chapter  1
16 Pages

New developments in the New Sociology of Education


The epistemological claims of the New Sociology of Education have been under attack since the publication of Knowledge and Control (Young, 1971). Trenchant and unsympathetic critiques have been mounted, both by philosophers (Pring, 1972; White, 1975; Flew, 1976; Dawson, 1977; Hand, 1977; Warnock, 1977) and by sociologists (Banks, 1974; Sharp & Green, 1975; Ahier, 1977; Demaine, 1977). The substance of these attacks is that the language of the New Sociology of Education is incoherent; that its espousal of relativism invalidates its basic claims; that the autonomy of rationality and logic makes nonsense of the idea that social power determines truth; that the criterion of ‘human betterment’ is inadequate in determining the worth of any epistemology.