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Anthropologies of Education

Anthropologies of Education: A Global Guide to Ethnographic Studies of Learning and Schooling

Edited by Kathryn M. Anderson-Levitt
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 362
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  • Book Info
    Anthropologies of Education
    Book Description:

    Despite international congresses and international journals, anthropologies of education differ significantly around the world. Linguistic barriers constrain the flow of ideas, which results in a vast amount of research on educational anthropology that is not published in English or is difficult for international readers to find. This volume responds to the call to attend to educational research outside the United States and to break out of "metropolitan provincialism." A guide to the anthropologies and ethnographies of learning and schooling published in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Slavic languages, Japanese, and English as a second language, show how scholars in Latin America, Japan, and elsewhere adapt European, American, and other approaches to create new traditions. As the contributors show, educators draw on different foundational research and different theoretical discussions. Thus, this global survey raises new questions and casts a new light on what has become a too-familiar discipline in the United States.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-274-0
    Subjects: Anthropology, Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction. Anthropologies and Ethnographies of Education Worldwide
    (pp. 1-28)
    Kathryn M. Anderson-Levitt

    In the 1950s, a branch of educational research known as the anthropology of education first appeared in the United States, and by the 1970s its practitioners were publishing theAnthropology and Education Quarterly. Also in the 1950s, pedagogical anthropology emerged in Germany, and more than a dozen books have now appeared with the titlePëdagogische Anthropologie. In the United Kingdom, the ethnography of education has blossomed since the late 1960s, although few of its practitioners identify themselves as anthropologists. Anthropology of education or ethnography of education has also emerged in other European countries, Latin America, Israel, Japan, India, and China....

  5. 1 Towards a Historical Cultural Anthropology of Education: The Berlin Ritual Study
    (pp. 29-48)
    Christoph Wulf

    Since the very beginnings of Western thought, anthropology and pedagogy have been linked. Even though the termanthropologywas coined only in the sixteenth century, the resonance between pedagogy and anthropology is manifest in PlatoʹsRepublicand in the writings of St. Augustine and St. Thomas of Aquinas. It cannot be denied in the seventeenth century in the works of Comenius, nor in the eighteenth century in the writings of Rousseau and Pestalozzi nor yet in the nineteenth century in Kantʹs, Herbartʹs, Humboldtʹs and Schleiermacherʹs oeuvre. In the course of the twentieth century, anthropology grew steadily in influence, particularly within...

  6. 2 The Parochial Paradox: Anthropology of Education in the Anglophone World
    (pp. 49-70)
    Sara Delamont

    I studied anthropology at Cambridge, but I did not become an anthropologist by doing foreign fieldwork and then teaching in an anthropology department. I did fieldwork in girlsʹ schools and became an educational ethnographer. Writing this chapter was hard, because (1) I am not an ʺinsider,ʺ and (2) because the editor deliberately decided to decenter American anthropology of education in this volume by commissioning an outsider, and by treating the American research as only one segment of the Anglophone literature. Arguing that American authors are frequently ignorant of, or choose to ignore, fellow scholars from other Anglophone countries has been...

  7. 3 Anthropological Research on Educational Processes in Mexico
    (pp. 71-92)
    Elsie Rockwell and Erika González Apodaca

    The past two decades have seen considerable diversification and increase in anthropological studies on education in Mexico.¹ In this review, we privilege studies engaging concepts such as culture, language, ethnicity, and power from an anthropological perspective. However, we also include ethnographic research on education informed by other disciplines insofar as it has provided important references for anthropologists studying educational processes; in fact, disciplinary boundaries are quite arbitrary. We include only research based in Mexico, regrettably omitting studies done by Mexicans in other countries² and reference to scholars from other countries deeply involved in research in Mexico.

    Anthropological engagement with education...

  8. 4 Anthropology and Education in the Argentine Context: Research Experiences in Buenos Aires
    (pp. 93-110)
    María Rosa Neufeld

    In academic circles, it is frequently and sharply said that anthropologists are used to making statements about what happens in very large areas—countries, cultures—based on the community or village they got to know during their fieldwork. Therefore, I would like to remark, from the very beginning, that this article by no means intends to embrace the large group of researchers who deal with educational issues from an ethnographic approach in Argentina.

    With a much more modest scope and taking the questions around which this book was organized as a starting point, I have tried to reflect on the...

  9. 5 Anthropology and Education in Brazil: Possible Pathways
    (pp. 111-130)
    Ana Maria Rabelo Gomes and Nilma Lino Gomes

    To address the theme of interfaces between anthropology and education in Brazil means to accept the challenge of describing developments that have proven to be extremely mobile and at times scattered during the last thirty years. Indeed, it is a field in progressive consolidation, which can be seen in several initiatives (publications, specific seminars in congresses, research lines in some doctoral and masters programs, among others), even if these initiatives do not yet converge on clearly identifiable lines of theoretical debate. In the congresses of national associations, which bring together researchers in the fields of anthropology and of education (ANPED,...

  10. 6 Ethnographies of Education in the French-Speaking World
    (pp. 131-150)
    Maroussia Raveaud and Hugues Draelants

    The French-speaking world has no tradition of anthropology of education as a specific discipline. To take up a distinction suggested by some of the founders of the discipline (Dell Hymes, Shirley Brice Heath), neither ethnographyineducation nor ethnographyofeducation¹ developed as a specific field. A significant indicator of this reality is the fact that in the latestDictionnaire de lʹéducation, edited by Agnès van Zanten, the entries ʺanthropologie de lʹéducationʺ and ʺethnographie de lʹéducationʺ are two of the few articles written by North American authors. Education research is strongly dominated by a sociology of schooling where empirical studies...

