20th World Congress of Philosophy Logo

Philosophy of Education

Philosophic-Methodological and Social-Cultural Factors in the Problem of Youth's Education and Socialization

A. Kuszhanova, S. Ivanenkov

bluered.gif (1041 bytes)

ABSTRACT: The socialization of youth is currently in crisis. Education is in crisis across the world. The correlation between socialization and education is a crucial theoretical as well as a practical problem. Schools are the main institution of socialization. Education possesses two different functions: social reproduction and development. The way of life in any concrete society requires stable forms of socialization.

bluered.gif (1041 bytes)

The introduction of new generation into the social life—is one of the most ancient and eternal problems of humanity. The topicality of youth's socialization doesn't even grow dim in the present-day conditions but even becomes more acute and problematical character. There are many evidences which prove out it. Don't even remember the notorious problem of «fathers» and «children» it`s enough to say that not only in the course of the last decade one of the main institutes of youth's socialization—education—endures deep and protracted crisis.

The different levels' instances nearly in all countries are busy now with the search of the ways regarding to the solution of the crisis of education and the increase of the effectiveness of the work with the youth. But the decision of these problems hasn't been found yet (see 1). Here we dwell only on some points which are important for understanding of the essence and necessary for the decision of these problems.

In most problems and positions, in which now the processes of education are represented, and it obvious aim, as a rule, it is the development of person. As for the content, it realizes in the study of the bases of the scientific knowledge about the world social invironment, and also at the assimilation of the elementary labour skills, norms and values of the collective activity.

However in connection with increase of standard of scientific equipement of life the content`s space of education is filled up more and more with actual scientific information, thus constantly excluding from it other components with persistence. We see 3 problems here, they are the aim, the completeness and the content of education. Let us dwell on them.

First of all, we must point out that the institute of the socialization had appeared in our society long before the appearance of the necessity of mastering of the science information. Then socialization evoluated in education. Now they are often heard like the synonyms, as a result of not clear and to wide using of them. The term «socialization» is used often to determine the endowing of a man with all the contents of the human culture. And the term «education» (in the broad sense) is often used in the same meaning. But they are not identical and sometimes the differences between them have the principal character.

So, when the formal education as the system of establishments and structures was created, the institutional performance of the main function of joining the rising generation to the life in society, exactly passed to it. The special means and professional work began to invest there. But in historical evolution of education, one can see the tendency of decreasing of socializational problems, and in our time the most of them reduced to a scientific information.

Meanwhile, the unformal education was setting the functions of socialization, i.e. the school with it`s task to teach began to pass to the unformal education, it means that school with a task of teaching has separated from «the family» and «the street», which also gives certain knowledge too, but carrying out the tasks of the youth`s social adaptation and life self-determination as well. It is necessary to take it into account as in social and educational activites as in forming of valuable priorities, expectations and estimations.

Therefore the necessity in socialization of youth now deminands to set the clear purpose for education and change its orientation. Also it supposes the enlarging of the field of socialization at the expense of other social structures, it's one moment, methodological.

Then it's no small importance to note that in the education, which took on the functions of socialization, any society always passed on not only the knowledges, but created culture and formed a new generation after its own models. It makes it not only for human considerations, but first of all intending not to let destroy itself physically and socially (i.e. saving own unique specificity of the customs, morals and manners, the forms of behaviour, the norms and values and so on.)

That is why the social meaning of education is determined by its mission of the securing of the « historical heredity», its role of the mechanism of the formation, the translation and the heredity of the social genofond. The mechanism like everything that is connected with the development has two substancial functions. At first it reproduces «the social type», so it reproduces and guarantees keeping of the society as at same whole in it's qualitative variety and concretly-social individuality (hereditical, social-reproducing function). At the second it forms the ability for changes, developments, innovations of the subject and gives the resources of the activity in the form of fragments of the previous social experience (developing function).

Let's underline that education as a whole is the unity of two functions that have been pointed out, must work for the main purpose of society. We mean it's self-preservation, self-reproduction and self-development. According to the idea, at first, society recreates itself in new generations as this very unique society. Secondly, it rises the recourse of it's survival because of the development of the individual abilities of the members.

Let's pay attention to the fact, that these two functions are dialectically opposite. The function of development, having for its purpose the change, is directed against «the historical inheriting». In respect of the traditional structures which protect the society from different changes, this function is destructive.Spearheaded all the change it has desadaptation role in the limits of stable life of a certain socium. Specifically it has by the task the forming of nonconforming, searching and social-transforming positions of young people regarding the previous way of life and public structure.

But these two aspects of education must be in intercommunication and dynamique balance. Its disbalance, bearing off one function from another, can deprive education of its role of mechanism of conservation and reproduction of socium, transform it into the factor of destruction or extinction of given society.

As a rule, in majority of positions typical for modern education, the manifest aim of education is the development of personality. It means that the second function of education predominates. The first one either is not remembered at all or is left in shade. Thus, education has lost the main aim of individuality outside objects of preservation of society breaks the deepest tie, without which both the society and the personnality are doomed to be ruined.

There is forcible reason to suppose that one of the deepest causes of the crisis of modern education was extention those consequences which were secretly contained in absolutisation, excessive accenturation in education of the objects of individual development and breaking them of functions of reproduction and preservation of society. It was manifested in the crisis of generation, in culture degradation and in the appearance of the youth`s subculture in the crisis of moral, in the devaluation of social values, in educational crisis etc..

