Sociology of education

Leighton, R. (2012) Sociology of education. In: Arthur, J. and Peterson, A., eds. The Routledge Companion to Education. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 58-65 ISBN 9780415583473

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If not for academic convention, this chapter would be entitled ‘sociologies of education’, as we are not here concerned with a single approach or interpretation. The sociology of education comprises numerous theories and perspectives, supported by an ever-widening range of research methodologies, which seek to understand and explain education within social and/or personal contexts. An historical account of the nature and development of these would not be particularly illuminating as differing and often conflicting insights often arise contemporaneously, while a list of key concepts and terms without appropriate theoretical contexts would limit the reader’s understanding of them and of their interrelationship.

This chapter therefore briefly examines the nature of sociology, including some of its conceptual divisions. It then considers the sociology of education in four subsections, The Purpose of Education, The Organisation of Education, The Experience of Education, and What Students Learn. Subsections should not be regarded as exclusive categories as people in school will encounter purpose, organisation, and content simultaneously to their learning; they are therefore interconnected. The chapter concludes with a brief commentary on current and possible future areas of research interest in the sociologies of education, followed by some questions for consideration by the reader, and some recommended reading to consolidate the brief outlines presented.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Education
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Depositing User: Users 65 not found.
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2012 15:46
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 12:47

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00