Teachers obviously serve as the medium for causing the result of policy as they carry it into schools and classrooms and deliver it to pupils. They mediate between education policy and practice. Knowledge of the exact nature and effects of this vital role is limited. Drawing on a range of research and evaluation of both national and local policy in practice, carried out by the authors in England, this paper illustrates how teachers mediate policy and the resulting outcomes. Further, it (...) proposes a typology of teacher adaptation to education policy. The paper argues that as yet the appropriate professional role for teachers within policy?making and implementation has not been achieved, and outlines what this might be. Finally, it outlines some implications for teacher education. (shrink)
This paper traces the dramatic proliferation of leadership roles in English primary and secondar schools, due mainly to central government education policy of the past two decades. This has transformed schools from relatively simple to highly complex organizations and has impacted on the working conditions of, and demands on, teachers, together with many aspects of schooling. These changes are illustrated with typical examples of schools' leadership structures and their functioning. Interview data provide teachers' views on, and reactions to, the changes (...) in school leadership. The paper also reviews the ways in which teacher education institutions have responded in terms of providing initial and in-service education and training to equip the profession for this new and developing challenge. It examines the reception of such programmes by teachers and the reported impact on schools' management and the role of leadership within it. (shrink)
The view that female mammals are more docile appears to arise in part from imposing human values on animal studies. Many reports of sexual dimorphism in physical aggression favouring the male in laboratory rodents appear to select circumstances where that expectation is supported. Other situations that favour the expression of conflict in females have been (until recently) relatively little studied. Although female rodents generally do not show the “ritualised” forms of conflict that characterise male sexual competition, they can use notably (...) damaging strategies (especially if they are of short duration). Such considerations might weigh in the selection of strategies by our own species. (shrink)
The claimed link between dominance and free testosterone is an intriguing one but problems remain in attempting to link this single hormonal measure to human behaviour. These include the heterogeneous nature of dominance, the precise nature of the correlation(s), and whether only testosterone is important.
The formation of a professional discipline of design in the United States was not a foregone conclusion. It was a particular achievement carried out by particular agents, taking advantage of particular social and cultural resources to construct a coherent practice. As a strategy that organized the efforts of widely dispersed practitioners, however, this formation displayed a discernible logic. It was not simply a question of the impact of external constraints nor of the working out of the internal logic of particular (...) architectural traditions, but of the specific ways the latter could be mapped on to the former by practitioners operating within certain immediate social and institutional contexts.The Beaux-Arts episode is a particularly clear example of the dynamic of architectural development that resulted from efforts to maintain a discipline of design under changing historical circumstances. These efforts were shaped in fundamental ways by the social basis of the practice of architectural design as it first emerged in the United States. At the core of professional design, there has been a persistent tension between countervailing forces of eclecticism and discipline. The structure of the market produced a centrifugal tendency that eroded standards and disrupted the organization of the professional production of architecture. At their core, the projects typically associated with professionalization reflected a strategic counter-tendency toward a purification of disciplinary ideals, and away from unmediated reflection of the social conditions of practice.Throughout the history of American architecture, these contradictory tendencies have produced an oscillation in the balance between the expression of formal ideals and responsiveness to the needs of client and society, each swing an expression of recurrent reforming tendencies in the profession. Discipline could be achieved only with effort against the tendency of individualized practice towards eclectic, idiosyncratic responses to particular local clienteles. Modernist criticisms of Beaux-Arts design (in the 1930s) and postmodernist criticisms of modernist design (in the 1970s–1980s) suggest that incorporation of various forms of responsiveness has typically set in motion a dynamic of stylization and a move toward abstracted formalism. It is no accident that postmodernist complaints with regard to the architecture of the modern movement echo the modernists' own criticisms of Beaux-Arts formalism. It is striking that the recent criticisms of modernist architecture focus on its academic sterility and its failure to accomplish precisely the responsiveness to modern conditions that it promised. See, for example, Brent C. Brolin, The Failure of Modem Architecture, (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold & Co., 1976). For a more popularized criticism of modern architecture, see Tom Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House, (New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux, 1981). The literature within the architectural profession criticizing modernist design is extensive. This recurrent