner-
ing C o m p a n y Limited.
Education and the national economy of Nigeria 239

A n African rural school. Ddpcch/Hoa-Qu

ation and thereby contribute more to pro- education, to include both the formal and non-
ductivity and economic growth with the skills formal paths to skill acquisition. Thus w e
they have acquired. In this approach people's assume that the stock of m a n p o w e r for ser-
contribution to the capital output of nations or vicing the Nigerian economy is derived from
growth can be identified through the analysis of formal education, on-the-job training, and
their residual contribution. This is the percent- other training processes such as the indigenous
age of the annual rate of growth of the Gross apprenticeship system and labour imports from
Domestic Product ( G D P ) which is attributable other countries. Generally the concept of edu-
to h u m a n capital, after calculating contri- cation as capital is recognized in h u m a n capital
butions from the conventional factors of pro- theory, which attaches m u c h importance to
duction. Although a residual index of this kind h u m a n skills as factors of production in the
is usually accounted for by several factors, the development process, hence h u m a n skills be-
level of contribution due to education is ob- c o m e as important as physical inputs of devel-
tained by applying the alpha correction factor opment such as land and capital. A s a result, in
to the residual contribution. its series of development plans, Nigeria has
T o underline our point, it is necessary to always accorded priority to m a n p o w e r planning
consider the level of h u m a n capital develop- and development as a means of generating the
ment, especially since the end of the civil war. essential skills required for the achievement of
With this approach it is possible to measure the growth targets. For the Second National Devel-
output contribution of the educational system opment Plan period (1970-74), for instance,
to the stock of manpower in the country. For estimates of m a n p o w e r requirements were pro-
this purpose a wider definition is ascribed to vided by the National M a n p o w e r Board on the
240 J. O. Enaohwo

basis of both the High-Level M a n p o w e r Study, consumption commodity under the social
1963-70, and the Survey of Labour Require- service sector without cognizance of its more
ments for 1965. A s a result of these two studies, important investment role in the economy.
an estimate of 29 million people was projected It was as a result of this role that edu-
for the labour force for the year 1974. T h e cation was expanded in the second develop-
figures for the intervening years are provided in ment - plan period, to generate an increase of
Table 1. enrolment in primary schools from 3.9 million
in 1971 to about 4.7 million in 1973. In sec-
T A B L E 1. Estimated labour force 1969-75 ondary schools, expansion of facilities led to a
growth of 232 per cent between 1960 and 1973
Year Millions
in terms of enrolment (Federal Republic of
1969 25.64 Nigeria, 1975, p. 237). In absolute numbers this
1970 26.29 resulted in an increase from 135,364 pupils in
1971 27.94 1960 to an estimated 448,904 in 1973. At the
1972 27.62
higher educational level the story was the same.
1973 28.31
1974 29.01 Enrolment in the university subsector grew
1975 29.74 from 1,395 in 1960 to 14,371 in 1971 and then to
23,173 in 1974. Although these levels of growth
Source: Federal Republic of Nigeria, Second National Develop-
ment Plan, Vol. I, p. 324, 1970.
were impressive in terms of quantity increase,
they were not enough qualitatively to generate
sufficient high-level manpower for development
F r o m these estimates it was expected that needs in the second plan period. In other words
the rate of unemployment would be reduced there was the endemic problem of growth
from 7.80 to 4.40 per cent. It is doubtful without m u c h development. A s a result, the
whether this was achieved. Furthermore, it was country had no alternative but to depend on the
expected that about half a million employed highly expensive route to m a n p o w e r provision,,
people would be added to the total payroll by that of labour importation. This failure did not
1974, mostly generated from the main avenues dampen the enthusiam of the government in its
of h u m a n capital formation in the economy, bid to expand facilities to provide h u m a n re-
namely educational establishments, on-the-job sources for subsequent plans. Thus, in the third
training, the indigenous skill-development sec- plan period (1975-80), enrolment in primary
tor and recruitment from abroad. This was a m - schools was pursued through the Universal
bitious considering the scope of development Primary Education ( U P E ) scheme, which facili-
of facilities in training institutions. Specifi- tated the creation of new enrolment capacities
cally, for the senior category, an additional by ensuring growth from about 6 million
figure of 13,207 was anticipated between 1970 pupils in 1975 to approximately 14 million by
and 1974 while for the intermediate category 1981. At the secondary level, enrolment grew
the figure was 32,378. For skilled and unskilled from 704,917 in 1975 to about 2.2 million in
workers, w h o must also have some form of 1981, a rate of increase of about 226 per cent.
education, the estimated figure was 220,000 The trend was the same in universities, where
(Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1970, pp. 328- enrolment spiralled from 32,000 in 1975 to
31). Further accretion to the stock of m a n - 58,000 in 1980, thus exceeding the target for the
power for the period, especially the high-level terminal year of the third plan by a total of
and skilled type, was to be accounted for by 5,000 students (Federal Republic of Nigeria,
labour immigration. O n the basis of these expec- 1981, pp. 255-69). A s was the case in the
tations of manpower requirements, the second second plan period, expansion was again pur-
development plan and all subsequent plans sued as a strategy to guarantee the inflow of
in Nigeria accorded education the role of required skilled personnel for the economy and
creating and improving h u m a n capital, thereby thereby reduce Nigerian dependence on foreign
recognizing that education is of crucial rel- countries for the supply of much-needed m a n -
evance in development planning. In this w a y , power. Projections aimed at achieving this goal
education grew beyond the level of a mere during the fourth plan (1981-85) envisaged
Education and the national economy of Nigeria 241

A science class in Dakar, Senegal. Dclpech/Hoa-Qui.

an absolute growth from 67,000 university side the arts disciplines. F r o m this it was
students to about 109,000 by 1985. T h e esti- expected that the output ratio would be 50:50,
mates for the intervening years are shown in with the hope that universities would contribute
Table 2 . at least 28,843 personnel to the high-level
manpower category for the third plan period.
To m a k e this possible, further quotas were
T A B L E 2. Nigerian universitiesprojected enrolments
allocated to the various disciplines for the
purpose of enrolment, as shown in Table 3.
Year Enrolment
T A B L E 3. Course allocations for major disciplines in the
1980/81 66 553
third plan
1981/82 77 209
1982/83 88636 Expected
1983/84 99090 percentage
1984/85 108720 Discipline of enrolment

Source: Federal Republic of Nigeria, Fourth National Develop-Medical Sciences and Dentistry 12.5
ment Plan, Vol. I, p. 269, 1981. Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary
Science 5.0
Engineering and Environmental Sciences 10.0
Natural Sciences 15.0
Expectations from 1975 Education (Arts and Science) 15.0
Arts 15.0
The trend of manpower expectation from the Business and Management 7.5
enrolment data from 1975 shows the stream- Economics and Social Sciences
L a w and Mass Communication/Others 5.0
lining of policy to control distribution between
science and non-science areas. A s a result, a TOTAL 100.00
science/humanities ratio of 60/40 for enrol-
ment in universities was adopted to guarantee Source: Federal Republic of Nigeria, Fourth National Develop-
ment Plan, Vol. I, p. 268, 1981.
greater emphasis on training professionals out-
242 J. O. Enaohwo

Another dimension of interest in this limitation of scholarship/bursary awards and

regard during the third plan period was the training to crucial areas of need; (c) recourse to
recognition of the role of the colleges of overseas assistance w h e n necessary, especially
education, colleges of technology and the poly- in the areas of foreign scholarships, exchange
technics. The same thing was true of vocational programmes and technical assistance; and (d)
education through trade centres and technical the encouragement of postgraduate awards to
schools. In the case of polytechnics, in the third provide m a n p o w e r for training institutions at
plan they were expected to increase their the higher educational level. This policy led to
enrolment from 14,020 in 1976 to 36,455 by the the reactivation of the teacher's bursary awards
end of the 1979/80 session in order to produce and the postgraduate scholarship scheme, with
an additional intermediate, skilled, technical the latter tenable abroad if facilities were not
work force of 29,030 between 1976 and 1980. available in local universities. From this overall
H o w e v e r , actual enrolment data for these strategy it was expected that through local
institutions show that expectation for the initial training efforts in the fourth development plan
years could not be attained, for only 11,939 period (1981-85), especially in the universities,
students were enrolled in polytechnics in 1976 the high-level manpower entering the economy
as against the 14,020 anticipated. Interestingly, would be about 37,000 between June 1981 and
however, returns for 1979/80 show that expec- June 1985. F r o m the polytechnics the supply of
tations and actual enrolment for this academic professionnal and skilled manpower was set at
year were virtually the same, as shown in about 42,000 for the same plan period. W h e n
Table 4. thesefiguresare added for institutions of higher
education the country is still faced with an
T A B L E 4. Actual enrolment in colleges of technology acute shortage of manpower, in view of the
and polytechnics colossal requirements estimated in the fourth
development plan (Federal Republic of Nige-
Year Enrolment ria, 1981, p p . 428-44). This again will be met
1975/76 11993 wholly or in part through informal paths to skill
1976/77 17452 development and expatriate recruitment. T o
1977/78 19 880 reduce the problem further, it is intended that
1978/79 29 829 the ITF should mount training programmes
1979/80 35 777 for about 7,000 unemployed youth, to enable
Source: Federal Republic of Nigeria, Fourth National Develop-
them to acquire the skills needed on the labour
ment Plan, Vol. I, p. 268, 1981. market, while Industrial Development Centres
(IDC) are set up to provide consultancy and
extension services for owners and managers
Another development in the third plan of small-scale enterprises to expand their busi-
period was the utilization of non-formal, on- nesses and thereby employ more skilled per-
the-job facilities for the development of h u m a n sonnel. This is in addition to the provision of
capital for the economy. Thus, for the first vocational training centres to train unemployed
time, agencies such as the Industrial Training school leavers in the various trades.
Fund (ITF), the Centre for Management D e -
velopment and the Administrative Staff College Finally, in a deliberate effort to enhance
became actively involved in the training and the productivity of training institutions and
retraining of employed labour and students in educational establishments, encouragement is
order to achieve the m a n p o w e r objectives of also given for establishing Career Guidance and
the federal government. In furtherance of these Employment Exchange units in universities,
training schemes in both the formal and non- polytechnics and National Youth Service Corps
formal sectors of the educational system, a n e w ( N Y S C ) offices throughout the country. Fur-
scholarship policy to ensure adequate supply of thermore, to promote indigenous development
indigenous manpower was adopted. This policy and manpower utilization instead of employing
provided for (a) technical assistance to en- expatriates, the N Y S C directorate continues
compass both formal and informal manpower to encourage Nigerians already qualified in
development, education and training; (b) the foreign institutions of learning to return h o m e ,
Education and the national economy of Nigeria 243

by offering them free passage and preferential productive sectors such as industry, agriculture,
posting. commerce and mining. In other words, to
government agencies in charge of education,
development in this sector is a social commit-
Education and national income ment. This should not always be the case, for it
has been established beyond doubt that edu-
It is pertinent at this point to examine one of cation does in fact contribute to growth, as
the indices of the economy to which education portrayed even by the government's o w n esti-
is known to contribute in s o m e measure. This is mates in this regard (Table 5). A better ap-
the national income which can be represented proach is to estimate levels of contributions by
approximately by the Gross Domestic Product the different sectors through their net output (in
( G D P ) . A careful examination of the contri- terms of earnings) in the economy. In this, the
bution of education to the G D P in Nigeria goes net lifetime earnings or incomes of educated
a long w a y towards showing that significant persons in the economy will b e related to
attention should be given to education in turnover from other sectors, to establish their
development plans. In addition the trend calls comparative importance. Another limitation of
for greater attention in subsequent plans. the factor-cost approach is that costs of invest-
Table 5 shows the level of contribution of edu- ment in on-the-job training, correspondence
cation to the rate of growth of G D P in Nigeria programmes and informal skill programmes by
from 1962/63 to 1980. employees in the so-called productive sectors
are classified as part of their costs, whereas they
T A B L E 5. Percentage contribution of education to G D P belong to investment in education: T h e point of
in Nigeria, 1962 to 1980 emphasis therefore is that private cost in
education in national income accounting is
Year 1962-1970 1971-1980
accorded too little attention, hence there is a
1962/63 2.7 1971/72 2.6 tendency to underestimate it. This is one of the
1963/64 2.7 1972/73 2.5 reasons w h y the residual approach to the
1964/65 3.0 1973/74 2.3 calculation of sectoral contribution is better for
1965/66 2.9 1974/75 2.6
1966/67 3.1 1975/76 2.9
1967/68 3.0 1976/77 3.2
1968/69 3.0 1977/78 3.6
1969/70 3.0 1978/79 4.0
Policy constraints
1970/71 3.1 1979/80 4.4

