chapter  1
16 Pages

Pedagogy, symbolic control, identity and health


Book titles, said Basil Bernstein (2000: xxvi), are generally retrospective with reference to their contents. In entitling this book we deliberately draw attention to the title of Michael Young’s (1971) complex, edited volume, Knowledge and Control. New Directions for the Sociology of Education, a text that set out to frame the relation of the sociology of knowledge and education some thirty years ago. Its disparate contents variously inspired, repelled and reflected a growing international ‘community’ of sociological researchers in education critical of existing education policy, conservative ideology and conventional forms of curriculum organisation, content and practice in schools.1 The ‘new directions’ espoused by Young and some of his contributors raised old questions about the political, social class and cultural origins of school knowledge and processes and their inegalitarian outcomes in new and exciting, phenomenologically inspired, ways (see Evans and Davies 1986, 2002). However, they fell some way short of providing the conceptual, methodological and practical pedagogical means to attend to such issues satisfactorily, failing to capitalise on the ideas of Basil Bernstein and Pierre Bourdieu with which they lay, cheek by jowl, in Knowledge and Control.2