chapter
10 Pages

Introduction

This book is an introduction to some of the recent developments in the sociology of education. So much has happened within the last ten years that the subject has been transformed. It is an exciting area. There have been a succession of new perspectives to understand and learn to use, such as symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology, and social phenomenology. During the same period there has been an explosion in Marxist theory. Not only new texts, but theorists with new interpretations of Marxism have appeared. Part One of the book is an analysis of the 'interpretive', or phenomenological, perspective as it has been applied to education. After a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses, I discuss in Part Two, some Marxist approaches. I focus on these perspectives because I believe they are important ways of understanding our life-world. They are not mere fashions but are developing traditions with complex inter-relationships that appear antagonistic, overlapping, or necessary to one another to different theorists.