Student /-test value 0.5843 (not significant). A careful observation of the m o d e of edu-
cational development in Nigeria shows that
Source: Federal Republic of Nigeria, Fourth National Develop- policy determination in educational finance is
ment Plan, Vol. I, pp. 11-62, 1981.
subject to several influences. These range from
political pressures to the influences of interest
A careful analysis of these levels shows groups, trade unions and religious bodies. From
that the factor contributions of education to the the political point of view, the allocation and
G D P have remained virtually consistent for the distribution offinancialresources in Nigerian
obtained i-test value of 0.5843 (P = 0.005). It education is subject to two powerful constraints.
does not show any significant difference or First, w e have advocates of free education,
improvement over time. This calls for concern whose m o d e of argument on the best way of
since, as already indicated in this article, allocating resources in education is centred
considerable attention has been given to edu- principally on welfare economics, with e m p h a -
cation in the various development plans. This sis on political and social considerations. T o
trend is partly due to the fact that contributions this group it is the welfare of the people that
to G D P by different sectors were established by counts, not necessarily economic rationaliz-
factor costs; and in relative terms, outlays in ation based on the principles of positive econ-
education tend to compare less favourably omics. In other words,to such people the pro-
with categories which government usually calls vision and financing of education in Nigeria
244 J. O. Enaohwo

should be based on the 'Pareto criterion or trialists to enable them to operate and generate
improvement' (Mishan, 1982, p. 34). In this profit and thereby subscribe to government
approach it is expected that any change in revenues by w a y of taxes and rates. Similarly,
educational policy should not m a k e any m e m - in education, subsidies are available to cover
ber of society worse off, in other words capital development such as school plant, physi-
everyone should be better off through this cal infrastructure and recurrent charges such as
m o d e of financing. T h e difficulty of this ap- tuition, staff emoluments and even board and
proach, however, is the complete reliance on lodging. There is no doubt that the scope of
the consumption variable of education and its subsidy in education is of far wider dimensions
adverse consequences o n the economic and than that in physical investment. This is due to
growth requirements of the economy as a the fact that the element of consumption is paid
whole. T o take care of crucial economic re- for by government through social costs in
quirements such as provision of skills and respect of the returns derived by society from
raising the level of productivity and income of education or the development of h u m a n capi-
the entire workforce, an economically rational tal. Having taken care of all these, it is only to
posture must be adopted for the financing of be expected that the individual should bear the
education in the country. T o do this w e must remainder of the recurrent costs such as board,
first of all identify the levels of education wherelodging, books (which are also subsidized in
the generation of relevant skills for higher Nigeria), travel, materials, etc., as an invest-
economic returns and productivity can be ment in himself to acquire specialized skills for
guaranteed. For this purpose the upper levels enhanced productivity and economic returns.
of the secondary school and all of higher edu- The argument has always been posited that
cation are relevant. A s a result, w e should re- government should bear the full brunt of
gard primary education and m u c h of secondary financing from taxes paid by parents, ignoring
education as consumption, or welfare provision the fact that in Nigeria only the wage earner
by government. A s such it should not attract regularly pays taxes, while self-employed
fees, although w e must leave the expenses of people evade tax responsibilities. Should
food, board and lodging to parents because w e then limit free education at all levels to
they would have had to provide these without children or wards of parents w h o pay taxes
government assistance if their children were not regularly? T h e situation is aggravated by the
in school. T h e real story, however, is different,fact that in Nigeria personal income tax forms
especially at the higher educational level. This a negligible percentage of government revenues
is where m u c h of economic rationalization and as a result cannot actually be depended
comes in. upon for the financing of education. In other
words, the tax factor as espoused by pro-
A second school of thought on educational ponents of free education does not augur well
finance, especially in the Nigerian perspective, for real development in thefieldof education.
is w h y one should expect free provision at the Although it is retrogressive to press for full-
higher education level w h e n m u c h of it is cost fees, as applicable to foreigners in British
investment in oneself. D o investments in physi- universities, some charges have to be m a d e at
cal projects by individuals attract subsidies from the upper secondary schools and the univer-
government? If so, can w e similarly argue for sities to supplement government subsidies,
subsidies in education since its rates of return especially in the recurrent expenditures of edu-
compare favourably with those of physical cational institutions.
investments? This inevitably leads to the ques-
tion of w h o should pay in any investment, It is also pertinent to mention here that
educational or physical. trade unions and religious bodies have a stra-
It is apparent from current practices that tegic role to play within this framework.
government subsidy is available for education Although it is customary for trade unions and
as well as for physical investment. In the latter other interest groups tofightfor the welfare of
case, mention must be m a d e of public invest- their members through reduction or elimination
ment in industrial layout, infrastructural devel- of costs to enhance benefits, a more unusual
opment, soft loans and tax holidays for indus- approach should be to pool financial responsi-
Education and the national economy of Nigeria 245

Class in progress at Nsukka University, Eastern Nigeria. Spencer/Camera Press.

bility for the education of their children ligious bodies of pressing for a reduction of
through members' co-operative efforts. costs through greater government subsidy.
Already some religious bodies such as the G o d ' s Rather it provides in good time against the
Kingdom Society ( G K S ) bear the financial rainy day w h e n the state of the economy might
obligation for the education of members' dictate the need for more financial commitment
children through a form of collective commit- by parents.
ment. Thus in this set-up, the cost dimension
attributable to parents and individuals for the
provision of education in the upper secondary Conclusion
and university levels is defrayed through a form
of educational insurance scheme. This is It has been shown that both the welfare
achieved by setting aside an education fund (consumption) and the investment perspectives
to which members contribute for the purpose of education are a reality in any environment,
of educating their children. T o achieve maxi- and that the level of welfare commitment by
m u m benefit from such schemes, funds available government on the development of education
should be invested in quick-yielding bonds, cannot be completely divorced from a consider-
government treasury bills and soft loans to m e m - ation of the economic benefits school leavers
bers, so that expenses can be written off mainly represent. This factor is of predominant im-
through interest charges. W e realise that such portance in investment in education, if it is not
an investment approach to the education to be treated separately from other forms of
of one's children does not rule out the tra- investment in the economy. In this regard,
ditional approach by labour unions and re- some socio-political factors c o m e into play in
246 /. O. Enaohwo

the funding of education whether from the economic investment demands some form of
individual point of view or from the societal outlay by the individual, society and govern-
one. With regard to all these considerations, it ment to m a k e its provision worthwhile for the
is further posited that education can only be clientele. T h e level of responsibility for this out-
free as far as its consumption aspect is con- lay is still the subject of further research and
cerned, whereas the section that deals with development.


Ministry of Economic Development

A K A N G B O U , S. 1983. Problems and Economic Value of Education. N e w
Prospects of Implementing Nigeria's Planning Office. York, Columbia University Press.
National Policy on Education.
Journal of Education in Developing . 1975. Third National S H E E H A N , J. 1973. The Economics
Areas, Vol. II, October. Development Plan. Vol. I. Lagos, of Education. London, George
Federal Ministry of Economic Allen & Unwin.
A K E , C . 1981. A Political Economy Development Planning Office.
of Africa. London, Longman. SONSTELIE, J. 1982. The Welfare
. 1981. Fourth National Cost of Free Public Schools. Journal
B L A U G , M . 1970. Introduction to Development Plan. Vol. I. Lagos, of Political Economy, Vol. 90,
Economics of Education. Federal Ministry of Economic No. 4, August.
Harmondsworth, Penguin. Development Planning Office.
V A I Z E Y , J.; N O R R I S , K . ;
C R O S L A N D , A . 1956. The Future of M I L L E R , H . P . 1960. Annual and SHEEHAN, J. 1972. The Political
Socialism. London, Cape. Life-time Income in Relation to Economy of Education. London,
Education. American Economic Duckworth.
D E N I S O N , E . F . 1962. The Sources Review, December.
of Economic Growth in the United
W E I S B R O D , B . A . 1962. External
States and the Alternatives Before
M I S H A N , E . J. 1982. Introduction to Benefits of Public Education.
Us. N e w York, Committee for
Political Economy. London, Journal of Political Economy,
Economic Development.
Hutchinson. October.
E N A O H W O , J. O . 1982. Cost-Benefit
Analysis and the Investment Factor O ' D O N O G H U E , M . 1971. Economic W I L S O N , R . A . 1980. T h e Rate of
in EducationAn Empirical Dimensions in Education. Dublin, Returns to Becoming a Qualified
Investigation of the Private Rate of Gill & Macmillan. Scientist or Engineer in Great
Returns to Education. Journal of Britain 1966-76. Scottish Journal of
Education in Developing Areas, P S A C H A R O P O U L O S , G . 1973. Political Economy, Vol. 27, N o . 1,
Vol. I, N o . 1, May. Returns to EducationAn February.
International Comparison. London,
F E D E R A L REPUBLIC O F NIGERIA. Elsevier. W O O D H A L L , M . 1972. Economic
1970. Second National Development Aspects of Education. Slough,
Plan. Vol. I. Lagos, Federal S C H U L T Z , T . W . 1963. The NFER.
> iMsiWM ^b^Sl^M.^ 'Me
Educational planning

Sylvain Louri

Historical background state education. In this respect, it should be

noted that thefinancialresponsibility of the
The expression 'educational planning' orig- Soviet Union (a federal state) in thefieldof
inated in the Soviet Union, at the beginning of education extends to all types of educational
the 1920s. It later spread to other socialist institutions regardless of the administrative
countries. However educational planning also level to which they are attachedthe federal
thrust its roots into other systems, both in the state itself, federated republics, territories,
non-socialist industrialized countries after the regions, districts, towns, rural communities,
Second World W a r and in the developing etc. Within the limits of the overall funds
countries, either by the end of the 1950s or allocated by the state, the republics, territories,
when they became independent. A brief survey etc., finance the institutions for which they are
of the conditions under which educational responsible.
planning took shape and evolved thus appears Finally, in analysing the different levels of
timely. competence and decision-making that are part
The planning of national economic devel- of educational planning in the U S S R , one
opment, and consequently of education, in the cannot overlook the fact that alongside the
U S S R is based on the principles of democratic hierarchy of constitutional bodies of the Soviet
centralism.1 O n the one hand, workers are Union that are constitutionally endowed with
invited to participate as actively as possible in decision-making powers there exists the parallel
the preparation and discussion of the drafts of organization of the Communist Party of the
the plans. O n the other hand, once the plans Soviet Union. This situation 'appears to have
have been approved by the central authorities, been an extremely positive factor'2 in meeting
they 'become mandatory'. the requirements of education in the U S S R ' s
It is the State Committee of the Council of successive economic development plans.
Ministers of the U S S R responsible for plan- Admittedly, each of the other European
ning, the G O S P L A N , that works out the annual socialist countries worked out its o w n way of
and prospective (five years or more) plans for organizing and running the planning of its
the development of the economy as a whole in educational system, but, generally speaking, it
the different republics of the Soviet Union, the m a y be said that the following principles of
ministries and departments of the U S S R , for all democratic centralism are also apparent in the
branches of the national economy including preparation and the defining of their develop-

Sylvain Louri, an educational planner, is Director of Unesco's International Institute for Educational Planning
( H E P ) , 7 rue Eugne Delacroix, 75016 Paris. H e has been with Unesco since 1965, serving in various capacities. H e
is the author of Education et dveloppement: stratgies et dcisions en Amrique centrale (1984).
248 Sylvain Louri

ment plans: (a) a clearly and publicly defined could not be said to correspond to the form of
political view; (b) actual integration of edu- educational planning the principles and con-
cation plans in the annual or pluri-annual de- ditions of which are mentioned above in re-
velopment plans; and (c) central authorities spect of the socialist countries.
responsible for designing the plans and for Educational planning inrion-centrallyplan-
funding them. ned societies took on an importance varying
Although between the First and Second with the degree to which economic and social
World Wars the example of the U S S R re- planning was applied to all sectors of national
mained isolated, planning being the subject of life. W h e r e planning was merely 'indicative'
heated discussions between Marxist and neo- it is nevertheless possible to find specific
liberal economists, some of the latter (e.g. references, either to the state's resources,
M a n n h e i m , Tugwell) demonstrated the value of which affect the capacity to accommodate
planning in the sphere of social policy.3 children and young people in the public edu-
Limited experiments in economic planning cation systems, or to the types and levels
were carried out in France (the Tardieu Plan, of education (streams), graduates from which
1929; the Marquet Plan, 1934); in the United are supposed to meet the theoretically foresee-
States (New Deal, 1933; Puerto Rico, 1942); in able requirements of the labour market.
Switzerland (Wahlen Plan for Agriculture, O n the other hand, when the central
1941), etc. budget supplies the funds for a centralized
After the Second World W a r , the impera- educational system or for specific institutions
tives of reconstruction and limited resources, (universities, for instance), a measure of plan-
increasing concern with regard to social matters ning m a y be found at these levels. There thus
and a population b o o m led a large number of exists some forecasting and organization
European countriesin addition to the socialist either as a condition for receiving these trans-
countriesto resort to educational planning. fer payments, or as a natural consequence of
Thus, in the United K i n g d o m , the 1944 the obligation to manage budgets and to account
Education Act m a d e it compulsory for each of for them.
the 146 local authorities responsible for edu- In both cases, planning must take into
cation to prepare a development plan. France, consideration two independent variables that
which in 1946 had not included education basically determine the level of the funds
a m o n g the aims of its first plan, set up necessary for the development of education: (a)
a Plan Committee in 1951 for the equipping the constitutional obligation to offer free edu-
of schools, universities and the sciences and cation to a specific age-group; and (b) de-
arts and, from 1953 onwards, systematically mography, which makes it possible to estab-
integrated education in all its 'indicative' lishand to forecastthe size of the age-
plans. Most other European countries gradually group, year by year.
adopted planning in one form or another.4 A form of planning distinct from that of
T h e n again, during the 1950s and at the the socialist states thus took shape. T h e main
beginning of the 1960s, non-Marxist economists characteristic of this form of planning con-
and educators in Europe (Tinbergen, Perroux, sisted, on the one hand, of forecasting and
Vaizey, Becker, Edding, etc.) and in the regulating public expenditure in order to cope
United States (Schultz, Parns, Anderson, with the social demand for education on the
B o w m a n , Harbison, etc.) identified the econ- part of pupils' parents and students and, on the
omic aspects of education, considered in certain other hand, of trying to meet the requirements
respects as an 'investment'. In so doing they of - the labour market. Although this latter
developed instruments for analysis and fore- condition was plausible during the period of
casting, some of which were very rapidly m a d e considerable economic growth in the 1950s and
available for educational planning. 1960s, it became very relatively so from the end
Although some European countries, and of the 1960s onwards, especially during the last
m a n y states, provinces and universities in the fifteen years, with growing unemployment.
United States and Canada, m a d e use of edu- As for the developing countries, a distinc-
cational planning in one form or another, it tion should be m a d e between those which,
Educational planning 249

