Having defined the aim of fostering policies as the lessening of social inequalities, and having questioned the viability of directing educational fostering EFO) practices at ethnic gaps, we would now like to offer an alternative way of defining the aims and target groups of EFO. Shils' (1975) ideal type of modern Western society ("mass society") serves as our point of departure. Like any society, the modern democratic society has a center that represents and keeps the social order. This center

impinges in various ways on those who live within the ecological domain in which society exists.... It is the center of the order of symbols, of values and beliefs, which governs the society.... It is also a structure of activities, of roles and persons, within the network of institutions. It is in these roles that the values and beliefs which are central, are embodied and propounded.... The central institutions... give some form to the life of a considerable section of the population of that society (Shils, 1975: 3, emphasis added).