cycle of formalism and reform has been driven by tensions inherent in the disciplinary structure of professional design, tensions that reflect the problematic nature of the profession's efforts to contain an awkwardly broad and culturally diffuse jurisdiction within a certain kind of social structure: a professional labor market. The structure of professional status set up tensions that have been played out in the practices of design and that are evident in the patterns of development of architectural style. At each point in the history of the profession, the disciplinary effort to contain these tensions within a rhetoric of style has mediated the effects of large-scale historical developments originating outside the discipline. Demands and pressures from outside the profession elicit responses from individual practitioners, in pursuit of their function and their careers. These responses are what presents these pressures to the discipline as a whole as a problem of integration. Innovations have to be both ideologically and socially located before they become “significant.”As the discipline moves toward the abstract and “architectural,” it moves away from problems that immediately concern clients but also from those that plague practitioners. The irony of the “American Renaissance” is that while allowing the profession to establish a clear identity and an authoritative jurisdiction, it came at the cost of the discipline's capacity to respond in coherent ways to the pressing social, economic, and technological problems that the architect had to confront as practical problems. The reception of European Modernism in the thirties can be understood as a response to dilemmas set up by the Beaux-Arts construction of the discipline. European Modernism offered precisely the same advantages as the Ecole model: a rational and unified conception of design that drew on contemporary “high” cultural aesthetic conceptions, a systematic approach to design education, an established language of form with the mystique of an avantgarde that could also be codified for broad diffusion of its principles (the “International Style”), and an elite of expatriate Europeans to focus its introduction into the academy (Gropius, Breuer, Moholy-Nagy). In addition, it offered something Beaux-Arts historicism could not: a final abstraction from history and a modus vivendi with industrial technology that was anything but submission to its pressures. It represented a final reification of the medium of architecture into a symbolic practice abstracted from cultural traditions, a final step toward the separation of the rhetorical framework within which the designer's intentions were formulated from the framework within which the users' experience might be interpreted. The dominance of Beaux-Arts design in the American architectural profession was a crucial step in the transition from the eclecticism of High Victorian architecture to construction of a modern discipline of design - for sociological reasons. It represented a routinization of the charisma of eclecticism that was necessary for the construction of the social and institutional foundation on which a distinctive discipline could be sustained.This analysis of the sociological determinants of the reception of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States suggests some general consequences for a sociology of cultural production. In his essay, “Art as a Cultural System,” Geertz argues that it is necessary to get away from a narrow focus on art as a specialized cultural institution, and to regard it in its broader cultural context. It is out of participation in the general system of symbolic forms we call culture that participation in the particular form we call art, which is in fact but a sector of it, is possible. A theory of art is thus at the same time a theory of culture, not an autonomous enterprise. Geertz, “Art as a Cultural System,” in Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretative Anthropology, (New York: Basic Books, 1983), 108–109.Geertz's concern is to situate art as one manifestation of the seamless web of meaning that makes up a particular culture. Forms of art have power and purpose because of their connection (or their ability to make connections) to a general cultural sensibility that they participate in creating.Although Geertz's general point is well taken, the location of art in the web of cultural meaning is not seamless. In fact, much of the meaning of artworks and the significance of art in general depend on particular arrangements of the seams between art and general culture, the particular ways that art stitches itself into the fabric of social life. In modern western societies, artists have developed specialized professional skills: techniques, notions of genre, stylistic conventions, and their own sensibilities related to specific techniques and materials. As Geertz points out, following the vivid example provided by Baxandall, artists rely on the perceptual and interpretative capacities of their audiences; these capacities reflect, derive from, and depend on skills and knowledge available in the broader culture. Michael Baxandall, Painting & Experience in 15th Century Italy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972). Artists also rely, however, on the ability and willingness of their audience to apply these skills within an interpretative framework that is specifie to art; it is this framework that grafts an additional level of significance, additional possibilities for the activation of meanings, on to the objects produced. Baxandall, for example, examines specific capacities for looking at pictures that were relevant to the institution of fifteenth-century painting, capacities that emerged as part of changes in the relation between painters and patrons. Painters made use of what Baxandall refers to as “the period eye,” but