generally speaking, follow the principles of most cases dependent on the uncertain income
the European socialist governments and those from exports of primary products to unstable
which do not have a system of centralized markets; and affected by the need to import
planning. T h e brevity of this article obliges us essential manufactured products or energy
to talk of the whole of the regions of Asia, products on terms that were not negotiable.
Africa, Latin America and the Arab countries It was thus natural for m a n y countries to
as if they were homogeneous and readily turn to educational planning, perceived basi-
comparable entities, whereas in reality this is cally as an instrument for rationalization and
not at all the case. Nevertheless, for the forecasting. Thus, in the first Indian plan
purposes of what w e wish to demonstrate, there (1951-55), education was m a d e a part of econ-
are sufficient c o m m o n features for the specific omic and social development. In 1951, Ghana
character of each of the developing countries launched an eight-year overall development
not to be misrepresented. plan in which education was included. In 1952,
For instance, from the end of the 1950s B u r m a published a four-year educational plan.
and the beginning of the 1960s onwards, the Ensuing years witnessed an increase in edu-
majority of the Third World countries, whether cational plansColombia in 1957, Morocco
recently decolonized or not, had to meet a and Pakistan in 1958, Tunisia in 1959, etc. In
considerable social d e m a n d for education. the 1960s, these efforts were pursued, particu-
Initially it was mainly for primary education, larly in Africa, where each of the countries
but gradually the demand shifted to the sec- on acceding to independence worked out a
ondary and higher levels of education. development plan bringing together sectoral
This was readily understandable, springing plans, with the plan for education as a major
from the desire of citizens and leaders to have component.
access to educationan essential condition of The idealistic aspirations of the n e w auth-
individual dignity and cultural identity. H o w - orities responsible for educational planning
ever, whereas this demand had begun to be met were generous. Educational planning was:
by the end of the nineteenth century in Europe 1. T o apply to the whole of the educational
and the United States and at the beginning system, to all levels and all parts, taking
of the twentieth century in the U S S R , and into account the quantitative aspects (the
had been spread over several decades, the mis- number of children and young people, the
fortunes of colonialism, or certain national number of teachers, building programmes;
policies, had delayed the expression of this as- etc.) and the qualitative aspects (improved
piration in m a n y of the Third World countries. teacher training, more appropriate cur-
Thus, from the end of the 1950s and the begin- ricula and methods, etc.).
ning of the 1960s onwards, massive and urgent 2. T o fit into a longer-term perspective, cover-
pressure was beginning to be felt and was to ing at least several years (if possible, the
grow rapidly within a few years. This demand, duration of a course of studies).
encouraged by the international community, 3. T o be fully integrated in economic and social
coincided with a considerable population in- development planning.5
crease. The reality of the international division of
Moreover, the importance attached to labour, of inertia, of individual interests, was
basing economic and social development on by no means conducive to the fulfilment of such
economic growth, particularly on the establish- aspirations. Nevertheless, it m a y be noted that
ment or expansion of the production sectors, educational planning had in some cases the
encouraged m a n y states in the South to try benefit of a direct link and consistency with
to bring the response to the social demand overall planning, in other cases of a budgetary
closer to the response to the needs of various system closely linked to development planning,
branches of the economy requiring trained in others again of stable resources or of
and qualified nationals to staff them. administrative and technical expertise. Though
Quite obviously, this twofold ambition was it is rare for all these conditions to exist in a
to be checked by, among other things, limited single country, the existence of any one of them
h u m a n , financial and material resources, in makes it possible to establish the credibility of
250 Sylvain Louri

educational planning. T h e variety of situations Methodological aspects

and consequently of principles and conditions
governing educational planning in the devel- From the foregoing it will be noted that
oping regions should thus be noted. whatever the political and economic context
W h e n assessing the extent to which the (socialist, market economy, developing), edu-
idea of educational planning has spread, one cational planning was designed and used as an
cannot overlook the considerable moral and instrument for short-, medium-, or' long-term
technical role played by international organiz- forecasting, with at least two distinct functions:
ations such as Unesco, and subsequently the First, response to a national project aimed
World B a n k , at the level of the community of at reconciling a criterion of justice such as the
nations, by the Organization of American 'democratization of education' (equality of
States ( O A S ) in the Americas and by the educational opportunity) with a criterion of
Organization for Economic Co-operation and economic efficiency, for example the extent to
Development ( O E C D ) in the non-socialist which graduates are actually employed in the
industrialized countries. jobs forecast.
In 1968 Unesco organized an International Second, rational use of resources reflecting
Conference on Educational Planning, which the need to provide for the distribution and use
took stock of the situation after all the regional of budgetary or real resources in order to meet
meetings, which had unceasingly advocated the criteria of cost effectiveness.
above-mentioned principles. Before 1968, and The most 'noble' and at the same time
practically every year since then, inter-minis- most complex function is admittedly thefirst.It
terial meetings reiterating the importance of presupposes clear public choices expressed in
the role of planning in the preparation and de- political terms and capable of being converted
velopment of programmes designed to expand into quantified objectives and targets. Assuming
and improve educational systems have been that the two criteria of equity and efficiency
held in each of the main regions of the world, are always present, the methods corresponding
their recommendations being systematically en- to them will be distinct.
dorsed at each of the sessions of the General The former will be based chiefly on a
Conference of Unesco over the years. Then model determining the relations between the
again, both through research and training and population demanding access to schools and the
through technical co-operation with M e m b e r capacity of the educational system to meet this
States, Unesco helped considerably in the demand, that isin most casesthe capacity of
identification and implementation of techniques the state to mobilize the necessary resources
for analysis and forecasting and the training of and to offer education of the quality demanded.
national planning personnel. This in particular The latter will be based on two models:
was the task which Unesco assigned to the one establishing the links between education
International Institute for Educational Planning and employment (manpower approach) and
w h e n it was founded in 1963. one establishing the cost-effectiveness of a
T h e World B a n k also participated in m a n y particular education (rate of return approach).
of the analyses and studies carried out by
Unesco's Education Sector, helping to estab- Social demand and educational supply
lish, or making use of, the planning facilities.
Finally, the O E C D , through its Regional This method of planning consists mainly of
Mediterranean Project, contributed in the assessing the social pressure for education. T h e
1960snot only in Europe but also in several nature of the constitutional obligation (in gen-
Latin American countriesto the drawing up eral, limited to the age-group of 6 to 12 year-
of educational plans in response to forecast olds or 7 to 14 year-olds) is only one factor that
m a n p o w e r requirements in particular.6 needs to be considered. S o m e children, once
they have successfully completed the primary
level, want to go on to subsequent levels. Even
in cases where the state does not have a
constitutional obligation to do so, it m a y
Educational planning 251

consider that it has a duty, that is, a political For this purpose direct and precise links
obligation, to satisfy this aspiration to some have to be established between the levels, types
extent, if not fully. and systems of education, and the job cat-
It is this pressure that planning helps to egories identified as playing a recognized role
assess by measuring the size of the age-groups in economic production. It is this model which
of those w h o enrol at school, of those w h o go is described as the 'manpower approach'. Three
on, of those w h o repeat, of those w h o drop out aspects must be forecast for a specific year:
and of those w h o complete the course. Fore- First, the occupational distribution pattern
casts are worked out on the basis of known or by sector and branch of economic activity. This
estimated parameters regarding the population pyramid, the base of which consists of unskilled
concerned, those enrolled in the system and workers, is constructed in categories ranging
their movements within the system. They will from that considered as the least skilled right
rely on specific data for each year and for each up to the tip of technologists, key personnel,
grade, level or type of education. The data m a y managers, the liberal professions, researchers,
also be broken down by region or area within etc.; through the intermediate categories of
the country. skilled workers, foremen, shop-foremen, etc.
Next, taking into account the per pupil Second, the educational profile according
cost, or that of some other unit (teachers, to occupational category. This makes it possible
space, materials, supplies, etc.), planners will to establish for each job category the corre-
work out the cost of the social demand. T h e sponding education or training (expressed in
adjustment between what the system offers at a number of years of study ' or of vocational
particular time, taking into consideration the training).
resources available, and what it could offer to Third, the educational profile according to
meet a specific demand, is determined by sector and branch of activity. This procedure is
budgetary choicesbased of course on techni- partly the result of thefirsttwo, but it allows
cal knowledge as to the consequences of a refinement of the model by taking, into account
political choice, but dependent chiefly on the changes in the educational profile of an occu-
nature of the latter. pation imposed by a technological change or
Actually, this model consists above all of by occupational restructuring.
the application of an arithmetical forecasting Whereas the centrally planned socialist
technique which m a y reflect distinct choices systems postulate that every m e m b e r of the
from one period to the next, or adapt to n e w working population is entitled to have a job for
norms with regard to the distribution of re- which he was trained, this is not the case in the
sources. U n d e r no circumstances can it pro- market economies, which basically focus on
pose these choices or norms. productivity and profit, and are less bound to
full-employment policies. A s a result, though
Forecasting manpower needs the model is roughly speaking generally appli-
cable in the socialist countries,7 it is not
The centrally planned systems (and some neo- applicable to those with neo-liberal economies.
liberal economies during the period of intense The difference between the two systems
economic growth), which determine the exact emerges from a study of the distinction between
needs of the economy with regard to manpower a forecast of m a n p o w e r requirements (in the
at all levels, follow the principle that while light of the expected growth of the production
education is a phenomenon that satisfies deep- sectors) and the actual absorptive capacity of
seated socio-cultural aspirations, it is also an the labour market.
auxiliary of production. In this capacity edu- The imponderables that modify the factors
cation has to show that it pays (in the neo- of production at a particular time, the impossi-
liberal jargon): the educational systems produc- bility of accurately predicting modifications in
ing skilled labour which in turn will contribute production structures and markets, and the
to the productivity of work and thus to an absence of a centralized system for controlling
increase in the national output of goods and access to the different types and levels of
services. education and training m e a n that any precise
252 , Sylvain Louri

A classroom in Paris, 1912. Edimagcs.

forecast is extremely illusory. It is no less true ment represented by this cost in terms of the
that for m a n y countries in the course of benefits obtained. This relationship between
building up an educational system and deciding costs and benefits (returns) is calculated on the
on the direction it is to take, the m a n p o w e r basis of a working life by measurement of the
approach remains useful, indeed necessary, if income due to the recipient of the education
only for establishing rough estimates. acquired for the established cost and the
revenue due to the state in the form of taxes
Cost-effectiveness or rate of return paid on that income. T h e rate of return of the
type (or period) of education received is deter-
This procedure is based chiefly on the laws of mined by measurement of these costs and
the market. T h e principle is simple: an edu- income and revenue. B y this means it should
cation received has 'cost' a certain amount and theoretically be possible to establish at national
it is a question of measuring the 'return'. This is level the priorities for national investments in
calculated on the basis of the real costs of an education.
education (enrolment, supplies, etc.) and of the Unfortunately, wage policy very often
income foregone (the value of the wages that stems from structures or practices which by no
would have been paid had the student taken means reflect the productivity of the corre-
a job immediately instead of pursuing his sponding functions. Moreover, a rate estab-
studies). lished at a particular time reflects the labour
W h a t is involved is the measurement of the shortage in a branch of the economy at that
cost-effectiveness of the choice of the invest- time only. If it were national policy to carry out
Educational planning 253

A contemporary class in the United States. Miller/Magnum.

the changes dictated by analyses, the relative Results

efficiency values would change accordingly.
Although this method is not infallible, it While the fact remains that centralized plan-
nevertheless allows at a particular time the ning continues to resort to techniques that
determining of the difference between the have become complex and highly refined^ based
values attached to a certain education by the mainly on a combination of the first two
state (through its choices) and by social demand models, educational planning in other societies
(through its implicit preferences), and the has also evolved considerably.
objective value of that education in terms of its T h e main weakness of all three models is
market price. It is thus possible to measure the the w a y in which the planning process is re-
gap between expectations of employment and stricted to accounting techniques. T h e passing
the real behaviour of the labour market. of time and the experience acquired over the
It does not appear that this method met last ten yearsduring which m a n y countries
with m u c h success a m o n g those responsible for have been experiencing the consequences,
educational policy, particularly in the devel- particularly unemployment, of a serious econ-
oping countries, in view of the considerable omic crisishave shown the difficulty, and in-
importance of the socio-cultural factors under- deed the impossibility, of associating the laws
lying the d e m a n d for education. Nevertheless of the market (and of domination) and m a n -
this instrument of analysis has a value' that power requirement forecasts with a knowledge
should not be overlooked. of rates of return and subjective preferences.
Each of the latter two methods attempts in
254 Sylvain Louri

