SOCI 326 Lecture Notes - Eugen Weber, Instruction Set, Cultural Homogenization

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Published on 13 Apr 2013
School
McGill University
Department
Sociology (Arts)
Course
SOCI 326
Professor
Eugen Weber
Peasants Into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France 1870-1914
School has allowed for acculturation enlightenment, democracy
Republican Law (importance)required to attend school, free education
Thesis: explore the development of schooling in the context of rural France
o People now go to school because it is useful…?
Schools prior to 1875’s
Run by priests/layman for poorer classes focused on religious studies
Teachers had limited competence, worked other job
Ramshackle class rooms, poor resources
Few countrymen knew how to read, unless if they taught themselves
1833 minister of public instruction set law, # of schools increase
Still had rudimentary training though
1875 most children still not registered for school, those who are registered barely go to class
Hindrances to eliminating illiteracy:
1/5 of population did not speak French non French speaking communes
o Even if they learn French, their family would not speak French, forget it quickly
Parents wanted their kids to work
1880’s changes:
Change the image of a teacher dress, regard teaching as a position of influence
Village teachers became licensed representative of the Republic
Regional inequalities among education laws then passed, cultural homogenization
Many families could not afford schooling
o But even when given free attendance, they would not show up to class
“Crux of school attendance lay in social practice” –people go to school when it is the right thing
to do
o Thus lack of means would not deter people from going to school
Issue: people saw school as irrelevant –they didn’t need to know metric system, didn’t need to
speak French
Personal experience needed to persuade people of the usefulness of education (327)
Propaganda encouraged ambition you can get a state job with a primary school education
o Most peasants wanted to stop being peasants (328)
o Escape route education: taught order, cleanliness, efficiency, success, and civilization
New mandate of schools: change hygiene habits
SCHOOLS PROVIDED ACCULTURATION:
o School instructed, society educates
o When instruction does not equal the education of the local society, the school cultures
Shapes individuals to fit societies and cultures beyond their own local group
What was taught:
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Document Summary

Peasants into frenchmen: the modernization of rural france 1870-1914. School has allowed for acculturation enlightenment, democracy. Republican law (importance) required to attend school, free education. Run by priests/layman for poorer classes focused on religious studies. Teachers had limited competence, worked other job. Few countrymen knew how to read, unless if they taught themselves. 1833 minister of public instruction set law, # of schools increase. 1875 most children still not registered for school, those who are registered barely go to class. 1/5 of population did not speak french non french speaking communes: even if they learn french, their family would not speak french, forget it quickly. Change the image of a teacher dress, regard teaching as a position of influence. Village teachers became licensed representative of the republic. Regional inequalities among education laws then passed, cultural homogenization. Many families could not afford schooling: but even when given free attendance, they would not show up to class.

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