An analysis of recruitment literature used by orders of Catholic religious teaching brothers in Australia, 1930 to 1960: a social semiotic analysis

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Abstract

The general focus of this paper is on religious teaching brothers, a very much neglected group within the body of historical scholarship on Catholic education generally. Notwithstanding the existence of an extensive body of literature of a hagiographic nature – much of it commissioned by male religious orders – as well as a small number of academic theses, brothers occupy a field wide open for research on many fronts, internationally and using a wide variety of research approaches. The paper concentrates on a particularly neglected area: the recruitment practices of the orders. It does so in relation to the situation in Australia from 1930 to 1960. First, the broad background to the work of Catholic religious teaching brothers from the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century is considered. This is followed by a general overview of three of the four principal ways in which the orders sought new recruits: through the influence of the Church on the Catholic home, through the work of the Catholic school, and through the efforts of special recruiting agents. The paper then moves to the central area of concern – namely, a social semiotic analysis of the special recruitment literature produced by the religious orders and used by them in Australia from the 1930s to the early 1960s. The analysis draws on an analytic approach based on a theory of social semiotics. What the analysis reveals is the sets of practices and textual mechanisms through which the orders enticed young men to join their ranks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-606
JournalPaedagogica Historica
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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semiotics
Teaching
research approach
twentieth century
church
school
literature
Semiotic Analysis
Social Semiotics
Brothers
Religion
education
Group
Religious Orders
1930s
1960s
Catholic Schools
Catholic Education

Cite this

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title = "An analysis of recruitment literature used by orders of Catholic religious teaching brothers in Australia, 1930 to 1960: a social semiotic analysis",
abstract = "The general focus of this paper is on religious teaching brothers, a very much neglected group within the body of historical scholarship on Catholic education generally. Notwithstanding the existence of an extensive body of literature of a hagiographic nature – much of it commissioned by male religious orders – as well as a small number of academic theses, brothers occupy a field wide open for research on many fronts, internationally and using a wide variety of research approaches. The paper concentrates on a particularly neglected area: the recruitment practices of the orders. It does so in relation to the situation in Australia from 1930 to 1960. First, the broad background to the work of Catholic religious teaching brothers from the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century is considered. This is followed by a general overview of three of the four principal ways in which the orders sought new recruits: through the influence of the Church on the Catholic home, through the work of the Catholic school, and through the efforts of special recruiting agents. The paper then moves to the central area of concern – namely, a social semiotic analysis of the special recruitment literature produced by the religious orders and used by them in Australia from the 1930s to the early 1960s. The analysis draws on an analytic approach based on a theory of social semiotics. What the analysis reveals is the sets of practices and textual mechanisms through which the orders enticed young men to join their ranks.",
author = "Anne Chapman and Thomas O'Donoghue",
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N2 - The general focus of this paper is on religious teaching brothers, a very much neglected group within the body of historical scholarship on Catholic education generally. Notwithstanding the existence of an extensive body of literature of a hagiographic nature – much of it commissioned by male religious orders – as well as a small number of academic theses, brothers occupy a field wide open for research on many fronts, internationally and using a wide variety of research approaches. The paper concentrates on a particularly neglected area: the recruitment practices of the orders. It does so in relation to the situation in Australia from 1930 to 1960. First, the broad background to the work of Catholic religious teaching brothers from the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century is considered. This is followed by a general overview of three of the four principal ways in which the orders sought new recruits: through the influence of the Church on the Catholic home, through the work of the Catholic school, and through the efforts of special recruiting agents. The paper then moves to the central area of concern – namely, a social semiotic analysis of the special recruitment literature produced by the religious orders and used by them in Australia from the 1930s to the early 1960s. The analysis draws on an analytic approach based on a theory of social semiotics. What the analysis reveals is the sets of practices and textual mechanisms through which the orders enticed young men to join their ranks.

AB - The general focus of this paper is on religious teaching brothers, a very much neglected group within the body of historical scholarship on Catholic education generally. Notwithstanding the existence of an extensive body of literature of a hagiographic nature – much of it commissioned by male religious orders – as well as a small number of academic theses, brothers occupy a field wide open for research on many fronts, internationally and using a wide variety of research approaches. The paper concentrates on a particularly neglected area: the recruitment practices of the orders. It does so in relation to the situation in Australia from 1930 to 1960. First, the broad background to the work of Catholic religious teaching brothers from the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century is considered. This is followed by a general overview of three of the four principal ways in which the orders sought new recruits: through the influence of the Church on the Catholic home, through the work of the Catholic school, and through the efforts of special recruiting agents. The paper then moves to the central area of concern – namely, a social semiotic analysis of the special recruitment literature produced by the religious orders and used by them in Australia from the 1930s to the early 1960s. The analysis draws on an analytic approach based on a theory of social semiotics. What the analysis reveals is the sets of practices and textual mechanisms through which the orders enticed young men to join their ranks.

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