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This is one of a series of excerpts from older articles put online by John Ray as a public service. The articles concerned are in general otherwise available only by special request to a University or other major library.

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Sociometry, 1972, Vol. 35, No. 2, 223-234

Authoritarianism and Education: A Comparative Approach



MILES SIMPSON

Stanford University

Previous studies of authoritarianism and education have produced a strong negative relationship. Here we examine the relationship in four societies: the United States, Finland, Costa Rica, and Mexico. As expected, in the United States, all levels of 'education' reduce authoritarianism. But in Costa Rica, 'education' reduces authoritarianism only after the eighth grade, and in Mexico, 'education' had little effect on authoritarianism. Here, we argue that education-qua-education does not necessarily reduce authoritarianism, and we hypothesize that education will reduce authoritarianism only when the educational system emphasizes cognitive rather than rote learning or is manned by non-authoritarian teachers.





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