Sociology of Education

How are the issues that surround education and its practices related to social processes?

Education in contemporary societies takes place in complex and multicultural social settings marked by structural inequalities. The course on Sociology of Education sensitises a practitioner of education to these diverse and complex social settings. Understanding these contexts has always been important, but after the enactment of the Right to Education Act and major policy thrust to Education for all (EFA) it has become imperative.

The course has three core objectives. The first objective is to develop sociological thinking in students and to help them acquire the capability to see everyday life in conjunction with broader social processes and structures. Examples of social processes are ways of producing and distributing necessary goods and services, ways of making political decisions, ways of producing and circulating knowledge and culture through various media, among others. Structures are relatively settled social processes. Examples of structures are patriarchy, caste, status groups, class etc. While placing education vis-à-vis above- mentioned structures and processes, the course will explore the dynamic relation between the two. Economic, political and cultural milieux influence educational processes, and at the same time, educational processes influence those milieux. The second objective of the course is to help students become aware of their own social locations and begin to see their approaches to education reflectively. The course on Sociology of Education helps in the process of decentering and making students sensitive to structures of privileges and power. The third objective of the course is to help students in applying sociological understanding and thus supporting them in imagining meaningful educational practices.

To attain the mentioned objectives, the course will draw theories and insights from different strands of Sociology and Political Economy. Judicious use of classics from sociological literature along with empirical researches and case studies from Indian classrooms and schools will help in achieving the core objectives of the course.