its o w n way to answer the question: H o w m a n yIn m a n y African or Asian countries, the state
people should be trained, to what level, and already allocates over one-quarter of its funds
for what categories of employment? Education to provide schooling for not more than one-
and employment cannot be m a d e to coincide third of the children aged between 7 and
exactly, for a graduate m a y not find the job he 12 years. W h a t would happen if all these
originally had in mind. Studies of the stratifi- children were to attend primary school while at
cation of the labour market 8 have also shown the same time, those w h o attained the levels
that in certain production structures socio-econ- required for secondary and higher education
omic background, previous employment, sex, were to be offered the possibility of pursuing
ethnic or linguistic origin, etc., are factors thattheir studies at these levels?
influence prospective employers more than The decision-makers expect the planners
educational attainment levels. Finally, the re- to seek and propose replies to such questions
action of employers to the qualifications of cer- and to other more complex ones concerning,
tain graduates seeking employment encourages for example, the viability of overall or partial
the creation or strengthening of training or re- reforms of educational systems.9 In answering
training courses within firms, outside the edu- such questions, planning thus acquires a wider
cational system. It is by this means that scope covering more than the calculation of
m o r e realistic causal relations between trainingwhat exists, and what is perpetuated. In re-
and productivity are established. stricting itself to the latter, planning is not neu-
tral: indeed it justifies the existing imbalances.
It therefore serves to bring out the conflict-
Non-quantitative aspects ing interests of the groups concerned, thus
participating in constant adjustments between
While a quantitative approach to planning is aims and means. Thus the setting of objectives,
quite obviously necessary, it cannot be said to which constitutes the first stage of the ideal
suffice. Education involves more subtle and rational model, leads to exchanges of views,
deep-seated factors than the limitations of dialogue, compromise, arbitration, which give
financial resources or the d e m a n d for skilled planning a different sense. T h e foreseeable
labour. It cannot cut itself off from these fluctuation of resources in turn entails the
considerations, but it cannot confine itself to seeking and identifying of a variety of means,
them either. It is therefore necessary to attempt some of which m a y represent alternatives to the
to grasp other aspects that contribute to deter- school system.
mining the nature of educational planning. F r o m being a passive instrument for im-
If in the non-centrally planned economies plementing choices, educational planning m a y
the educational systems meet a 'non-rational' therefore be said to be tending to become one
d e m a n d rather than the supposed requirements of the active tools of the 'project for society',
of the labour market, h o w can planning attempt subservient to educational aims. It does not
to carry out the forecasting functions m e n - take the place of the political or pedagogical
tioned earlier (response to a 'national project' decision-making processes, but participates in
and rational use of resources)? the flow of information and organization be-
In most countriesparticularly, but not tween these two poles.10
exclusively, in the developing countriesthe
educational system cannot continue to per-
petuate itself indefinitely without jeopardizing The significance of planning
the resources of the state and the principles of
social justice that are the foundations of the Under such conditions, those w h o are still
free schooling available to all children and attached to the administrative or statistical side
young people in the country. Public funds spent of educational planning will have to learn to
on education, although they attain and often allow it to take on a n e w role comprising three
exceed 30 per cent of total public expenditure, distinct but complementary aspects.
will probably not be sufficient to fulfil consti- 1. It m a y be a 'process'11, which m a y precede
tutional obligations or political commitments. the decision-maker's work, and will then
Educational planning 255

consist of receiving, processing and sup- participative, dialectical, conflictual, or simply

plying the information that will help the political models. 1 2 These models have in c o m -
latter to m a k e his choice. It m a y also be m o n the fact that they base planning on a m o r e
located 'downstream' from the decision- detailed analysis of the socio-political and
maker's work, and will then consist of organizational environment in which it exists.
circulating the information and choices, F r o m the political angle these n e w models
within or outside the given administrative are intended to reflect the structured relations
establishment. between planning and the different social
2. This activity m a y lead to the expression of groups interested in educational development.
the choices in terms of a 'product', in the These models are often based on mechanisms
shape of a plan, a p r o g r a m m e , a project or allowing all the parties concerned to become
a budget. actively involved in the decision-making and
3. This product will presuppose obtaining, management processes.
processing and analysing the information From the administrative point of view, it
and presenting it as a joint undertaking. means removing planning from the specialized
These tasks will be carried out in separate units in which it has often been confined and
'structures', either in the Education Minis- spreading planning activities throughout the
try, or in ministries or other state bodies whole of the management system. These con-
dealing with overall planning, or on a ditions should m a k e it possible to preclude any
wider participation basis. gap between the preparation and implemen-
Although there are three aspects to plan- tation of plans, a phenomenon observed all
ningprocess, product and structureit does too often, and thus m a k e planning a continuous
not follow that these three aspects always and co-ordinated effort on the part of all the
coexist. Just one of the three m a y prevail in a services. T h e object of the n e w models is
particular context. In every case individuals therefore to reduce the uncertainty imposed by
will bear the responsibility for its various the environment and to guide the activity of the
forms. In most cases they will be adminis- management system in its entirety. Ideally, the
trators, their proximity to the decision-makers aim should be to spread planning throughout all
depending on their levels, their skills and their levels. A measure of dconcentration, indeed
experience. They are the 'actors' in planning. of decentralization, with active participation at
The more numerous and active they are at the the regional and local levels, enables the
various stages of participation and decision-, planning process to become m o r e consistent
making, the more planning will become at the and more effective.
same time a process, a product and a structure, T h e implementation of the n e w models has
and the more it will represent an effective led to a considerable broadening of the infor-
framework for action. T h e less numerous they mation base on which planning rests. Orig-
are, the more they will be closed in on inally, educational statistics constituted the
themselves in a narrow structure, the less their main if not the only source of information on
information and exchange process will be wide- the strength of which a 'diagnosis' could be
ranging and the less their product will be m a d e and proposals prepared. Today, planners
credibleand usable. tend to base their analyses on a wider set of
Under these circumstances, m a n y states data. If socio-political and administrative credi-
endeavour to bring these three aspects, and the bility of the programmes proposedand not
'actors' involved, as close to reality as possible. just their technical orfinancialviabilityis to
It is this drawing closer to the real world of be tested, then more general information is
education that characterizes the current trend necessary, information going beyond the edu-
in planning. F r o m being an overall activity cational system itself and relating to the social
normative and imposedit becomes more context in which it functions.
diffuse and empirical: in a word, participative. T h e management of education has m o v e d
T h e planners, conscious of the possibilities from the stage of the statistical base to that of
and limitations of their activity, apply n e w information systems. Such a transformation is
models: open models, interaction, transaction, not easy inasmuch as it presupposes a con-
256 Sylvain Louri

siderable improvement in the communication growth patterns for education, such as was seen
networks within the educational system, the during the 1960s and 1970s.
establishment of systematic liaison with other The challenge planners are faced with
public and private organizations responsible for today is h o w to reverse the process of the
data gathering in the varied fields related to 'manpower approach'. Instead of taking as a
education, and finally a reappraisal of the basis forecasts of the demands of the labour
role of research and its co-ordination with market and attempting to get the educational
decision-making. system to meet them, educational planning
Techniques, too, have evolved consider- could henceforth endeavour to follow more
ably. T h e range of mathematical models and markedly the supply of the educational system
techniques for analysis, projection and pro- (school or out-of-school, formal or non-formal
gramming is tending to draw closer to concrete education). This should m a k e it possible to
and controllable situations and to m o v e away understand individual training and career paths
from macro-social or economic frameworks. and the link between an educational past and a
O n e of the most significant trends in this productive present. Thus planning, being more
connection was the development during the last empirical, would correspond to reality rather
decade of a set of specific working methods and than moving around an artificial model of
instruments for planning at the local level. growth based on hypotheses which have been
Micro-planning, especially the methodology of disproved by present-day economic realities.
school mapping (planning school locations) A s to the financial and real resources
which is one of its main instruments, has been available for educationand it is not un-
introduced in m a n y countries as an indis- reasonable to assume that they are likely to
pensable complement to macro-planning. 13 stagnate rather than increasethe contempor-
Also, limited use is beginning to be m a d e ary planner will have to think about alternat-
of other methods of a heuristic kind which ives conducive to an optimization of existing
m a k e it possible to explore solutions to resources. This will lead him to analyse the
problems by means of a wider-ranging data efficiency of alternative systems (distance edu-
base (construction of scenarios, simulation cation, open education, out-of-school education,
models, sensitivity analyses, etc.). These etc.) and to adopt a more rational approach
methods are no substitute for the techniques to the allocation of resources, to ensure that
mentioned earlier but they m a y prove to be a desired result can be achieved with reduced
particularly useful for longer-term planning, resources.
w h e n the socio-economic and technological Generally, the future of educational plan-
environment is uncertain. ning is likely to be marked by a more open
Finally, the n e w models bring out the co- view of the sphere of education, including a
ordinating and lending role that planners are variety of 'actors' coming not only from a wide
required to play in relation either to the public sector (not limited to ministries of edu-
different administrative services in the edu- cation) and thus difficult to plan for the pur-
cational sector and other sectors, or to the poses of school and out-of-school education and
different partners and social groups concerned training; but also from the private sector,
by the development of education. with school and out-of-school activities that
M o r e immediately, against the economic cannot be planned either, if their spontaneity
background prevailing in a large part of the and specificity are to be respected.
world today, the unemployment and growth Education, between n o w and the year 2000
crisis has left its mark on the process and and beyond, in the community of nations as a
techniques of planning. T h e need for educators whole, will have to face a set of interacting
cannot be exactly determined and the corre- forces that are apparently unrelated. T h e first
sponding resources mobilized at a time when can be seen in the marked preference for the
job offers are becoming increasingly rare and participation of the education consumer in the
financial constraints are affecting state budgets, choice of the means and aims of his learning,
particularly those of the developing countries, and a corresponding reduction of the role of the
and tending to prevent recurrence of funding state. T h e second consists of the increasing
Educational planning 257

limitations of the financial resources that the viduals that are traditionally responsible for
state budget can mobilize in the face of the education.
increasing but diversified d e m a n d for edu- It is in this area embracing all the educatio-
cationmore 'modular' and fragmented in nal lives of a nation, in which individual choices
time and in form. Finally, the third m a y be can scarcely be forecast, that educational plan-
found in the technological explosion of c o m - ning will have to find its place, without claiming
puter sciences and means of communications, to be able, nor wanting, to direct educatioa in
which in the long run will spectacularly modify its entirety.
the nature and role of the institutions and indi- [Translated from French]


1. See two comprehensive studies 3. Karl Mannheim and future prospects in the O E C D
(with an interval of more than A . C . Steward, An Introduction to countries.
fifteen years between them) carried the Sociology of Education, p. 8,
out by the International Institute for London, Routledge & Keagan Paul, 7. This does not m e a n that the
Educational Planning: K . Nojko, 1962. experiment in centralized planning
E . Monoszon, V . Jamine, did not itself c o m e up against new
V . Severtsov and R . Poignant: 4. Unesco International Conference problems when international
Educational Planning in the USSR, on Educational Planning, Paris, economic problems m a d e
Paris, Unesco/IIEP, 1968; 1968. themselves felt and intermediate
D . Chupronov, S. Kostaniane, structures began to take on new
K . Nojko, V . Oussanov, 5. Organization of American States responsibilities in relation to what
V . Saiouchev and S. Tanguiane: Seminar on Integral Educational was originally a consistent view of a
L'ducation en URSS: planification Planning, Washington, D . C . , 1958. whole that was to function in a
et dveloppement rcent, Paris, foreseeable fashion. T h e case of the
Unesco/IIEP, 1981. 6. Organization for Economic C o - Soviet Union is very interesting for,
operation and Development, in thefieldof education, it is
2. Unesco/IIEP, Educational Educational Planning. A planned to establish outside the
Planning in the USSR, op. cit., Reappraisal, Paris, 1983, a survey of 'basic' subsystem of the school
p. 230. principles and methods, practice and (from kindergarten to university) a
258 Sylvain Louri

second subsystem, known as the the output of the educational system framework of educational planning.
'supplementary' subsystem. This to meet the needs of the production See Educational Planning in the
subsystem would provide the market, there exists today a Context of Current Development
individual, society and the plethora of graduates from technical Problems, in particular pp. 35-71,
production systems with and higher education w h o do not 87-92, and 129-48, Paris,
appropriate,flexibleand transitional necessarilyfindjobs corresponding Unesco/IIEP, 1984.
ways and means of meeting to their aspirations in the production
individual or collective demands or the service sectors. (See 11. H . N . Weiler, Educational
with regard to training or education. J. Kluczinski and B . Sanyal, Planning and Social Change, Paris,
A facility of this kind would appear Education and Work in Poland, Unesco/IIEP, 1980.
to show that the 'functional' Warsaw, PWN/Unesco/IIEP, 1985.)
planning process designed to explain
all the measures taken in favour of 12. For an overall view and a very
8. J. Hallak and F . Caillods,
educational structures and means at full bibliography, see C . Davis
Education, Work and Employment,
the secondary and higher levels, in Rssel et al., 'Planning Education
Vol. I, and M . Carnoy, Education,
terms of the country's m a n p o w e r for Development', Issues and
Work and Employment, Vol. II,
requirements at all levels in all their Problems in the Planning of
Paris, Unesco/IIEP, 1980.
diversity, has considerably evolved. Education in Developing Countries,
(See A . P . Vladislavlev, 'Lifelong Vol. 1, Cambridge, Mass., Center
EducationConcepts of 9. T h e relations between decision- for Studies in Education and
Development', H E P Monthly makers and their scope of activity, Development, Harvard University,
Seminar on Strategical Planning, which includes planning, in some 1980.
Paris, 15 April 1983.) Central American countries are
Likewise, in Hungary, the 'parallel' analysed in S. Louri, Education et 13. Through its research and
higher education system of dveloppement: stratgies et training activities relating to school
correspondence courses or distance dcisions en Amrique centrale, mapping, regional disparities and
education represents the birth and Paris, Unesco/Economica, 1985. the analysis of costs at the local
development of an individualized level, the H E P has m a d e a
system that is a response to social 10. The H E P held a seminar in considerable contribution to this
demand rather than to the strict October 1983, which tackled and recent development. See in
needs of the economy. (See developed the three research themes particular J. Hallak, Planning the
J. Timar, L'enseignement suprieur the Institute will pursue during the Location of Schools: an Instrument
et le dveloppement conomique et years 1984-89. T h e third of these of Educational Policy, Paris,
technique en Hongrie, Paris, three themes, 'The role of Unesco, 1977; G . Carrn and T a
Unesco/IIEP, 1983.) educational planning in the decision- Ngoc Chu, Reduction of Regional
In Poland, it would appear that making and implementation Disparities: the Role of Educational
despite the attempts m a d e to plan process', establishes the conceptual Planning, Paris, Unesco, 1981.

