Educación y Pedagogía

Society and education

Society and education:

from a sociological perspective


The interpretation of all social phenomenon, has to do with the conception or paradigm that we take like departure point, a same phenomenon can be interpreted of different way and even contradictory, this enriches the study of the phenomenon and opens the possibility of approaching it from different perspective. A stroll by the different conceptions from sociology of the education will allow to see since the educative phenomenon is had boarded and as the multiplicity of approaches has enriched the understanding and explanation of the education.

The preoccupation of the society as study object has accompanied to the human being throughout its existence, but the scientific study of the society as soon as it goes back to Century XIX, Saint Simon, Comte are the initiators, This I complete was in charge to give name to this new science, sociology, that intends from study to the human society and the social relations, as much at social level of structures (institutions and groups), like a level of the social action developed by the individuals in their interior.

From the same moment of its beginning like science, sociology occurred to account of the interconnection of the social phenomena and the difficult thing that it was to segment the social reality to study separated aspects of her. The operation of the society like a whole this present from the same moment of its birth, like the certainty that the society is dynamic and that becomes continuously. In order to indicate to this Comte aspect speech of dynamics and social statics taking these concepts from the physics. Thus for sociology all social phenomenon can be boarded from two perspective, the phenomenon in if and the phenomenon like process, that's why sociology studies so much the nature of the phenomenon like the processes of change of articles of incorporation in him or produced by him. By change of articles of incorporation all variation produced in the basic aspects will be understood of the society. sociology approached it from three perspective: the content of the change, the form to be carried out, and the reasons and the causes that produced it, like and because changes in the society have taken place also have been a constant in sociology from their beginnings. Sociology is a science where they occur plurality of conceptions or theoretical paradigms which makes possible that the same different phenomenon studies of perspective and is arrived to include/understand and to explain of different way, this has extended the wealth of the social phenomenon, its study, explanation and understanding of the same one.


The one of the subsystem or the social structures that I call attention of the sociologists from the beginning of sociology was the education, the education like social phenomenon and the relations between education and society. Durkheim was first in raising that all society orchestrates transmission mechanism to adapt to the new generations to the custom, values, beliefs, guidelines of behavior, etc valued and allowed socially. The concrete education and in the school acts for this author the as to integrate to the social life, from the homogenización and of the transmission of values universal and been worth for all the members of the society. This initial function was being extended in the measurement that the societies went away returning but complex and the division of the specialized work but. The education I stop being single socializing transmitter or to late become years but, according to the funcionalista structural approach. in the one in charge to assign social positions and to locate and to select to the individuals in the different social positions. Later for some sociologists, influenced by the marxism and Weber, the education acts a as of reproduction of the present relations of production in the society, simply becomes words of Althusser in ideological Apparatus of the state. The education as reproductive or transforming of the social relations it is a constant in the studies on education and society. However that causes that the education can be considered a phenomenon social? The single education occurs within the society, is product of social processes but ample, structure and gives content to the social relations, forms the individual cultural identities and collective, it conditions the social life, the attitudes and the form in which they live and relate the members of the society therefore the education is a social phenomenon and like so she will be boarded by the sociology of the education, which is the branch of the sociology that studies the social dimension of the educative phenomenon, with the purpose of generating knowledge scientific that explain systematics ordenadamente and that reality, starting off of a rigorous method that guarantees the trustworthiness of his findings, and allow him to take part in her. As all science the sociology of the education persecutes to analyze, to explain, to include/understand and to take part in that reality. But that we mean with the social dimension of the educative phenomenon? Sociology studied at macrosocial level the relations between social and the educative thing, the contents which the forms are trasmiten (collective ideas, feelings, traditions, habits and techniques) that micro has under the pressure with the social structures (scholastic institutions and the equipment or own instruments that serve to trasmitir it) and to social level, the relations within the classroom, the meaning of the action for the actors, the curriculum that trasmite etc. But as we previously indicated to sociology nonpart of a single paradigm, the multiplicity of approaches of this discipline causes that although the study object is same the conclusions at which they are arrived are different and sometimes until contradictories. Both great approaches that have prevailed in sociology and therefore in sociology of the education are the following ones, By a side the structural direct inheriting functionalism of positive sociology and with much height until the years 70, whose main representative is Talcott Parsons, for this model the education is in addition to transmitter of the social culture, the one that selects the location of the individuals in the different social positions, part of a meritocratica society, cradle in the equality of opportunities and the search of the consensus and social balance. The education is a neutral institution, where the individual product of its persistence and intellectual disposition, prevails or fails. Also the education can study like a system where relations and structure of rolls exist. For this current all change of articles of incorporation, including the educative one responds to external agents since it is product of a disturbance or force that forces to modify the educative system. The other current is the Marxist, although Marx does not develop the educative aspect is depth and single she places it like a social superstructure in charge of the ideology of the dominant class. In estructuralistas 70 years the Marxist or Marxist neon studies to the education like cultural reproducer or economic of the dominant relations of production, Bowles and Gintis, Bordieu and Passeron and Althusser among others starting off of a society divided in irreconciliables social classes and eternal conflict they unmask the main function of the education like social control mechanism that distributes the dominant ideology, reproduces the production relations and alienates to the individual when considering it exclusive element of its failure. The change of articles of incorporation is product of the internal conflict between the way of production and the relations of production.

