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Countrymindedness and the democratic intellect: permutations and combinations in a Victorian country state school, 1853 to 2007

Richard Ely (Research Fellow of that School, and a Senior Research Fellow of the School of History at the University of Melbourne)

History of Education Review

ISSN: 0819-8691

Article publication date: 24 June 2009

Abstract

‘Countrymindedness’ is a resonant but perhaps manufactured term, given wide currency in a 1985 article by political scientist and historian Don Aitkin in the Annual, Australian Cultural History. Political ideology was his focus, as he charted the rise and fall ‐ from the late nineteenth century to around the 1970s ‐ of some ideological preconceptions of the Australian Country Party. These were physiocratic, populist, and decentralist ‐ physiocratic meaning, broadly, the rural way is best. Aitkin claimed the word was used in Country Party circles in the 1920s and 1930s, but gave no examples. Since the word is in no dictionary of Australian usage, or the Oxford Dictionary, coinage may be more recent. No matter. Countrymindedness is a richly evocative word, useful in analysing rural populism during the last Australian century. I suggest it can usefully be extended to analyzing aspects of the inner history of Euro‐settlement in recent centuries.

Keywords

Citation

Ely, R. (2009), "Countrymindedness and the democratic intellect: permutations and combinations in a Victorian country state school, 1853 to 2007", History of Education Review, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 40-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/08198691200900004

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited