chapter
Introduction
A sociological perspective
Pages 11

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book starts with sociological perspectives into special education, the field being dominated by psychological, medical and administrative perspectives and by educational practices based on the belief that it was acceptable for children to be categorised out of mainstream education according to the socially constructed labels of the time, as defective, disturbed, disabled, less able and so on. It focuses on the work of Max Weber, who rejected the notion of a class struggle in which society is divided into two camps, to analyse the way in which social classes compete for status and power. The book examines links between special education and vocational education, skill training and employment. It reproduces an article from the Oxford Review of Education (Tomlinson 2012) explaining 'The irresistible rise of the SEN industry' which brought the issues in special education more up to date.