Call for Papers – ETE – v. 6, n. 2 (2019) – European Society, Education and the Elite during the 19th and 20th Centuries

Call for Papers

Deadline for the submission of originals: June 1, 2018

Special Issue (v. 6, n. 2, July-December 2019)

European Society, Education and the Elite during the 19th and 20th Centuries

Guest Editors:

Karmele Artetxe (University of the Basque Country, Spain), Álvarro Chaparro (University of Murcia, Spain), Ánder Delgado (University of the Basque Country, Spain), Jon Igelmo Zaldívar (University of Deusto, Spain) & Carl Antonius Lemke Duque (University of Deusto, Spain)

The way in which educational institutions have been set up throughout history is closely linked to the training of the elite. In Europe, a key feature of the development of the modern state was its capacity to delegate the guidance of economic, social and political progress to ruling groups from a specific background. This brought about a proliferation of universities in Europe from the 16th and 17th centuries onwards.

Since the European Enlightenment, the training of the modern functional elite and their sectoral differentiation has been closely related to the ongoing secularisation. Indeed, in the fields of the History of Education and historical, political and sociological analysis, the drive for educational innovation and the modernisation of education systems was not only an expression of the tension between the private and public spheres, but also the right to freedom of religion within the framework of the emerging democratic and pluralistic society.

The makeup and growth, as well as the reproduction or replacement, of elites have been the subject of studies by international scholars such as Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens, Jürgen Habermas and others. Relevant articles have been written from a Sociology of Education perspective, focusing on the shift from the traditional elitist to the technocratic masses model. In the latter half of the 20th century, the impact of neoliberal policies on education brought about a re-organisation of processes, which however, kept elites in their privileged positions.

This special issue is devoted to a longue durée perspective of Modern history to the present day, focusing primarily on the adaptation processes enacted within educational spaces, and how they generated and reproduced the elite. In line with Bourdieu’s research conducted since the 1980s, the concept of national macro-structure habitus  enables us to understand the way in which they are reproduced through the actions of the individuals themselves. For example, during the Enlightenment, a sizeable number of educational institutions are thought to have focused their objectives on training select, highly-qualified groups of the population to carry out specific activities in service of the state. In contrast, since the turn of the century the Digital Era has provided a context in which the elites are struggling for their own educational spaces in the midst of a pedagogical imaginarium profoundly influenced by the education meta-narrative contained within liquid modernity (Bauman) or hypermodernity (Lipovetsky).