Article

Education

Kristin Jordan and Jennifer C. Lee

in Sociology

ISBN: 9780199756384
Published online July 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0016
Education

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  • Sociology
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  • Social Movements and Social Change
  • Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility
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Sociology of education includes the study of all aspects of education ranging from the organization of schools themselves to the determinants and consequences of schooling. Sociologists of education focus on the structure, processes, and interaction patterns within the institution of education and their relationships to society and individuals. Sociologists studying education believe that through the application of scientific theory and strong empirical research, schools can be improved. Thus, much research within sociology of education has paid attention to social inequalities related to the formal education system: inequality in access, opportunity, and outcomes. On a macro level, researchers have been concerned with societal forces that shape schools as organizations. On a micro level, scholars have examined the relationship between schooling and individual outcomes and how individual and structural factors influence educational achievement and attainment. Sociology of education has its roots in the writings of Émile Durkheim and Max Weber. In his works on education and sociology, Durkheim applied a sociological approach to understanding educational systems, emphasizing the relationship between educational institutions and the larger society. Weber’s writings on bureaucracy were influential for the analysis of schools as organizations, and his ideas of status groups serve as a foundation for the examination of education and social reproduction. The status attainment model (Blau and Duncan 1967; Sewell, et al. 1969, both cited under Educational Stratification and Mobility) has also been influential in the sociology of education, laying the groundwork for a large and systematic program of research focused on examining the role of education in social stratification and mobility.

Article.  19996 words. 

Subjects: Sociology ; Comparative and Historical Sociology ; Economic Sociology ; Gender and Sexuality ; Health, Illness, and Medicine ; Population and Demography ; Race and Ethnicity ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility ; Social Theory

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