- n :?k
Relevance of social science
output worldwide
^|ii,ii'^rn<P"^ pip

J. Michael Brittain

Introduction forms of bibliographical control, emanate from

Western Europe and North America. Bibliog-
Social scientists produce a great many docu- raphical control of the primary literature pro-
ments. Librarians and information specialists in duced in the West is therefore good, but often
the social sciences have a good track record in unreliable for primary literature produced out-
bibliographical control, which dates from the side these areas.
early part of the twentieth century. Library and Information providers have for the most
information services in the social sciences have part assumed that the social sciences function,
been modelled, for the most part, upon infor- from a communication and information transfer
mation services produced in science and tech- point of view, in m u c h the same way as the
nology, usually a decade before. N e w types of physical and biological sciences. Accordingly,
information services in science and technology bibliographical control in the social sciences has
have usually been followed in the social developed along lines similar to bibliographical
sciences without m u c h delay. For example, cit- control in the sciences. However, there are n o w
ation indexes, mechanized information retrieval indications that social science knowledge is not
services, and the latest generation of on-line at all like science knowledge. Therefore, it can
retrieval services have appeared in the social be argued, information services in the social
sciences relatively soon after theirfirstap- sciences must take account of the special
pearance in science. Even indexing and re- features of social science communication and
trieval methods of science were adopted, usually social science knowledge. If necessary, n e w
unchanged, by the social sciences in the 1960s information services must be developed for the
(Roberts, 1984). social sciences and related applied fields.
Until the Second World W a r most of the
primary literature of the social sciences was
produced in Western Europe and North Growth of the primary literature
America. Since 1945 the social sciences have de-
veloped in Asia, Eastern Europe and other From 1860 until the early 1970s both the serial
parts of the world and there is n o w a substantial and monograph literatures of the social sciences
quantity of literature. H o w e v e r , the majority of grew at an exponential rate, fairly consistently
indexing and abstracting services, and other (Fig. 1). F r o m about 1860 until the early part of

J. Michael Brittain is Senior Lecturer, Department of Library and Information Studies, Loughborough University,
Loughborough, Leicestershire L E I 1 3 T V , United Kingdom. I le has published books and articles on issues related to
social science information and data, including 'Information Services and the Structure of Knowledge in the Social
Sciences', ISSJ, Vol. X X X I , N o . 4, 1979.
260 J. Michael Brittain

the twentieth century most contributions came tial social science literature produced outside
from Western Europe and North America. Western Europe and North America; that this
From about 1920, Eastern Europe, the Soviet literature is not well represented in the sec-
Union, Asia, Japan and Africa m a d e a contri- ondary services produced in the West; and
bution, which by I960 had become substantial. that bibliographical control of the primary
The contribution from Arab countries dates literature of any region outside North America
mainly from the end of the Second World W a r and Western Europe is not well developed.
(Fig. 2). In facilitating the transfer of social science
The estimates of size of the literature of information from the West to the East, and also
the non-English language speaking world in to the Third World, it is necessary to consider
Figure 2 are on the low side. T h e data was the relevance of social science produced in the
gathered as part of the Design of Information West to consumers in other parts of the world.
Systems in the Social Sciences (DISISS) project There is a further question that has been largely
(Bath University, 1975, 1980; Line, 1981). The ignored by information providers. This con-
researchers did not have the same ease of cerns the relevance to the West of the social
access to foreign language material as they did science produced in Asia and the Third World.
to English language material. Nevertheless, A great deal of concern has been expressed
these data illustrate that there is n o w a substan- about the paucity of information services for


- All serials

- Journals


Secondary services


10 -


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
18 18S0 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980

F I G . 1. Size and growth of social science literature.

Relevance of social science output worldwide 261

social scientists in the Third World, and about cent of the world's total output of social science
h o w improvements can be m a d e in terms of material. It is generally assumed that the w a y
access. There has been little concern about the forward for the Third World is to gain m u c h
growing endogenous literature in the Third easier physical access to the world's current
World and its relevance (or otherwise) to the output of social science literature, although the
industrialized countries. impossibility of the Third World having easy
The size of the primary literature world- access to similar material from the past is
wide in the social sciences contains a m i n i m u m usually recognized.
of 5,000 primary journals and an annual output It is often assumed that the Third World
of at least 100,000 monographs and reports. needs access to as m u c h of the current social
These figures most certainly underestimate the science literature as possible, given economic
world production. This is a massive amount of constraints. This expectation is based upon the
literature, and although social scientists and assumption that the majority of the world's
social science practitioners in the West can be output is relevant to the Third Worldan
assumed in principle to have relatively easy assumption that is challenged in this article.
access to it, social scientists in the Third World Since no Third World country is likely to
have easy access perhaps to no more than 5 per be in a position to obtain, for example, 90 per





T T 1920 1940 1960

FIG. 2. Growth curves for serials by country or region of publication. (Time analysis for serials published: A ,
worldwide; B , in Western Europe; C , in North America; D , in Eastern Europe; E , in the U S S R ; F , in Asia; G , in the
Arab countries; H , in Central and South Asia; I, in Oceania; J, in Black Africa; K , in Japan; L , in Southern Africa.)
262 /. Michael Brittain

cent of the world output of current social one large and well k n o w n abstracting service:
science material, their information providers for example, Psychological Abstracts in psy-
are increasingly seeking guidance in the selec- chology, Sociological Abstracts in sociology,
tion of literature. In s o m e parts of the world the and so forth. In addition, there are a large n u m -
emphasis is upon locally produced material. ber of smaller services. These often overlap
considerably with the major services as well
as with each other. For example, psychology
Bibliographical control Child Development Abstracts overlaps a great
deal with Psychological Abstracts; Sociology of
Since the 1920s secondary services in the social Education Abstracts overlaps, as is to be ex-
sciences (in particular, indexing and abstracting pected, with services in sociology and education.
services) have m o r e than kept pace with the The situation regarding the overlap of second-
growth of the journal literature (see Fig. 1). ary services can be diagramatically illustrated
In the early 1970s it was possible to identify at (Fig. 3). T h e overlap situation is complex
least 500 secondary services worldwide (Bath (see, for example, Brittain and Roberts, 1980).
University, 1976ft). A number of overlap studies have been conduc-
Nearly all major social science disciplines ted in the social sciences, including an extensive
are covered by at least three or four ab- study of the overlap of services in two fields
stracting services. Most disciplines have at least criminology and public administration (Bath






Prim ary literature

F I G . 3. Bibliographical controlexisting situation. ( E A : Education Abstracts; C D A : Child Development Abstracts;

S E A : Sociology of Education Abstracts; P A : Psychological Abstracts; S A : Sociological Abstracts;
B S : Bibliographical Services.)
Relevance of social science output worldwide 263

University, 1976a). A major overlap study was usually contain material not covered by larger
carried out by the National Federation of services in their parent discipline.
Abstracting and Indexing Service (NFAIS) in A second, m o r e refined approach to the
science and technology (Bearmann and K u n - question of the coverage of the primary litera-
berger, 1977). ture by the secondary literature, and the related
O n e major problem in overlap studies is question of the overlap between one secondary
that it is m u c h m o r e difficult to identify article service and another, is to divide a discipline or
overlap than journal overlap, which is relatively field of study into its major sub-areas (or sub-
easy to establish. T h e former is difficult, yet it disciplines). This was done in the DISISS study
is perhaps article overlap that is m u c h m o r e for the field of criminology (Brittain and
important in considerations of coverage. T h e Roberts, 1980). Citation clusters were gener-
extent to which the articles in a journal are ated in order to group together journals. These
covered by a secondary service varies enor- groups (or clusters) included the following
mously from one secondary service to another, fields: medical pyschology, sociology, law, psy-
and also from one time period to another even chotherapy, social work, criminology, police
for the same secondary service. S o m e journals and law, clinical psychology, and mixed foreign
are fully covered (every issue and every article journals. Criminology is thus seen to be hetero-
they contain); other journals receive erratic geneous with respect to the interests of the
coverage. professionals working in it. Those with an
Bibliographic control of the primary litera- interest in psychotherapy, or medical psy-
ture, especially the journal literature, is gener- chology, etc., will draw heavily upon these
ally regarded to be good in the social sciences. respective fields. Those concerned with police
However from time to time the following science and law have different information
problems have been identified and some have needs, draw upon another set of journals, and
been researched, but unfortunately no action m a y have little need for journals in psycho-
has been taken following the research, in most therapy or medical psychology. In this empiri-
cases. cally derived grouping of journals there is only
First, there has been concern about the one group that in terms of subject matter is
wastefulness of excessive overlap between not to be found in s o m e other discipline or
secondary services. Indeed, m a n y overlap related subject. This group is designated as
studies have been carried out to show exactly criminology (see Table 1 for details).
where the overlap occurs so that secondary F r o m Table 1 it can be seen that six
service producers could reduce it. However, abstracting and indexing services in criminology
there is little incentive on the part of secondary were identified and the extent to which each
service producers to rationalize their services, covered the nine major clusters w a s investi-
to reduce overlap, or indeed tofillgaps in the gated. Although m o r e data is required to pro-
coverage of primary literature (Ketley, 1976). duce definitive findings, it can be concluded
Overlap, of course, is not always a bad or that no single abstracting and indexing service
wasteful thing. For example, let us assume for in criminology covers the nine clusters with
the sake of argument that Psychological Ab- equal comprehensiveness, although Abstracts
stracts and Child Development Abstracts over- on Criminology and Penology comes closest
lap almost completely. Psychological Abstracts is to giving good coverage of all clusters.
the major abstracting service for psychology. It Perhaps the most important conclusion
is fairly expensive and quite unwieldy to use to draw in this context is that the title of an
w h e n only a small section of it is required; the indexing and abstracting service m a y be mis-
indexing m a y not be refined enough for a leading. For example, Crime and Delinquency
specialist in, for example, child development. Abstracts does not cover the nine majorfieldin
Child Development Abstracts, m u c h smaller, which criminologists and related professionals
cheaper, and with a refined indexing system work. Criminology draws heavily upon the
appropriate to specialists in itsfield,is usually literature of medicine, psychology, law, etc. It
preferred by the specialist. In addition to ease is therefore necessary to recognize this in
of use and relevance, specialized services providing information services and to m a k e
264 J. Michael Brittain

T A B L E 1. C o v e r a g e b y secondary services in criminology of journals in relevant citation clusters: s u m m a r y table

N u m b e r of titles Percentage and number (in parentheses) of titles in cluster covered

Clusters in cluster
1. Medical psychology 34 44 (15) 15(5) 3(9) 12(4) 0(0) 1(2)
2. Sociology 11 18(2) 18(2) 18(2) 9(1) 0(0) 0(0)
3. Law 4 25(1) 0(0) 75(3) 25(1) 0(0) 0(0)
4. Psychotherapy 17 18(3) 18(3) 12(2) 6(1) 0(0) 0(0)
5. Social work 6 80(4) 20(1) 40(2) 40(2) 0(0) 0(0)
6. Criminology 13 54(7) 38(5) 38(5) 38(5) 0(0) 31(4)
7. Police a n d law 6 50(3) 33(2) 33(2) 33(2) 50(3) 33(2)
8fl. Clinical psychology 4 25(1) 0(0) 0(0) 0(0) 0(0) 0(0)
Sb. M i x e d foreign journals 4 75(3) 50(2) 75(3) 25(1) 0(0) 75(3)

ACP: Abstracts on Criminology and Penology

BJC: British Journal of Criminology
CDA: Crime and Delinquency Abstracts
CDL: Crime and Delinquency Literature
JCL: Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science
LS: Liste semestrielle d'articles slectionns: supplment aux numros de police criminelle

sure that the relevant services from these fields O n e might suspect that data, including
are used where appropriate. In a more limited data about the economy, does in fact travel
context, there are professionals in criminology easily across language and cultural boundaries.
w h o rarely require access to the literature of M a n y studies have suggested that it should be
medicine, psychology, psychotherapy and so possible to provide a fundamental series of
forth, and are m u c h better served by a service economic data for each country, m a d e gener-
more clearly directed to the literature on ally available and regularly up-dated. T h e sys-
criminology as opposed to related disciplines tem would of course be computerized. It could
and subjects. form the core of an international socio-economic
information base, which users might comment
upon and correct by their insight into local
Statistical data conditions. Unfortunately this system does not
exist, and the m a n y suggestions put forward in
This article is not concerned primarily with the 1976 ISSJ have not been taken up. M a n y of
statistical datathe type of data that so often the problems described in 1976 exist today; in
forms the bread and butter of the work of particular, the model for collecting and collat-
economists and econometricians. In 1976 the ing economic data developed in the industrial-
International Social Science Journal published a ized countries is inappropriate when applied
special issue on the 'Economics of Information to the Third World. Increasingly it is realized
that official figures, for example official G N P
and Information for Economists'. In his edi-
figures, which continue to circulate and deter-
torial Peter Lengyel stated:
mine a country's ranking in the international
league tables, present a very distorted perspec-
It is indeed surprising h o w long economics, the senior tive on the actual conditions. A two-tier system
social science . . . has taken to grapple with the for the collection, collation and publication
inadequacies of its o w n data base, not to mention the by of economic statistics has been repeatedly
n o w entirely outmoded assumption that information is a
free, reliable and readily available good. It is equally proposed. But there are m a n y drawbacks, for
surprising that so m a n y economists have been meekly example, w h e n does a developing country pro-
content to accept data cast in forms and collected for gress sufficiently for its economic data to be
purposes quite foreign to their o w n concerns, and thus classified along with that from the developed
tended to adopt frames of reference which are not countries?
necessarily of primary analytical value (Lengyel, 1976,
p. 422). M a n y have commented upon the slow
Relevance of social science output worldwide 265

Engraving of a nineteenth-century public library, by the French artist and book illustrator Gustave D o r (1832-83).