they worked with the capacities of the audience to produce a relatively specialized “taste” for paintings. “Much of what we call “taste” lies in this, the conformity between discriminations demanded by a painting and skills of discrimination possessed by the beholder.”Ibid., 34. Artists, as creative workers, co-opt cultural material and incorporate it into practices that make sense within the specialized cultural institution of “art.” As the institutional theories of art have made clear, the context in which art is interpreted includes the art world itself, in which specialized aesthetic practices are generated and sustained. This production of a distinctive body of practices has both an ideological and a sociological side: an art world is a “cultural enclave” in which works refer to each other within a specialized context of interpretation and producers can establish identity and reputations both among themselves and for a relevant public. These processes cannot be reduced to direct reflections of material conditions or simple instances of a culture-wide sensibility. If architecture can be seen as an expression of more general cultural sensibilities and in some way, as Geertz puts it, “inseparable from the feeling for life that animates it,” this relation is mediated by historically specific forms of cultural expression and by specific institutional contexts that make these forms of creativity possible.Sociological studies of art worlds have been either phenomonological in focus, zooming in on the art world itself, or they have tended to focus on contextual factors as a structure of external constraints. The tendency has been to view art worlds either from the inside or the outside. Many analyses, however, point to the importance of the boundary itself as a potential object of analysis and explanation. White has tried in recent work to introduce the notion of an “interface’ to the study of social organization. See, for example, Harrison C. White, “Where do markets come from?,” see also Thomas Gieryn, “Boundary-work and the Demarcation of Science from Non-Science: Strains and Interests in Professional Ideologies of Scientists,” American Sociological Review, (vol. 48,1983) 781–795. Becker, for example, has proposed a view of art as “collective action,” and has called attention to the importance of conventions in art worlds.See Howard S. Becker, “Art as Collective Action” American Sociological Review, (vol. 39, no. 6), 767–776. A more extended discussion of Becker's perspective is available in his book, Art Worlds (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982). His focus is on the way people in art worlds use conventions to communicate with their audiences and to organize cooperation within the art world. Becker also notes that aesthetic values are closely tied to structures of status in art worlds, that conventions both enable and constrain artistic production as they are built in to institutionalized structures, suggesting that this dual communication might be seen in more structural terms.See Becker, “Art as Collective Action,” 773–774. His discussion of the distinction of “art” and “craft” focuses attention on the social construction of the distinction as a “folk” category used to identify kinds of work within art worlds, and he uses changes in usage to give the notion of an art world a historical dimension.See Becker, Art Worlds, chapter 9.From a more macro-structural perspective, Mukerji has argued in favor of recognition of continuities between fine art and commercial culture, and focuses attention on the way the discontinuities between the two are constructed, using the example of the transformation of film from industrial production to art work in the United States. She provides an illuminating discussion of the both the ideological articulation and social bases of the discontinuities of art, craft, and industrial design. See Chandra Mukerji, “Artwork: Collection and Contemporary Culture,” American Journal of Sociology (vol. 84, no. 2,1978), 348–365. Where Becker's analysis emphasizes the use of conventional understandings as part of the organization of art work, Mukerji focuses on contextual conditions that stimulated and made a redefinition of existing objects possible in the American film industry. A third alternative is to focus on the boundary itself as a social production, and on the specific way that a relatively autonomous field of cultural production is produced as practitioners actively situate themselves within broad structures of constraint and opportunity. In the case of science, Gieryn has noted that “as sociologists and philosophers argue over the uniqueness of science among intellectual activities, demarcation is routinely accomplished in practical, everyday settings...” Gieryn, “Boundary-work and the Demarcation of Science from Non-science,” 781. He focuses on the “boundary work” carried out by scientists: “the attribution of selected characteristics to the institution of science ... for purposes of constructing a social boundary that distinguishes some intellectual work as “non-science.” Boundary-work appears empirically, for Gieryn, in the explicitly invoked ideologies of science. Boundary-work, however, can also be seen as implicit in any practice, in the conventions that define and sustain it. The “attribution of selected characteristics to the institution” can be seen not only in explicit ideological claims made to the public, but in the work itself, in the articulation of stylistic codes that signify the status of any particular work by signifying the claimed characteristics of the institution. This communication is carried on most significantly among practitioners, who must collectively sustain the rhetorical structure that makes their work possible. The boundaries that articulate art worlds are not produced simply by intentional definition (although there are such