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Making mass schooling affordable: in-kind taxation and the establishment of an elementary school system in Sweden, 1840–1870
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (SEC - Sociology of Education and Culture)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3444-952X
2016 (English)In: Paedagogica historica, ISSN 0030-9230, E-ISSN 1477-674X, Vol. 52, no 4, 349-363 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the significance of in-kind taxation and payments in kind for the establishment of an elementary school system in Sweden, in the 1840-1870 period. By analysing the funding of teachers' wages, the heating of the school facilities, and school building construction in the 12 rural school districts of the Sundsvall region, this study shows that schooling to a large extent relied on in-kind transactions in this area. Despite the practical problems that such transactions entailed, the author has argued that they were instrumental in the establishment of schooling in the Sundsvall region. Apart from making schooling affordable for the school districts, since in-kind taxation and payment made it possible to avoid extensive cash expenditure, the natural economy presented an opportunity to align the school funding to the school districts' local resources, price levels and social structure. In contrast to the historiography of schooling that has mainly linked the emergence of mass schooling to the modernisation of society, this work reveals that age-old customs of in-kind transactions are an important factor to acknowledge when explaining the educational revolution that mass schooling entailed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 52, no 4, 349-363 p.
Keyword [en]
Schooling, school finance, in-kind taxation, teachers, nineteenth century
National Category
Research subject
Sociology of Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-283176DOI: 10.1080/00309230.2016.1158725ISI: 000379543600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-283176DiVA: diva2:918696
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2016-08-09Bibliographically approved

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Westberg, Johannes
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