Personalisation and the social order
DOI link for Personalisation and the social order
Personalisation and the social order book
How might personalisation in education be regarded sociologically: does it contribute to social regulation, or does it enable radical change? Epistemologically, how can personalisation be viewed: is it an agreed construct, or is its meaning contingent upon time and place? In order to explore these questions, we may usefully draw upon Burrell and Morgan’s typology of paradigms (Burrell and Morgan 1979). The typology has two dimensions: the horizontal axis marks the epistemological dimension (subjectivist-objectivist); the vertical axis marks the sociological dimension (social regulation-radical change) (Figure 1). In relation to the horizontal axis, do we regard personalisation as a technical matter; and, if yes, then the knowledge sought would be generated by the application of the scientifi c method. In this case, personalisation would be assumed to be a concept whose defi nition and operationalisation was agreed upon. If no, then the quest for an understanding or interpretation of personalisation would be derived from a more subjectivist and hermeneutic approach. The vertical axis is concerned with how society coheres or with how it might be changed radically. To elaborate: whereas ‘radical change’ seeks to replace the status quo, ‘social regulation’ is concerned with retaining and reforming it; whereas social regulation is concerned with the maintenance of consensus and social order, radical change is set upon exposing contradictions and enabling and/or accomplishing structural confl ict
and change; and whereas social regulation is about consensus, radical change is about modes of domination (Burrell and Morgan 1979: 18).