progress m a d e in the social sciences towards greatly improve the dissemination of the re-
standardization and international developments sults of their social science research. Industrial-
in data and bibliographical data bases. O n e clue ized countries, especially the United States,
to the slow progress comes from the m a n y have been successful in disseminating their
studies that have been conducted of the infor- social science research to the Third World
mation requirements of social scientists. without any obvious indication that it has any
A further factor to consider is the unequal great relevance there. Perhaps the Third World
treatment of social science disciplines in the wishes to be assured that its social science is
Third World. In the Unesco survey of eleven relevant outside the environment in which it is
Asian countries it is clear that 'social science' is produced?
being used synonymously for 'social and econ- Although economists stand out as a group
omic statistics' (Unesco, 1983). In some Third apart, in the sense that they rarely call upon the
World countries the literature on, for example, literature of the other social sciences (indeed,
psychology, political science, and anthropology other social scientists rarely cite economic
is negligible/This is not of course the situation material) economists are very like other social
in industrialized countries. scientists in their information-seeking behav-
O n e conclusion to draw from the Unesco iour. They do not d e m a n d completeness, they
survey is that Third World countries could are often satisfied with what comes immediately
266 J. Michael Brittain

to hand, and there is an unfortunate tendency overload rather than information paucity. For
to reproduce serially a small selection of data example, information providers in the Third
and bibliographical references that have be- World intent on covering the disciplines of
c o m e c o m m o n stock: whatever their defects psychology and sociology would need only two
due to error, misleading aggregations, or inad- major social science abstracting services
equate updatingthese sources are reproduced Pyschological Abstracts and Sociological Ab-
in one publication after another. stractsin order to be aware of thousands of
publications in these two major social sciences.
The question facing m a n y information
Transfer of information providers in the Third World is one of rel-
from the West to the Third World evance, and therefore by implication of selec-
tion. Relevance and selection are in turn
Bibliographical control in most areas of the tempered by (a) physical accessibility of docu-
social sciences, with all its implications for the ments; and (b) money to pay for them. Infor-
transfer of information to the Third World, is mation providers m a y consider m a n y docu-
well developed in the West. Europe and the ments relevant, but if they do not have the
Soviet Union m a k e a considerable contribution money to pay for them, refinements in selection
to social science bibliographical control, but the and acquisition policies are of little value.
North American contribution is dominant. In formulating an acquisitions policy for
Although no definitive study exists, it is reason- social science institutions in the Third World a
able to conclude that between 70 and 90 per number of fundamental assumptions have to be
cent of published documents in North America, m a d e . First, very few social scientists (or other
Europe and the Soviet Union are indexed and users of social science information) in the Third
abstracted in secondary services. M a n y services World require m u c h in the w a y of back n u m -
are n o w available on-line. bers of journals and reports from industrialized
Ephemera, pseudo-publications and un- countries. Second, there are always likely to be
published documents, as well as statistical data, severe economic restraints on the number of
are m u c h less likely to find their w a y into documents that can be purchased. Third, m u c h
secondary services. Because a great deal of of the social science output of industrialized
social science information and knowledge does countries is likely to be of little or no relevance
not travel well across countries, cultures and to them. Fourth, information providers in the
languages, a great deal of this material m a y Third World will be concerned with the delay in
indeed be of limited use. Therefore its accessi- obtaining documents from other parts of the
bility outside the environment in which it is world. In the United Kingdom w e take for
produced m a y be of little consequence. granted that any document, wherever it is
Although bibliographical control is well published, can in theory be m a d e available with
. developed in industrialized countries, neither a delay of no more than a few days in most
documents nor information flow freely from cases, or a couple of weeks at the most. In the
one country to another, or from one language Third World delays of months or even years- are
to another. English-speaking social scientists c o m m o n .
rarely m a k e use of material in languages other Most discussions about the information
than English. Language is not such a barrier for provision for social scientists in the Third
European and Soviet social scientists, but World view information transfer as a one-way
nevertheless, access to English-language m a - processthat is, from the developed to the
terial is by no means as frequent as access to developing countries. However, there is a re-
material in the native language. quirement, albeit small, for information trans-
Information providers in developing fer from developing countries to industrialized
countries need only few secondary services in countries. Traditionally in the social sciences
order to identify a large proportion of the the only information that has come from the
output of social science material from North Third World to the industrialized countries has
America, Europe, and the Soviet Union. A t been anthropological data. This represents only
this level, the question is one of information a fraction, and rather a biased fraction, of the
Relevance of social science output worldwide 267

potentially useful information (economic, geo- services. Although they are likely to k n o w of
graphical, agricultural, etc.) that could be of one or two major services in their o w n disci-
interest and use to social scientists in indus- pline, they tend to be ignorant of specialist
trialized countries. information tools of potential value. In s o m e of
S o m e of the problems raised here are the early studies information providers ex-
discussed in the following sections. However, pressed surprise at the ignorance of social sci-
first it is necessary to consider the reasons w h y ence academics and researchers, and suggested
social scientists and social science practitioners that more user education was required. H o w -
in industrialized countries m a k e relatively little ever, in spite of increased user awareness
use of the large number of secondary services and education programmes in the 1970s, social
that exist. W h y is there a great deal of user scientists for the most part remain unsystematic
resistance to the systematic searching of the and irregular in their use of bibliographical
literature and to the free flow of information? tools and other information services.
Information providers are n o w m u c h more
Information-seeking behaviour knowledgeable about the extent of users' ignor-
ance of secondary services than they were a
A s late as 1960 very little was k n o w n about the decade ago. H o w e v e r , information providers
information needs and information-using behav- have not been successful in persuading social
iour of social scientists and social science scientists to m a k e systematic and rational use of
practitioners. B y the 1960s there was an enor- secondary services. O n e must conclude that
mous primary literature in all the major social awareness and training in the use of social
sciences and related appliedfields;in addition science secondary services has had (and will
the size of the secondary literature was growing perhaps continue to have) only a limited effect
at a rate at least equal to the rate of growth of upon user behaviour. Social science users have
the primary literature. In retrospect, one m a y been informed about, and brought to, the
wonder w h y social science information and drinking trough, but have failed to drink! O n e
library specialists had been so slow in studying must look elsewhere for an explanation.
systematically the information requirements of The I N F R O S S studies, and subsequently
social science users. T h e situation was quickly the E I S W A (Blake, M o r k h a m and Skinner,
rectified in the 1960s and 1970s. A t the end of 1979) and Sheffield studies (Streatfield, 1982;
the 1960s only a handful of user studies in the Wilson and D u n n , 1978; Wilson, Streatfield and
social sciences existed (Brittain, 1970), but ten Mullings, 1979), reported detailed accounts of
years later user studies in the social sciences the information needs of social science prac-
and related applied fields had grown signifi- titioners, including social welfare workers, edu-
cantly (Brittain, 1981). In the 1960s two major cationalists, social planners, and so forth.
user studies transformed the scene:first,the There is n o w overwhelming evidence to suggest
American Psychological Association project that social science practitioners rarely m a k e use
(1963-69) which was a searching study of most of secondary literature. Also, their use of the
aspects of information transfer and need in extensive primary literature of social sciences
psychology; second was the Investigation into related to their specialist fields is restricted.
the Information Requirements of the Social This applies even to the specialized applied
Sciences ( I N F R O S S ) which took place at social science journals in their o w n particular
Bath University between 1967 and 1971 and fields. Their information requirements are
covered the major social science disciplines usually limited for the most part to client-
and appliedfieldssuch as social welfare, public generated information, and local information
administration, and secondary education (Bath that is of negligible relevance to social science
University, 1971). practitioners in other cultures and countries.
User studies have shown that nearly all Social science practitioners d o not usually
social scientists exhibit s o m e resistance to the want bibliographical references, or even docu-
use of conventional library and information ments. They d o not have the time, physical
tools in the social sciences. Researchers and access to documents, or the inclination or
academics usually m a k e s o m e use of secondary motivation required to undertake a consider-
268 /. Michael Brittain

able amount of reading in their subject. Apart studies of the information requirements pointed
from local information, practitioners generally to the very urgent need for user education in
want answers to the social, economic, political the use of libraries and secondary services.
and psychological problems with which they These suggestions have met with little
deal. Very few social science documents pro- success. Social science researchers and aca-
vide answers to the problems that confront demics o n the one hand, and social science
social science practitioners. This is a fundamen- practitioners on the other, continue to d e m -
tal weakness of social science research and its onstrate a great deal of resistance to the use
reporting to which there is n o immediate of conventional bibliographical and library ser-
solution. vices, and indeed in m a n y instances to the use
O n e could go so far as to suggest that the of the primary literature. Although some infor-
existing documentation system (including the mation providers continue to extol the attrac-
secondary services) is often counter-productive tions of user education, others have turned to
to the work of practitioners. It has been noted the system of bibliographical control itself, or
that in m a n y contexts (e.g. Grayson, 1982) even to the primary literature and the way in
social science practitioners are inclined to which it is written, presented, reviewed and
throw away most of the documents they re- published, in an attempt to m a k e documents
ceive; othersfiledocuments for future use; yet more accessible, relevant, and of value to users.
others m a y conscientiously read them without A few experimental information services
being able to apply the results of research and have been produced and evaluated. A major
writing (Brittain, 1979, 1982). exercise in this direction was undertaken as part
of the DISISS project. This involved an exper-
User resistance imental service based upon Geo Abstracts. The
content, style, frequency of appearance and
It c a m e as quite a surprise to early investigators format (including the indexing system) were
of the information needs of social scientists that varied to produce different abstracting and
there was such a great resistance to the use of indexing services. For a limited period the
secondary services, and other information ser- experimental versions of Geo Abstracts were
vices, that have existed for a long time. It also sent to existing subscribers, w h o were asked to
came as a surprise that social science practi- provide feedback. The major finding was that
tioners rarely m a k e use of the vast quantities most users (who were of course already con-
of social science documents that could reason- verted to bibliographical control) preferred a
ably be expected to be of some relevance. In little regular information, rather than a lot in-
the 1960s and the 1970s some information pro- frequently. It was concluded that some fine
viders, in the light of such findings, displayed tuning of the bibliographical control system met
what one might call the 'ought' syndrome. They with user approval, and had some effect upon
suggested that social science researchers and user behaviour. However, it is unlikely that any
academics ought to m a k e better use of the dramatic changes in the information-seeking
existing network of services, and that social behaviour of users will be effected by manipu-
science . practitioners ought to be better in- lation of secondary services and, of course,
formed about the large number of studies car- fine tuning of the existing system of biblio-
ried out in the major social science disciplines. graphical control will have no effect upon those
Information providers pointed out the advan- not already using the service.
tages of coming across information, through Another idea popular in the 1970s was to
the systematic use of information services, that appoint librarians as social science information
users would not otherwise k n o w about. This led officers, whose task was to provide an active
to a good deal of discussion about the concept information service. These information officers
of potential information need. It was assumed were provided mainly in academic institutions
that m a n y users were carrying out their day-to- and government departments (Evans and Line,
day work in partial ignorance of information 1973), although a few were appointed in
that was relevant and already available. Infor- applied social science, for example in social
mation providers also suggested that these early welfare (Blake, M o r k h a m , and Skinner, 1979).
Relevance of social science output worldwide 269

In the most successful cases, information offi-

cers brought to the attention of users a great
deal of material that they would not otherwise
have come across. There was also continuous
feedback to the information providers about
the extent, relevance, and value of the service.
It was concluded that the social science users
(mainly academics and researchers) located,
and sometimes m a d e use of, more material
than they would have in the absence of the
service. C a n w e say that users receiving such a
service were better at problem solving or at
carrying out their research and practice than
their colleagues w h o did not receive it? This
question was not answered by the information
officers, but is obviously of direct concern to
information providers in a wider setting. This is
particularly true in developing countries where A reader of primary literature. Khristoforov/APN.
information is often a precious commodity,
difficult to obtain, and where the providers
have to compete fiercely for scarce resources. Researchers and academics w h o work in insti-
In industrialized countries, if sophisticated in- tutions with large libraries, which in turn
formation services result only in social science usually have access to inter-library loan net-
researchers producing an ever-increasing body works, can in theory get any social science
of knowledge, or as Wilson (1980, 1983) document they require. In contrast, social
suggests, in writing contemporary history, ac- science practitioners, even in countries with a
countability at the level of problem solving well developed library and inter-library loan
and direct practical application is unlikely to be network, are usually at a severe disadvantage
critical. In developing countries, information compared to their colleagues in universities and
providers are likely to be charged with showing government research departments.
the direct practical effects of information pro-
Social scientists of all descriptions, and
vision in the social sciences.
other users of social science documents in the
The language barrier has been put forward Third World, are likely to be at a severe
as a potent explanation of the ignorance most disadvantage in terms of physical access to
social scientists demonstrate of social science social science documents worldwide. They m a y
writing in other languages. Undoubtedly the even" have great problems in obtaining the
language barrier plays a part in keeping documents produced in their o w n country.
English-speaking social scientists ignorant of International co-operation in the pro-
work in other languages, but it m a y not be duction and maintenance of data banks and
such a barrier as was once thought (Saunders, data archives has been attempted since the
1972). Social science educators have m a d e no late 1960s. T h e re-working of data gathered
great attempt to break d o w n the language elsewhere has always been respectable in the
barrier, as their counterparts in the physical social sciences, although in science it is almost
and biological sciences have done, by insisting unheard of. Problems of standardization of
that graduates in these disciplines have at least data input, retrieval mechanisms, etc., have
a reading knowledge of s o m e of the major plagued attempts to set up and maintain inter-
European languages. Even if the language national data banks and data archives. Progress
barrier did not exist, m a n y other factors work has been enhanced by the development of
against a truly international social science (see, machine-readable datafiles,technical improve-
for example, Brittain, 1984). ments in storage and transmission of data,
Another barrier to the free flow of infor- and in standardization of data elements.
mation is physical accessibility of documents. There is a greater variety n o w of data bases
270 J. Michael Briltain

