Imaginary Significations and Education as a Social Institution
AbstractThis paper is about culture and education as a social institution. Evidently, there is no society without culture and there is no society without institutions. Culture is incarnated in social institutions and we need to elucidate this relation in order to understand education across societies. By education we mean not only the official school system, but the entire realm of learning experience available in social institutions, or what we call today lifelong learning. Our analysis is based on the Castoriadian ontology, which considers culture embedded in the imaginary institution of society. Each society is instituted by creating its own world of imaginary significations and exists through them. In these terms, the paper argues, to understand education as an institution of a particular society, ones needs to access its world of significations. The paper explores further the methodological implications of this argument for social-scientific and educational research.
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