From these macrosocial studies they began a series of you criticize to the sociology of the education to consider that until the single moment they had studied and looked for causal relations, had become emphasis in the conducts of entrance and exit of the school and had forgotten to study what occurred within her, the school was a black box where the relations that occurred internally never had considered, the fundamental actors were passive beings to which the society manipulated at will.


New the approach of sociology and sociology of the education in individual is not interested in creating the great social theory, but in studying the daily life, the meaning that the individuals assign to their actions and the interrelations that are generated. The analysis falls to the own educative process, making emphasis in the analysis of management and transmission of knowledge and the relations of power that sublie. The education participates in the form as the societies determine, assigns, selects, evaluates and trasmiten knowledge, the knowledge this submissive the power of the hegemonic social classes and the social control of mechanisms established by the society. The knowledge and its diffusion are a social production. Legitimador of the social practices, and the institutionalization of determined forms to know, to learn, to analyze through the currículum. The sociology of the alternative education in front of confers to the actor a degree of participation and certain autonomy the society.

If we observed with attention the different sociological approaches we can mainly glimpse that sociology as social science has been influenced by other scientific disciplines, this is logical if we thought that all the elements of the society as I am indicated in the beginning are interconnected, thus we have, that from its beginnings the form in which structure like science, the form to approach the problem or to approach the reality is imbuidos of the present lineamientos in natural sciences, the physics and Biology, we do not forget that Saint Simon I call social physics, in the traditional approaches we found in the Structural functionalism great influence of the theory of systems, psychology, specially the conductismo, Capitalism like economic model. In the marxism the influence of the economy, the demography and the policy are evident, so it is so the marxism studies indifferently like economic model and political model for the change. In alternative sociology, we found great influence of pedagogía, the anthropology, social, evolutionary psychology, the fenómenologica and the Psicolinguistica. Each explanation and understanding of the different human or social phenomena have offered a contribution for the enrichment as much of general sociology as the sociology of the education.


The sociology of the nonsingle education has become rich of other sciences through its contribution, but also of its method to approach the reality. Sociology is an empirical science therefore the investigation is part fundamental of his to occur daily, sociology is constructed continuously in the investigation, sociology uses different method to approach the reality, but these method must guarantee the trustworthiness of the results, the method but used they are the following ones: the historical one, study of the social phenomena through the time, the present reality through the changes in the past that produced it, the comparative comparison of similar phenomena in different societies or different situations. I criticize rational cuestionamiento I criticize of the values and the social culture. All these methods can make emphasis in the quantitative thing that measures the social facts numerically, or in the qualitative thing that interprets and includes/understands the meaning that the actors grant to their actions and to the social reality.

The quantitative or qualitative emphasis in the study of the social reality implies different and important conceptions that it is worth the trouble to mention:

Emphasis in the quantitative thing

  • The reality like system, external to the investigator

  • The objectivity like condition, for the elaboration of science

  • Application of a rigorous and systematic method.

  • Search of regularities and frequencies of the social facts

  • Collected by instruments that allow to quantify and tabular the possible regularities

  • Reasonings and conclusions with mathematical or statistical base.

Qualitative emphasis

  • The reality like social, conditional construction by values, relations to be able and historical conditions.