in the humanities and social sciences (see, for some extent there is a mismatch between the
example, Raben and Marks, 1980). Moreover, documents and information the practitioners
international agreements exist for inter-library require, and the documents and information
lendingfor example, the British Library that are available (see, for example, Brittain,
Lending Division at Boston Spa has for m a n y 1982).
years provided a loan service to customers in T o m a n y information providers in the
m a n y parts of the world. Third World the situation m a y appear ironi-,
The rapid developments in technical aspects cal. Social scientists in the developed world
of information storage and transmission serve have an overwhelming amount of informa-
to highlight even more than in the past the tionindeed, often they have all the infor-
differences between the developed and the mation they could conceivably require. But
developing countries. T h e n e w generation of they m a k e relatively little use of it and would
data bases, m a n y of which are available in appear to have small appetite for obtaining in-
machine-readable form only, are completely formation and documents that are not readily
beyond the reach of the developing countries available. Information providers in the Third
unless they have the necessary computer hard- World would be satisfied in m a n y cases if they
ware and software to receive and process such could m a k e available to their o w n users a
data. fraction of the material that is available in the
industrialized countries. Primarily for econ-
User resistance: implications for acquisitions omic reasons, they can only hope to provide for
policies in the Third World their o w n users a small amount of the world's
output of social science material. The problem
T h e resistance of social scientists in developed they face is h o w to select a small amount from
countries to systematic use of secondary ser- an enormous output.
vices (and even of the primary literature) If user studies had demonstrated that
should give some comfort to providers of social social scientists were demanding in their infor-
science documents and data in the Third World. mation requirements, particularly with respect
W e have seen that bibliographical control to their needs for particular documents and
is well developed in the social sciences, albeit particular data, information providers in the
the orientation is North American and Western Third World would be justified in their concern
European. Also, information providers in the about selection procedures. If the penalties for
last decade have learned a great deal about the ignorance in the social sciences, especially
information-seeking behaviour of social scien- ignorance of particular research findings,
tists. Subsequently, steps have been taken to methods, etc. were great, the concern of infor-
improve services and to educate users in the use mation providers in the Third World would
of libraries and information services. Despite be understandable. If most social science re-
these attempts, the average social scientist search, data, theories and principles were of
makes relatively little use of secondary infor- universal significance, the problems of. the
mation services. For the most part, infor- information providers in the Third World
mation-seeking is neither systematic nor exten- would indeed be great. A s it is, information
sive. Social science practitioners continue to providers can take comfort from the fact that
remain almost totally ignorant of the vast social science is often parochial, that social
amount of social science research, writing and scientists are for the most part undemanding of
data that is potentially' of interest, use and
library and information services, and that social
value. Although there is n o w a small amount
science knowledge is not like scientific knowl-
of applied social science literature, the average
edge in the sense that each generation of re-
social science practitioner makes relatively little
searchers and writers provide 'building blocks'
use of it. Social science practitioners do have
upon which the next generation must rely if
pressing information requirements from time
to time, but they often do not pursue them in it proposes to m a k e progress. Social science
the face of the various barriers that exist be- knowledge can be sampled almost at random.
tween them and the information store. T o In the process both the social scientist and
other users of social science documents m a y
Relevance of social science output worldwide 271

gain insights and become more knowledge- countries m a k e to the social sciences. For
able, but there is little evidence to show that example, Boon-Itt (1983) cites a 1975 survey
social scientists have been able to solve effec- showing that there were about eighty Thai
tively m a n y of the economic, political, social,social science periodicals. However, Thailand
or psychological problems they have studied. does not have its o w n bibliographical control of
It is becoming evident that there are fun- social science material. Indian social science
damental differences in knowledge production has a long history.
between social sciences, and science and There is a tendency in the West to believe
technology. These differences call for a n e w that social science in most Third World
policy of information supply to all social scien- countries is of fairly recent origin, for the
tists, in both the industrialized countries and most part beginning in the 1950s. A n overview
the Third World, but the policy appropriate of publication trends in social science m o n o -
to one is inappropriate to the other. Infor- graphs and journals certainly substantiates this
mation providers to the Third World must take belief. For example, in the DISISS project it
seriously the non-internationality of most of was concluded that the number of social sci-
the social science output. S o m e d o , and have ence documents available in Asian and Third
done so for a long time. T h e call for indigeniz-World countries before 1950 was negligible.
ation of the social sciences is a powerful m o v e -
However, writings on social science topics
ment in m a n y third World countries, although were not u n k n o w n . For example, in 1933 a
it is unheard of in Europe and North America! textbook entitled An Introduction to Philippine
Social Science by M a x i m o M . Kalaw was publ-
A policy for information provision in the social ished as an introductory treatise to Philippine
sciences in the Third World: the relevance of the social science, dealing with local conditions
indigenization movement and problems and the synthesis of their culture
and civilization. A second edition appeared
The amount of indigenous material in the social in 1939.
sciences varies enormously from one country to The suggestion is m a d e in this article that
another. T h e report on the state of social Third World countries should pay more atten-
science information and documentation in tion to their o w n social science research and
eleven Asian countries considered the fol- documentation, and rather less to that of the
lowing: China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, industrialized countries. However, the reasons
Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, put forward here are different from the reasons
Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand (Unesco, for indigenous social science usually put for-
1983). ward by the Third World countries themselves.
India's output of social science material is The principle argument here is that most social
vast. For example, Ruprail (1983) suggests that science research is not international, in the
between 1958 and 1965 there were over 13,000 sense that its findings do not travel well across
government publications in the social sciences. language and cultural boundaries. This is partly
India is characterized by indigenous social because of the different social, economic and
science material and activity at all levels, psychological problems from one country to
including social science documentation centres, another, and partly because the methods that
primary journals, and a fairly well-developed m a y be appropriate for the study of social
system of bibliographical control, including science problems in one country are not necess-
abstracting and indexing services. A t the same arily the most appropriate in another. T h e
time, it is well k n o w n that Indian social example is given of the uselessness of collecting
scientists seek out social science material pub- data about the G N P from countries that differ
lished in other countries. A t the other extreme, widely with respect to their industrial and
the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand have a agricultural productivity. T h e extent to which
m u c h less developed indigenous social science social scientists m a k e use of their o w n social
information and documentation system. H o w - science material differentiates one country
ever, one must always be careful not to under- from another, and also one social science disci-
estimate the contribution some Third World pline from another. In a study of the citation
272 J. Michael Brittain

practices of Indian social scientists, Parekh and countries or outside, with the skill and per-
Sheth (1985) found that 68 per cent of the sistence that characterizes the marketing of
citations in Indian sociology journals were to social science literature produced in industri-
Indian work, whereas only 23 per cent and alized countries (see, for example, Atal, 1983).
20 per cent of citations, in Indian political
science and psychology respectively, were to A policy for information provision in the social
local material. T h e North American output was sciences in the Third World to take account of
dominant for psychology and political science. the output from the developed countries
British authors were cited frequently only
by Indian anthropologists. T h e use of other Information providers in the social sciences in
European or Asian material was negligible, ex- the Third World should rethink some of their
cept in the case of Indian economists. objectives. It is no longer sensible to attempt to
The call for an indigenous social science obtain a representative sample of the vast
was m a d e in Kalaw's textbook of 1933. T h e quantities of documents and data available in
same call for indigenization is seen in an article North America and Western Europe.. A n y
by Guerrero where she concludes that the need library which attempts to do so faces m a n y
is '. . . for evolving structures and mecha- problems. It is quite evident that no Third
nisms that will promote the autonomous devel- World country could obtain all, or even a
opment of the social sciences in social and majority, of the documents and data that are
cultural context. Indigenization, as this type of produced each year in the West in the social
development has c o m e to be k n o w n , is a sciences. It would be an even more hopeless
continuing concern a m o n g social scientists in task to try to obtain backnumbers of journals
the Third World . . .' (Guerrero, 1983, p. 6). and other documents. T h e traditional solution
Related to the concept of indigenization is the of information providers in the Third World has
more recent movement towards decentraliza- been to purchase and maintain a selection of
tion, especially with respect to planners and the most relevant material. But it has been
policy makers (see, for example, C h e e m a and argued that there are few guidelines for selec-
Rondinelli, 1983; Catanese, 1984). tion and acquisition. A n information provider
There is a good deal of encouragement in the Third World m a y succeed in meeting
from m a n y quarters for Third World countries local demands, but such success is temporary:
to pay more attention to their o w n social and there is no w a y in which the information
economic problems. T h e call for indigenization provider can be sure of obtaining and continu-
is not lacking in m a n y Third World countries. ing to obtain a definitive body of knowledge in
The movement is given added m o m e n t u m if the social sciences. This is because there is no
one can conclude that the industrialized body of knowledge in the social sciences that
countries have for the most part not been able is unchanging over time, culture, country and
to solve their o w n social and economic probl- language. Local demands change with person-
ems; furthermore, doubts are n o w expressed nel and although local needs m a y be satisified
about the scientific nature of the social sciences temporarily, a change of personnel m a y render
in industrialized countries and some studies large parts of the stock redundant.
(e.g. Wilson, 1980) have gone so far as to suggest Information providers in developed
that the social sciences are really a branch of countries have relied heavily upon the prefer-
historythat is, they are rewriting contempor- ences, wishes and stated information require-
ary history rather than dealing with social, ments of the users themselves. Such a policy
psychological and economic problems in a can also be pursued in the Third World.
systematic and scientific fashion, with the ex- However, the majority of social scientists in the
pectation of some success in their solution. Third World are trained in the American or
A great deal of the social science material European tradition of the social sciences.
that originates in the Third World is virtually Therefore, in order for them to pursue their
unknown in the industrialized countries. research, communicate with existing and for-
Moreover, Third World countries do not mar- mer colleagues in the developed world, pursue
ket their o w n material, either within their o w n their o w n scholarship, present papers at con-
Relevance of social science output worldwide 273

ferences, and publish in high-status journals, countries will ensure for a long time to come
their demands upon the information services in that well-tried social science research methods
the Third World will obviously parallel the will be applied to Third World problems.
demands of social science researchers and Methods change relatively slowly, and in fact
writers in the developed world. M a n y of the transfer well from one country and one culture
social scientists in the Third World, having to another. They are very visible in the litera-
experienced the vast array of library and ture and 'methods articles', which usually at-
information services in America and Western tract a far greater number of citations than
Europe, will of course compare their own local most other types of article (Garfield, 1980). It is
collection and services unfavourably with those fairly easy to keep u p to date with changes in
in the developed countries. research methodology, but there are dangers in
A policy of information provision along isolating methods from the problems to which
these lines will do no more than perpetuate they are applied. Methods in isolation of re-
American and Western European social science search and real problems are of course of little
in areas of the world where social, economic, use. Furthermore, m a n y of the methods that
political and psychological issues are often very have been applied without any great success
different. T h e need n o w is for an indigenous to research on social, political, economic and
social science in the Third World. M a n y of the psychological problems in the developed
information transfer problems that n o w exist countries are unlikely to find successful appli-
would disappear if it were accepted that a large cation in the Third World.
proportion of the developed world's output is Second, information providers will need to
irrelevant to the Third World. T o those w h o assist social scientists in the Third World to
maintain the internationality of the social concentrate upon relatively few problems and
sciences, such a policy is criticized as being ex- issues. In North America and Europe the
tremely parochial. Information providers in resources available for the social sciences are
the Third World should be prepared for such great. A n y problem can be tackledindeed,
criticism, and weigh this against the long-term the most unlikely problems are researched and
advantages of supporting social science research written about. Sometimes this eclectic approach
and writing that is of direct relevance to their occasions m u c h criticism from those w h o are
o w n region. more concerned with the solutions of practical
The information provider in the Third problems than with scholarship and academic
World m a y , however, still be left with two pursuits. T h e critics call without m u c h success
formidable problems. First, few would suggest for a concentration of research upon important
that the Third World should cut itself off national social, economic, psychological and
entirely from North American and Western political issues. T h e m o m e n t u m and resources
European social science. It is reasonable to in the social sciences are too great and spread
insist that methods of social science developed across too m a n y areas of responsibility to allow
in the West m a y have some relevance to social focusing and channelling in this w a y , except in
science research and policy in the Third World. isolated cases, over relatively short periods of
Indeed, the fact that so m a n y social scientists in time.
the Third World are trained in the developed
274 /. Michael Briltain


A M E R I C A N PSYCHOLOGICAL Fourteen Major Science and of Primary Journals and Overlap

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Reports of the American Indexing Services. Philadelphia, American Society for Information
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the Social Sciences: Coverage, Sciences. In: E . Z . R . Cohen, Data. London, Rossendale.
Overlap and Content. Bath H . R . W . Gokkel, H . M . Jolies
University Library, DISISS. and A . J. F . Kobben (eds.), Dux G U E R R E R O , S. H . 1983. Social
(Research Report Series A , N o . 5.) femina facti: aspecten van sociaal- Science Structures in the
wetenschappel-ijke informatie, Philippines: an Assessment. PSSC
. 1976. The Relationship pp. 77-89, 157-8. Amsterdam, Social Science Information, Vol. II,
between Secondary and Primary North-Holland. N o . 3, pp. 3-6.
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Bath University Library, DISISS. . (ed.). 1982. The Social K E T L E Y , P . M . (ed.). 1976.
(Research Report Series A , N o . 3.) Sciences: the Supply of and Demand International Workshop of
for Documentation and Data. Secondary Service Producers.
. 1980. Towards the London, Rossendale. Boston Spa, British Library
Improvement of Social Science Research and Development
Information Systems: Overview of . 1984. Internationality of the Reports. (Report 5289.)
Research Carried Out 1975-1981. Social Sciences: Implications for
Bath University Library, DISISS. Information Transfer. Journal of the L E N G Y E L , P . 1976. Economics of
(Research Report Series A , N o . 1, American Society for Information Information and Information for
B L R D D Report 5527.) Science, Vol. 35, N o . 1, pp. 11-18. Economists: Editorial. International
Social Science Journal,
B E A R M A N N , T. C ; B R I T T A I N , J. M . ; R O B E R T S , S. A . Vol. XXVIII, N o . 3, pp. 421-3.
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Vol. I, N o . 2 , pp. 67-87. Unesco Regional Office for Library Quarterly, Vol. 50, N o . 1,
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PAREKH, H . ; SHETH, T. 1985.
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in India. Journal of Librarianship. Foreign Language and Translation Knowledge: an Inquiry into
(Forthcoming.) Problems of the Social Sciences. Cognitive Authority. Wesport,
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Social Sciences. Amsterdam, North- 1978. Library/Information Services
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Workers and Information: from departments: Results of T w o
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Retrieval Thesauri in the Social Neighbourhood Advice. Social Vol. 8, N o . 3, pp. 166-74.
Sciences: a Study of Ideas and Science Information Studies, Vol. 2,
Attitudes Relating to Information N o . 1, pp. 23-37. WILSON, T. D . ;
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Unpublished P h . D . dissertation, Social Science Information and Needs in Local Authority Social
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and documentary

