chapter  5
16 Pages

From comparison to syncrisis

WithStavros Moutsios

Societies, according to Castoriadian ontology, have a functional-instrumental or ensemblistic-identitary dimension and a dimension of imaginary signification, indissolubly connected with the former. The central imaginary signification of social and personal autonomy, generated in Ancient Greece, re-emerged in European Modernity, in coexistence and opposition this time with a new imaginary signification, that of rationalistic mastery and control of nature and of human beings. The capitalist imaginary is also incarnated in the way other countries and their education systems are 'seen' in/by Europe, and internationally. Reconsidering or redefining educational comparison entails, as it will be argued, breaking away from the perspective that treats education systems as means to ends defined by global capitalism and re-assuming the scholarly task of studying education within its cultural context. The term 'Syncrisis' would express more accurately the approach proposed here in studying education systems: accessing the magma of imaginary significations of the other society and exercising critical reflection on both its institutions and our own.