Introducing a neo-Weberian perspective in the study of globalisation and education: Structural reforms of the education systems in France and Israel after the Second World War

Julia Resnik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Only since the 1990s has the impact of globalisation on education drawn scholarly attention, primarily due to the impact of international school achievement surveys. This study argues that the globalisation of education began much earlier, with the establishment of intergovernmental agencies, such as UNESCO and the OECD, and the adoption of American educational models after the Second World War. The neo-Weberian perspective I propose focuses on knowledge producers and education global networks and incorporates an analysis of the specific national context and their peculiarities without losing sight of the globalisation process and its homogenising character. Knowledge producers constitute a status group that increases its social and academic capital through advancing global education models locally. The analysis of reforms in the education systems of France and Israel after the Second World War shows how the diffusion of global educational models that stress equality of opportunity enhanced local transformations and affected national policies. Such an analysis elaborates the process whereby knowledge producers, linked to global networks, constructed 'social problems' according to the education knowledge production institutionalised in each country and the socio-politic conditions of each society, and how their alliance with highly ranked functionaries brought about structural reforms aiming at the 'democratisation of education' in France and Israel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)385-402
Number of pages18
JournalOxford Review of Education
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Compensatory education projects drew on cultural deprivation discourse developed since the 1950s in the United States and then translated into Israeli social conditions. For instance, compensatory education experiments and studies undertaken by Moshe Smilansky and his colleagues were supported by American research (Bruner, 1960; Hunt, 1961). The influence of the global network, mainly American, also included effective cooperation with American universities and scholars such as R. Mooney (Ohio University) and B. Bloom (University of Chicago).

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