efforts) or by being explicitly defended when attacked; they are actively reproduced in and through the practices in which the constitutive conventions of the cultural form are manifested, and by the way in which these practices are structured by their institutional situation. Another concrete example of this might be the empirical case that is the focus of Diana Crane's recent book, The Transformation of the Avant-Garde (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987). By analyzing the ways different styles of painting have been associated with the notion of the “avant-garde,” Crane has focused analytical attention on the articulation of art and society, on the way the construction of boundaries is rooted in concrete artistic practice, and on the problem of what seems to be the threatened boundary of “art” as avant-garde practice. It is this practical articulation of a boundary, furthermore, that is the point at which the intersection of culture and social structure can be examined. Sociological studies of culture commonly focus on material or social structural constraints on the production and distribution of particular cultural objects. Studies of the “production of culture” typically look at the work of artists as productive labor like any other, at cultural productions as objects that are produced, sold, distributed. Some have suggested that these effects are mediated at the level of aesthetic codes, by the specific forms of cultural production. For a concise review of this argument, see Janet Wolffs discussion of “aesthetic mediation” in The Social Production of Art (New York: New York University Press, 1984), 60–66. I suggest that this mediation can be located not in reified forms, or in the codes and conventions that define them, but in form-giving practices in which these codes are activated, as they are situated and organized within particular, historically formed fields. Analytical focus is shifted from the production of particular objects to the production of a structure of justification within which the practice of giving significance to objects can be sustained as a form of expert authority. The social production of an “architecture” (or any cultural form) is a form of collective action organized within a structure of constraints. Creative workers produce not only cultural objects of a certain kind, but at the same time collectively produce and reproduce the immediate practical contexts in which their productions can be registered as meaningful. In other words, they produce and reproduce a certain kind of cultural capacity: in this case, practices of design through which certain kinds of formal order can be imposed on the built environment. A sociology of art as cultural production might, therefore, focus on the specific ways in which materials drawn from the more general culture are organized into distinctive practices within specific art worlds, and the ways in which these practices contribute to the reproduction of the “semi-autonomous field” that makes them possible. For an illuminating discussion of this concept, see Sally Falk Moore, “Law and Social Change: the Semi-autonomous field as an Appropriate Subject of Study,” Law and Society Review (Summer 1973), 719–746. In examining the production of culture at this level, the key questions focus not on the constraining effects of social and material conditions, but on the way a particular cultural practice is organized within the limits and according to a logic determined by specific social contexts. The key problem of an art world is the problem of autonomy. Artists and art worlds need the social and cultural space to develop and maintain the standards and conventions of their art. They must be able to define their own problems and seek appropriate solutions within the operative structures of justification. At the same time, they have to maintain some controlled connection with broader social contexts, if only to maintain the flow of material and symbolic resources. The structural problem of relative autonomy of an art world is reflected in the works themselves, in the tension between reference to external structures of meaning and legitimation and the self-referential qualities of a distinctive field of practice. This tension is manifested particularly clearly in architecture, because of the limitations on its autonomy created by the need to respond to the functional dimensions of most building tasks and by its generally public nature.The case of architectural design suggests ways in which creative workers' construction of a system of occupational control, within a particular market context, are linked to the substantive construction of the nature of the work. This conception of the construction of a discipline might be applied not only to other areas of artistic production, but to other professionalized occupations. See Michael Schudson, Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers, (New York: Basic Books, 1978); Gaye Tuchman, Making News. A Study in the Construction of Reality (New York: The Free Press, 1968), see esp. chapter 6; Robert Faulkner, Hollywood Studio Musicians, (Chicago: Aldine Atherton, 1971); Todd Gitlin, Inside Prime Time, (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985). This process might be analyzed historically by focusing on the formation of a discipline, and the way a particular culture of production, manifested in a rhetoric of style, is implicated in a system of occupational control. Such a perspective integrates analysis of the structural context of resources and constraints with an analysis of the processes of actively constructing a practice that makes sense within this context. In this way, one can bring into focus the structural determination of a cultural form without losing grasp of the active, creative, and historically contingent dimensions of cultural production. (shrink)