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6-8 June Cancun Association for the A d v a n c e m e n t of Policy, Research a n d Development:

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(United Kingdom) Research in the 1980s
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Autumn Cairo International Peace Research Association: Eleventh General Conference

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16-21 Feb. Tel Aviv International Congress on Psychiatry, L a w and Ethics: Second Inter-
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1-4 April Braga Thirteenth European Congress for Rural Sociology

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10-16 A u g . Syracuse International Association for Ecology: Sixth International Congress

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18-23 A u g . New Delhi International Sociological Association: Eleventh World Congress

ISA, Oude Hoogstraat 24, 1012 CE Amsterdam (Netherlands)

November or New Delhi International Economic Association: Eighth World Congress

December IEA, 4 rue de Chevreuse, 75006 Paris (France)
Books received

Generalities tions, 1985. 341 pp., maps., graphs, Politiques. Contestation politique et
tables, bibliog. 128 F . (Coll. 'Voir revendication nationaliste aux Antil-
autrement'.) les Franaises dans un contexte lec-
Vessuri, Hebe M . C . (ed.). Ciencia
toral. Thesis by Maurice Satineau.
acadmica en la Venezuela moderna:
Lausanne, Universit de Lausanne,
historia reciente y perspectivas de
1984. 255 pp., tables.
las disciplinas cientficas. Caracas,Demography, population
Centro de Estudios del Desarrollo,
Universidad Central de Venezuela,
France. Centre National de la R e -
1984. 460 p p . , graphs, tables,
cherche Scientifique. Congrs inter-
national de dmographie historique,
Paris, mai 1980: Malthus hier et Fonseca, Aloysius (ed.). Codes of
aujourd'hui, edited by Antoinette Conduct of Multinationals, Their
Social sciences Fauve-Chamoux. Paris, Socit de Impact on Third-World Countries.
Dmographie Historique, Editions R o m e , Herder, for the Center for
du C N R S , 1984. 503 p p . , figs. Coordination of Research, Inter-
Duelos, Denis (ed.). Les sciences 270 F. national Federation of Catholic
sociales dans le changement socio- Universities, 1984. 141 p p .
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158 pp. 89 F. Activities. Population Perspectives: Jacobs, J. P.; Sabelli, F.; Crettaz, B .
Statements by World Leaders. N e w (eds.). Crise et chuchotements: inter-
Niessen, Manfred; Peschar, Jules; rogations sur la pertinence d'un con-
York, U N F P A , 1984. 182 pp.
Kourilsky, Chantai (eds.).. Inter- cept dominant. Paris/Geneva. Pres-
national Comparative Research: ses Universitaires de France, Insti-
Social Structures and Public Insti- tut Universitaire d'tudes du D v e -
tutions in Eastern and Western Political science loppement, 1984. 195 p p . , illus.
Europe. Oxford, Pergamon Press, (Cahiers de l'Institut Universitaire
on behalf of the European Coordi- La Commission Europenne. Agir d'Etudes du Dveloppement.)
nation Centre for Research and pour l'Europe: la commission euro-
Documentation in Social Sciences, penne, janvier 1981-janvier 1985, O'Keefe, Phil; Munslow, Barry
1984. 167 pp., figs., tables. prface by C . E . Thorn. Luxem- (eds.). Energy and Development in
bourg, Office des Publications Offi- Africa: SADCC Country Studies,
cielles des Communauts Europen- Parts 1 and 2. Stockholm/Uppsala,
nes, 1984. 79 pp., illus. The Beijer Institute/The Scandina-
Sociology vian Institute of African Studies,
Krasikov, Anatoly. From Dictator- 1984. 420 pp., maps, tables, index.
Algeria. Universit d'Oran. Huit ship to Democracy. Oxford/New 75 Swedish kronor each. (Energy,
tudes sur l'Algrie, par Abdelkader York/Toronto/Sydney/Paris/Frank- Environment and Development in
Djeghloul. Oran, Centre de D o c u - furt, Pergamon Press, 1984. 277 pp., Africa, N o . 3, 4.)
mentation des Sciences Humaines, illus., index. $37; 23.
1981. 378 pp. (Cahiers du C D S H , Schneider, Hartmut. La satisfaction
N o . 7.) Moore, Robert J. Third-World des besoins alimentaires dans un
Diplomats in Dialogue with the monde en volution. Paris, Centre
Goody, Jack. Cuisines, cuisine et First World. London/Ottawa, M a c de Dveloppement de l'Organisa-
classe. Paris, Centre de Cration Millan Press Ltd. in association tion de Coopration et de D v e -
Industrielle, Centre Georges Pompi- with the International Development loppement conomiques, 1984.
dou, 1984. 416 pp., bibliog., index. Research Centre, 1985. 179 pp., in- 163 pp., tables. 65 F.
43 F . (Coll. 'Alors'.) dex. 7.95. (Studies in International
Development Research.) United Nations Economie and Social
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communication. Paris, I N S E P Edi- ne. Facult des Sciences Sociales et operation. Bangkok, Economie and
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ESCAP/228.) hagen, World Health Organization ency towards Self-Reliance: A Re-
Regional Office for Europe, 1984. port on the Food Relief Situation and
The World Bank Annual Report, 154 pp., figs., tables. (Reports and Related Socio-economic Aspects, by
1984. Washington, T h e World Studies E U R O 82.) Hanne Christensen. Geneva, United
B a n k , 1984. 233 p p . , graphs, illus., Nations Research Institute for So-
tables. . Les problmes mdico-sociaux cial Development, 1984. 87 p p . ,
lis la consommation d'alcool et illus. (Report N o . 84.2.)
leur prvention, by D . Walsh.
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tienne. R o m e , Herder, 1984. 220 pp.
pements de sant dans les rgions en Forbes, D . K . ; Rimmer, P . J. (eds.).
dveloppement: Approches possi- Uneven Development and the Geo-
bles. Vol. 4 , under the direction of graphical Transfer of Value. Can-
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Recent Unesco publications
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Applicability of Indicators of Socio-thropologie sociale et culturelle. age. Paris/Oxford, Unesco/Perga-

economic Change for Development Vol. 26: 1980. L o n d o n , N e w York/ m o n Press, .1984. 204 p p . , figs.,
Planning. Paris, Unesco, 1984. Paris, Tavistock Publications/Offi- tables. 90 F .
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Directory of Institutions Involved inThe Methodology of Contemporary
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Paris, Unesco, 1984. 169 pp. by Unesco at Ouagadougou, Upper 1980s, Costinesti, Romania, 31 May
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Social Sciences: Economics I Biblio- Regional Office for Education in Anuario estadstico de la Unesco.
graphie internationale des sciencesAsia and the Pacific, 1983. 128 p p . Paris, Unesco, 1984. 1060 p p .
sociales: science conomique. Vol. (Social Sciences in Asia and the 300 F .
30: 981. "London, N e w York/Paris, Pacific. Occasional Monographs and
Tavistock Publications/Offilib, 1983. Papers, 8.) United Nations Law Making: Cul-
522 pp. 560 F . tural and Ideological Relativism and
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Social Sciences: Political Science I and Research in 10 Countries, McWhinney. Paris/New York, L o n -
Bibliographie internationale des edited by Takeo Uchida. Bangkok, don/Unesco/HoImes and Meier Pub-
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Vol. 30: 1981. London, N e w York/ cation in Asia and the Pacific, 1984.
Paris, Tavistock Publications/Offilib, 372 pp. (Social and H u m a n Sci- Violations of Human Rights: Pos-
1984. 534 pp. 560 F . ences in Asia and the Pacific, sible Rights of Recourse and Forms
R U S H S A P , Series on Occasional of Resistance. Paris, Unesco, 1984.
International Bibliography of the Monographs and Papers, 10.) 236 pp. 65 F .
Social Sciences: Social and Cultural
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sociales. Paris, Unesco, 1982. mundial de revistas especializadas en
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Past topics

From 1949 to the end of 1958, this Journal appeared under the name of International Social Science Bulletin, not a
issues of which were devoted to a main topic.
Microfilms and microcards are available from University Microfilms Inc., 300 N . Zeeb Road, A n n Arbor, M I
48106 (United States of America). Reprint series are available from Kraus Reprint Corporation, 16 East 46th Street,
N e w York, N Y 10017 (United States of America).

Vol. XI, 1959 N o . 3. Peace research*

No. 1. Social aspects of mental health* N o . 4. History and social science
No. 2. Teaching of the social sciences in the U S S R *
No. 3. The study and practice of planning* Vol. XVIII, 1966
No. 4. Nomads and nomadism in the arid zone* No. 1. H u m a n rights in perspective*
No. 2. Modern methods in criminology*
Vol. XII, 1960 No. 3. Science and technology as development factors*
No. 1. Citizen participation in political life* No. 4. Social science in physical planning*
No. 2. The social sciences and peaceful co-operation*
No. 3. Technical change and political decision* Vol. XIX, 1967
No. 4. Sociological aspects of leisure*
No. 1. Linguistics and communication*
No. 2. The social science press.
Vol. XIII, 1961
No. 3. Social functions of education*
No. Post-war democratization in Japan* No. 4. Sociology of literary creativity*
No. Recent research on racial relations
No. The Yugoslav c o m m u n e Vol. XX, 1968
No. The parliamentary profession
No. 1. Theory, training and practice in management*
No. 2. Multi-disciplinary problem-focused research*
Vol. XIV, 1962
No. 3. Motivational patterns for modernization
No. 1. Images of w o m e n in society* No. 4. The arts in society*
No. 2. Communication and information
No. 3. Changes in the family*
Vol. XXI, 1969
No. 4. Economics of education*
No. 1. Innovation in public administration*
Vol. XV, 1963 No. 2. Approaches to rural problems*
No. 3. Social science in the Third World*
No. 1. Opinion surveys in developing countries
No. 4. Futurology*
No. 2. Compromise and conflict resolution
No. 3. Old age
No. 4. Sociology of development in Latin America Vol. XXII, 1970
No. 1. Sociology of science*
Vol. XVI, 1964 No. 2. Towards a policy for social research
No. 1. Data in comparative research* No. 3. Trends in legal learning
No. 2. Leadership and economic growth No. 4. Controlling the human environment
No. 3. Social aspects of African resource development
No. 4. Problems of surveying the social sciences and Vol. XXIII, 1971
humanities N o . 1, Understanding aggression
N o . 2. Computers and documentation in the social
Vol. XVII, 1965 sciences
N o . 1. M a x Weber today/Biological aspects of race* No. 3. Regional variations in nation-building
N o . 2. Population studies No. 4. Dimensions of the racial situation
Vol. XXIV, 1972 Vol. XXXI, 1979
No. 1. Development studies No. 1. Pedagogics of social science: s o m e experiences
No. 2. Youth: a social force? No. 2 . Rural-urban articulations
No. 3. The protection of privacy No. 3. Patterns of child socialization
No. 4 . Ethics and institutionalization in social science No. 4 . In search of rational organization

Vol. XXV, 1973

Vol. XXXII, 1980
No. 1/2. Autobiographical portraits
No. 3. T h e social assessment of technology No. 1. The anatomy of tourism
No. 4 . Psychology and psychiatry at the cross-roads No. 2. Dilemmas of communication: technology versus
Vol. XXVI, 1974 No. 3. Work
No. 4. O n the state
No. 1. Challenged paradigms in international relations
No. 2 . Contributions to population policy
No. 3. Communicating and diffusing social science Vol. XXXIII, 1981
No. 4 . T h e sciences of life and of society N o . 1. Socio-economic information: systems, uses and
Vol. XXVII, 1975 N o . 2 . A t the frontiers of sociology
N o . 1. Socio-economic indicators: theories and N o . 3. Technology and cultural values
applications N o . 4 . M o d e r n historiography
N o . 2 . T h e uses of geography
N o . 3 . Quantified analyses of social phenomena .
N o . 4 . Professionalism in flux Vol. XXXIV, 1982
No. 91. Images of world society
Vol. XXVIII, 1976 No. 92. Sporting life
No. 1. Science in policy and policy for science* No. 93. Man in ecosystems
No. 2 . The infernal cycle of armament No. 94. Makings of music
No. 3. Economics of information and information for
economists Vol. XXXV, 1983
N o . 4. Towards a new international economic and
social order No. 95. Burdens of militarization
No. 96. Political dimensions of psychology
Vol. XXIX, 1977 No. 97. The World economy: theory and reality
N o . 1. Approaches to the study of international No. 98. W o m e n in power spheres
N o . 2 . Social dimensions of religion Vol. XXXVI, 1984
N o . 3. The health of nations No. 99. Interaction through language
N o . 4. Facets of interdisciplinarity
No. 100. Industrial democracy
Vol. XXX, 1978 No. 101. Migration
No. 102. Epistemology of social science
No. 1. The politics of territoriality
No. 2 . Exploring global interdependence
No. 3. H u m a n habitats: from tradition to modernism Vol. XXVII, 1985
No. 4. Violence N o . 103. International comparisons

* Issues out of print.

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Chinese edition: Guji
shehui kexue zazhi
Gulouxidajie Jia 158, .
Beijing (China).

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