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Type: Journal article
Title: An Australian co-educational boarding school: A sociological study of Anglo-Australian and overseas students' attitudes from their own memoirs
Author: White, M.
Citation: International Education Journal: Comparative Perspective, 2004; 5(1):65-78
Publisher: Shannon Research Press
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 1443-1475
Statement of
Mathew A. White
Abstract: Subjugated to the anachronistic rhetoric of nineteenth century literature, Australian boarding schools are habitually depicted as the remanence of a pre-colonial era. These images continue to be dominated by the paradigm of cruelty popularised by Tom Brown’s School Days. This paper analyses the aspirations and attitudes of a study group of Anglo-Australian and overseas secondary students at a co-educational boarding school through their own memoirs. The theoretical framework of humanistic sociology, as developed by the Polish-American sociologist Znaniecki combined with Smolicz’s theory of personal and group social systems was adopted for this purpose. The humanistic sociological approach asserts that a researcher must accept cultural phenomena from the viewpoint of the participants. The lineation and delineations of data revealed that respondents believed the boarding houses in the research school encouraged independence from the primary group system of the family and that the school provided the atmosphere to achieve this cultural becoming. The study revealed an attitudinal shift in the group that welcomed the multiculturalism of the school and acknowledged the cultural monism of the home. Lastly, cultural data revealed that the boarding house represented an adjunct to the home as the source of primary group social value, not necessarily replacing the role of the family but co-existing with it, as part of the secondary social system of the boarding school.
Keywords: Boarding; co-education; independent schools; humanistic sociology; multiculturalism
Rights: Copyright of material produced in this journal rests with individual contributors. Apart from fair use such as brief quotation for schorlarly purposes, permission to use material in this journal should be obtained from the authors concerned.
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