Dissertation Information for Gary Douglas Rhoades
MPACT Status: Incomplete - Not_Inspected
Title: MODELS OF INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE AND SOCIAL ACTION IN THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL'S DEVELOPMENT: FUNCTIONALLY INDUCED, SOCIALLY ENGINEERED, OR PLURALISTICALLY ROUTINIZED GROWTH
Abstract: This dissertation examines models of American public high school development from 1880-1930, directing particular concern to conceptualizations of institutional change and social action. Theoretical problems are identified in existing models. We find them both too functionalist and elitist. Structuralists explain institutional development in terms of "social needs" which produce the appropriate "adaptations" in public school systems. Instrumentalists portray change as being managed by elites. We propose a Weberian approach, suggesting that "institutional entrepreneurs," in this case professionalizing educators, played a critical role in initiating and guiding institutional development, and that subsequent routinization took place through a pluralistic process of "election." We submit that change took place through inclusive, continual, multifaceted struggles, through ad hoc, partial accretion. Historical data is brought to bear on these theoretical issues. The development of the school superintendency, and change in high school organizational and extracurricular structures are examined. Public school battles in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, and San Francisco are studied. We discover the patterns of change fit the proposed approach, and that existing models are incomplete. We also find weaknesses in characterizations of groups. We find business groups were not consistent supporters of efforts to extend public schooling. Lower class groups often took action, but not always "democratic" action. And fundamental splits existed between lay groups--elite and working class--and professionalizing educators. We work to construct the beginnings of a new approach--to fit with the Weberian conceptualization of change--to conceptualize the bases of social action, and to explain the shifting coalitional patterns we discovered. A new concept is introduced: entelechy. We take some steps in developing the conceptual foundations of an approach to how interests were articulated by groups involved in public high school development. These entelechies express peoples' view of the world, and of their self-interest within it; they refer to the merging of values and conceptions of reality, and to how structural position influences these. We look to how groups specified certain general values--such as democracy and liberalism--to bring some order to social action in the public school battles.
MPACT Scores for Gary Douglas Rhoades
Advisors and Advisees Graph