  11. 7 Anthropology of Education in Italy
    (pp. 151-166)
    Francesca Gobbo

    In 1997, the newly publishedDizionario di antropologialisted anthropology of education among the various ʺanthropologies of.ʺ The concise description of the subdiscipline represents an official recognition of its intellectual and research relevance for the Italian context. Studies on enculturation are mentioned as well as the contributions from ʺculture and personality,ʺ from research into the processes of schooling in complex societies, and from initiatives countering the negative impact of foreign educational models on non-Western cultures. The articleʹs concluding lines note how today anthropology of education is confronted by new ʺproblemsʺ arising in schools where ʺpupils from different culturesʺ are enrolled...

  12. 8 Central Europe (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia)
    (pp. 167-192)
    Gábor Eröss

    This chapter could be very short. Not only is it difficult to identify practitioners of anthropology in the formerly socialist countries of Europe (Sárkány 2002), but neither the anthropology of education nor the ethnography of school can be considered well-established fields of study in this region. Anthropology has a particular history in Central Europe: virtually no school of anthropology or any other kind of cultural/social anthropology had existed before the 1970s, or even up to the end of communism. There was another discipline that was stealing the show: ethnography, i.e., folklore studies (the descriptive study of local cultures). However, since...

  13. 9 Educational Anthropology in a Welfare State Perspective: The Case of Scandinavia
    (pp. 193-212)
    Sally Anderson, Eva Gulløv and Karen Valentin

    The subfield of educational anthropology in Scandinavia is quite new. Before 1990, only a handful of anthropologists focused their research specifically on education and socialization. Education (uddannelse) as a topic does not figure in review articles on Scandinavian anthropology (Gullestad 1989), nor is it indexed in Scandinavian anthropology readers (Hastrup and Ovesen 1985; Eriksen 1993). The present chapter draws together three strands of research—school ethnography,¹ the anthropology of children and youth, and anthropological development studies—all of which contribute to the subfield ofeducational anthropologypresently under construction in Scandinavia. We focus mainly on research trends in Denmark, as...

  14. 10 The Development of Ethnographic Studies of Schooling in Japan
    (pp. 213-234)
    Minoura Yasuko

    In Japan, studies on culture and education were initiated in 1955 by the Research Institute for Comparative Education and Culture, newly founded as an annex to the Faculty of Education, Kyushu University. The fortieth-anniversary publication of the Institute (Kyushu daigaku 1996) has a long list of its works such asEducation and Culture in Thai Rural Community, A Comparative Study of Education for National Identity in Developing Countries, A Comparative Study of Education for Alien Children, and others, indicating that their ethnographic studies had been conducted outside of Japan except those dealing with cultural minority groups in Japan. The institute...

  15. 11 Bamboo Shoots after Rain: Educational Anthropology and Ethnography in Mainland China
    (pp. 235-256)
    Ouyang Huhua

    This chapter introduces the development of educational anthropology in mainland China. (Throughout this chapter I restrict the word ʺChinaʺ to mainland China, excluding Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan). After a general introduction to anthropology with its secondary status vis-à-vis sociology in mainland China, I will report theoretical works that help to construct Chinese educational anthropology as a discipline, then turn to research on ethnic minoritiesʹ education by three key national research centers, and finally to research on Han majority group education by scholars from departments of education, sociology, and foreign-language education. Most of the research reviewed here used long-term fieldwork...

  16. 12 Ethnography of Education in Israel
    (pp. 257-278)
    Simha Shlasky, Bracha Alpert and Naama Sabar Ben-Yehoshua

    As a society of Jewish immigrants, Israel has undergone rapid development and change. The Jewish population has grown from hundreds of thousands of Jews in pre-state Israel to over 5.7 million Jews (75 percent of the current state) alongside about 1.5 million Arabs (20 percent). Immigration of Jews to Israel, in Hebrewaliyahor ʺgoing up,ʺ has been and remains a central value in Zionism, the Jewish national movement, for it marks the return of the Jewish people from exile up to reestablished Jewish sovereignty in their ancient homeland.

    Until the State of Israel was established in 1948, the majority...

  17. 13 Sociological and Ethnographic Research in French-Speaking Sub-Saharan Africa
    (pp. 279-302)
    Boubacar Bayero Diallo

    In sub-Saharan Africa, the 1960s and 1970s were marked by widespread progress in the expansion of schooling (Pilon, Gérard, and Yaro 2001; UNESCO 1995). This movement was slowed in the 1980s mainly by the ʺeconomic crisisʺ and structural adjustment plans, which led in many countries (especially the French-speaking nations) to a sharp slowing of growth or even to a decrease in school-attendance rates (Lange 1998; Mbilinyi 2000; NʹDoye 2001; Diallo 2004). However, the 1990s saw strong resurgence in the growth of schooling due to several factors, including a strong mobilization and participation of a wider variety of educational actors: the...

  18. Conclusion. Ethnography of Education Around the World: A Thousand Varieties, a Shared Paradigm
    (pp. 303-318)
    Agnès van Zanten

    Although there are many things that we can learn through detailed analyses of the development and present state of the art of ethnography of education in a wide array of countries around the world such as the ones included in this rich volume, I have chosen to focus on only two in these concluding comments. The first has to do with the epistemology of this curious scientific object, ʺethnography,ʺ and how its founding tenets are sustained, extended, questioned, or transformed by its use in very different scientific contexts, and especially by the way it has ʺtraveledʺ from the countries where...

  19. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 319-324)
  20. Name Index
    (pp. 325-336)
  21. Subject Index
    (pp. 337-353)