Max weber’s critique of the bureaucratisation of education

Madan, Amman (2014) Max weber’s critique of the bureaucratisation of education. Contemporary Education Dialogue, 11 (1). pp. 95-113.

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A characteristic theme in the study of modernity has been the rationalisation of society and the proliferation of bureaucracies. A shift has taken place away from small-scale groups and social organisations with faceto- face interactions and personalised norms and customs. These bodies are being replaced by formal organisations, with rules that cannot be negotiated easily to suit personal preferences. Modern schools—with their timetables, grades and certificates—are examples of this shift in organisational structure. Many observers have been concerned about the impersonality that seems to go hand in hand with an emphasis on efficiency. Rationalisation often seems to mean the dissolution of the comfort and meanings of culture, being replaced by gleaming, heartless institutions made of shiny plastic and metal. The modern school, Max Weber (1864–1920) said over a hundred years ago, has as its educational ideal the bureaucrat and no longer the cultivated elite of older times. Perhaps, today, we would add to the bureaucrat, the ‘professional’ who is taught to smile as she or he bends over backwards to satisfy the will of the managers and owners of corporations

Item Type: Article
Authors: Madan, Amman
Uncontrolled Keywords: Max Weber, Education bureaucracy
Subjects: Social sciences > Education
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Education
Full Text Status: Restricted
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Publisher URL: DOI: 10.1177/0973184913509754

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