Education as Lived Welfare: A History of Experience Perspective on Children and the Welfare State


  • Pirjo Markkola Tampere University



lived welfare state, history of experience, education, childhood, citizenship


Drawing on recent research on lived welfare state from a history of experience perspective, this article aims to contribute to the further exploration of the education-welfare state nexus. First, experience as a historical concept is discussed in a historiographical context from the 1960s onwards. Second, the concept of lived welfare and the conceptualization of education as lived welfare are explicated. Third, concrete examples of education as lived welfare elucidate the history of experience approach to children and the welfare state. Children’s encounters with their educators and the school system shape their individual and collective ways of experiencing the welfare state. Examples from historical research presented in the article suggest that the conceptualization of education as lived welfare contributes to a better understanding of citizenship, belonging, trust in society (or lack thereof) and the general formation of individual-society relationship.

Author Biography

Pirjo Markkola, Tampere University

Professor of History at Faculty of Social Sciences