Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sociology of Education
Alan R. Sadovnik
The sociology of education has provided important insights into the ways in which schools affect individuals and groups. Through an examination of the relationship between society and schools, sociologists have uncovered how educational processes affect the way people think, live, and work; their place in society; and their chances for success or failure. Research in the sociology of education has attempted to understand whether educational systems provide opportunities for all children to achieve based on their merits or whether they reproduce existing social inequalities. Theory and research in the sociology of education seek to understand the limits and possibilities of schooling. In the United States, which has placed enormous faith in the power of schools to ameliorate all types of social problems, including poverty, and has viewed schools as the central institutions for social mobility, the sociology of education provides evidence about the extent to which schools can solve social ...