Poor students experienced a kind of upward mobility that was not uncommon in old-regime Europe. They were also objects of controversy. and as such they reveal the many dimensions of the issue of opening careers to talent. At stake were socially and politically sensitive questions about the relative importance of nature and nurture, of natural talent and 'birth', in realizing human potential; about the proper reconciliation of collective imperatives and individual freedom, of hierarchical stability and progress; about how national systems of education should be structured; about the kind and degree of upward mobility the society and the culture needed and could tolerate. This 1988 book shows how a cluster of familiar eighteenth-century ideas about grace, talent, and merit shaped a formative social experience for men whose importance is still celebrated today, as well as for members of the educated elite who were and have remained obscure.
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(228mm x 152mm x 24mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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