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Zur Geschichte der Beratung als Instrument der sozialen Integration. Eine Studie anhand der Stadt Basel, 1950er bis 1990er Jahre

English title The History of Counseling as a Technique for Social Integration. The Example of Basel, 1950s-1980s
Applicant Brändli Blumenbach Sibylle
Number 69104
Funding scheme NRP 51 Social Integration and Social Exclusion
Research institution
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline General history (without pre-and early history)
Start/End 01.08.2003 - 30.09.2006
Approved amount 227'769.00
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All Disciplines (4)

General history (without pre-and early history)
Education and learning sciences, subject-specific education

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
From cases to clients: Counselling and integration in a historical perspective

This historical study focuses on participation and belonging in the context of counselling practices in institutions responsible for the well-being of children and youth.
What concepts of difference and participation inform these practices?

The „problem“ child is a topos that is subject to historically shifting concepts of normality and abnormality. Medical and educational institutions have the task of conducting assessments, providing counselling and initiating treatment. The outcome of this collaboration between children, parents, experts and the schools will often determine the life and mobility opportunities children will have in adulthood. (How) have cooperation, professional practices and ideological underpinnings changed over time? How are newer counselling concepts related to this? What are the interactions between social and scientific norms?

Aim and method
Counselling assumes that people have options open to them, and relies on problem solving through dialogue. Here it has two faces. Counselling contains a democratic promise in psychological form and, at the same time, can be utilized as an instrument of discipline and control. Who is given what (educational) opportunities in our society? Counselling institutions intervene in the distribution of opportunity. But how? And with what success? This project is conducting a microanalysis of client files and uncovering institutional self-understandings and methods of working. It explores how and whether science and practice register and respond to the interests, claims and statements of various client groups and examines the demands placed on counselling.

Today, we think about the welfare state predominantly in terms of efficiency. This research study employs historical distance as a way to break open that narrow focus. It shines a spotlight on an often unobtrusive and invisible form of communication. On the one hand, the results will invite reflection on the cultural, scientific and institutional dependence of counselling. The study, however, also proposes a greater appreciation of counselling as a crucial democratic good, capable of mobilizing (even „little“) people. In that sense, the study aims to enrich our thinking about the tasks of counselling in a time of narrowing social and cultural opportunities.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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