Deweys begrepp social kontroll - Om demokrati, makt och utbildning

  • Carsten Ljunggren
Nyckelord: John Dewey, social control, power, self-control, culture, habits and customs


The article illustrates Dewey’s concept of social control as it is expressed in his book Democracy and Education (1916). The interpretation of the concept is based on a socio-political contextualization of the early 1900s in the US, characterized by an increasing cultural diversity. Social control proves to be a subtle aspect of the kind of communication Dewey formulated as the basis of all education. It is an emphatic form of direction of powers of self-control, as well as of power brought about of others. The article presents arguments for how social control can be understood as a process in which individuals can realize their individuality while making themselves involved in community and associate life. In an attempt to rebut the criticism of the concept of social control, a number of Dewey’s other texts are put in relation to the writing in his book Democracy and Education. The relationship between democracy and education is understood from the view of social control as individual’s self-control over the opportunities to become involved in the communication that democracy requires, as an increasingly relevant aspect in a situation where the meeting between individuals and groups of individuals means the meeting and confrontation between cultures.