  • The reality like version multiple, understood from the meaning of the actors, therefore always subjective.

  • Application of a flexible method, that emerges from the context, of the experience of the people, and the interaction of the investigator with the reality.

  • Search of the meaning of the actions of the individual

  • Using like instruments, the personal interview, histories, groups of discussion, the ethnography. the free flow of the constructions of the subject.

  • Understanding of the reality based on the reflection of the investigator and the involved actors.

Once summarized the different approaches and methods in Sociology from the Education, it is considered pertinent to deepen in the relations between education and society:

The society works as a whole and as so all their elements or subsystems are interrelated, the education as it leaves from this system sees influenced by manifold variable that they affect it and they structure it of a particular way. Each society has organized its education depending on its social philosophy, its culture, its political system, the characteristics of its population and its ways of production.

  • All education responds to the conception of the human nature, the society and the knowledge that is considered valued (social philosophy)

  • All education will transmit the values, guidelines of conduct or behavior, customs and traditions and agreed types of knowledge with the predominant or hegemonic culture

  • All education formed the individuals to work within the agreed and legitimadores values of the political philosophy that prevails.

  • All education formed and selected for the work starting off of the relations of production, the characteristics of its population and the economic model that predominates.

Thus we have all education this submissive the influence of the different social subsystems.

The influence of the education in the economic aspect has been object of study of the sociology of the education. This has been centered in two basic effects. Economic effects macro: global relations between education, use and economic growth and social effects micro: consequences that stop the different social groups have their passage by the educative system. In first all the studies made until 1970 stand out and framed within the funcionalista structural theory and the seconds the studies made as of years 70 and framed within the Marxist, Marxist approach I criticize or Marxist neon.

The predominant approach until 1970 and influenced clearly by the structural functionalism makes emphasis in the importance of the education in the formation and selection for the work and turns to the education in motor of the economic and social development

From World War II and the consolidation and development of Capitalism like economic system in the West, the education extends its scope to sectors of the society every time but ample, the production forms demanded people formed and specialized in the every time but complex division of the work.

The education becomes motor of the development and the economic progress thus. This conception reaches its height after World War II, with the theory of the human capital, raised by Schultz (1960) its basic postulates are:

  • the education must be considered as any other form of physical capital. Like investment with a certain yield.

  • It exists a relation between economic growth and the rates of escolarización in the educative levels Deninson (1965) and also exists a relation between level of income and the educative level Minzer (1974). Education + qualification of the working +productividad in work + wage.

  • The knowledge and abilities have economic value and interchangeable in the market, the border between work and capital is stumped.

  • The investment in education generates one better redistribution of the national entrance and of the cost I publish.

  • The theory of the human capital becomes the economic foundations and social that guide the behavior I publish and private of the supply and educative demand. It is the speech that it legitimizes to the education like investment, part of a meritocrática society, with equality of opportunities where the motivated and enabled individual is the only person in charge of its location and social mobility. The theory of the human capital becomes a symbol of modernization and legitimation of meritocracia.

    The Coleman report (1966) marks the beginning of the fall of the functionalism as the sociological theory and contributes to redimencionar the educative fact when considering that the individual belongs to a social group and that this property contributes to its educative performance (handicap cultural education compensatoria). Later studies Jencks (1972) Boudon (1986) conclude that although the education does not assure social mobility, nor eliminates the social inequality, is no opportunity without education. the education is a necessary but nonsufficient condition.

    In the years the 70 Collins, with their credencialista theory identify a new function to the education, the school as space of fight between different social groups that she provides status, power and social differentiation, Bourdieu and Passeron and Bernstein deepen this when treating the relation between education and cultural reproduction. First they introduce the category of cultural capital and as the dominion and the experience in this capital ensure the success or failure in the school. The educative system guarantees the imposition and reproduction of a dominant culture, as only culture legitimizes and a selection social en base a la aproximación o alejamiento de los individuos de la cultura dominante. El segundo plantea dos tesis fundamentales: primero que los factores de clase regulan la estructura de comunicación de la familia y por lo tanto orienta el código psico lingüista en la infancia y segundo como estos mismos factores regulan la institucionalización de los códigos elaborados en la educación, así como las formas de transmisión y de manifestación

    Enviado por:Daniel
    Idioma: inglés
    País: España

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