It has become inevitable in consequence of the fact, that education being kept on teaching, «forgot» about such a function as the youth's socialization, or interpreted it from only one side. In fact, it has lost its essence. It has reduced its function to teach youth to the transmission of the scientific information (That last even reduced and cut off). And in the lack of the final object this activity loses the sense.

Thus, the second problem is that of reduction of socialization regarding information and the rupture of educational integrity as a socializational activity. There are some reasons and explanations for this fact that we omit because of the limited nature of our dissertation. (1)

At last there's the third problem. Nowadays the crisis of education and problems of socialization of the young people turned our attention to some negative moments, which have some determination. In traditional society, for example, in Japan, these phenomena are more softer and less catastrophic than in Europe. There're the high temps of industrialization and technological progress but they hadn't destruct traditional relations. In this case we faced the great justifiability of the society. According to the history, the previous civilization had been more effective than ours, because the socialization of the young people had it's own characteristics.

There in the tight intercorrelation interplaced both life, traditions and the process of their transmission into the new generation and it is not by chance. Because life was dictated by the possibilities of society surviving in the definite conditions of natural areal of its living. The attempt of surviving this community developed into stable life and in tradition norms.

The present society adapts to environment in definite forms of way of life behaviour, utensils, clothes, relations of sexes and generations dances, songs, myths, etc. Thanks to them the society survives in the environment. The traditional forms of activity were not the case of taste, idle fantasy. O.Shpengler said: The house and the forms of utensils, guns, clothes . . . characterise the skills of fight, life and work. (2)

K. Levin-Stross either marks the deep organic integrity of the whole way of life of early peoples, describing the original peculiarity of the circular plan of situation of villages of a member of tribes: «That remarkable plan was inherrented of all the villages bororo formerly. The circular situation of huts around the male house has great meaning in social life and performance of rites. The missionaries understood very quickly, the only means to convert the bororo to the Christianity is to make them to settle in the other where the houses are situated as parallel rows. Having lost orientation in the countries of the world, devoid of the plan which serves the base for their knowledge, the Indians lose the feeling of traditions very quickly, as if their social and religious systems are too difficult for being able to live without a scheme, put into the plan of the village.

The structure of a village lets not only realize the accurate functioning of institutes: it sums up and regulates the relations between a man and the Universe, between society and a supernatural world, between a live and dead. That's why the mission eries destroys all the systems preventing from the traditional situation of villages. (3)

The development of thinking, as it is well known, also is submited to peculiarity of the laws of lifes work of this or that association. So long as in social life all factors closely interlaced, the definite type of society inevitably forms also the peculiar and identical type of thinking, and besides the indentical and the definite type of socialization. (4)

The effect of socialization in early society was uncommonly steady because the socialization was being realized not so much by purposeful aducational activity as by the whole construction of social life. And her forms distinguished themselves by the same steadiness. «That's a difficult thing,—marked Z.G.Morgan,—the endeavour to save the indians from their frame of mind and to instil them the frame of mind of another race. In the depths of indian society reigns the spirit and the feeling, which their minds are harmonious by; and it must a great strength and constant influence, which could overcome the first and eradicate the second.» (5)

Thus, the stability of the forms of socialization of ancient societies has the profound base in the mode of life of a concrete society. That determines its stable effectiveness. This characteristic—in some transformed aspect—serves its actuality nowdays. That is why the premises of the successful assimilation by a society of its areal are fixed in the experience and then refflected in the factors of socialization. This last, in turn, influences the succes of the process of education and socialization.

If today we try to use an experience of socialization of one social system in the others, we construct education quite faceless and universal, without any considenation of specific character of way of life and traditions of given individual, that's why it means the only one: in reality we are carried away by the methods not of the socializing activity, but of the learning activity. And its effectiveness will objectively answer the level of the adaptability of given concrete form of education to the circumstances of that social environment, where this education develops. Education and instruction can't contradict socializing without detriment for them. This position hasn't yet found its place and understanding in modern education. But if it is firmly established as guide to action, it will lead socializing activity out traditional limits of pedagogics. Then the necessity to appeal history, sociology, regional geography, areastudies, ethnography and other social humanities. But education, socialization and society on the whole will have a chance for decision.

bluered.gif (1041 bytes)


(1) Кусжанова А.Ж. Взаимодействие общества, личности и государства в сфере образования. Дисс. на соиск...доктора философ.наук.- М., МГУ, 1996, c.120-172, 36-37.

(2) Шпенглер О. Закат Европы. // Самосознание европейской культуры ХХ века.- М., 1991, с.23, 25.

(3) Леви-Строс К. Печальные тропики.- М., 1984, с.104—113.

(4) Леви-Брюль Л. Первобытное мышление.// Хрестоматия по исистории психологии.- М., 1980; Дюркгейм Э. Социология и теория познания.// Там же.

(5) Морган Л.Г. Лига ходеносауни, или ирокезов.- М., 1983, с. 238-239.

bluered.gif (1041 bytes)


Back to the Top

20th World Congress of Philosophy Logo

Paideia logo design by Janet L. Olson.
All Rights Reserved


Back to the WCP Homepage