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What is Sociology | Scope of Sociology-Pdf available

What is Sociology | Scope of Sociology-Pdf available

Meaning of Sociology of Education

The sociology of education is the study of how public institutions and individual experiences affect education and its outcomes. It is mostly concerned with the public schooling systems of modern industrial societies, including the expansion of higher further, adult and continuing education.

Education is seen as a fundamentally optimistic human endeavor characterized by aspirations for progress and betterment. It is understood by many to be an means of overcoming handicaps, achieving greater equality and acquiring wealth and social status. Education is perceived as a place where children can develop according to their unique needs and potential. It is also perceived as one of the best means of achieving greater social equality. Many would say that the purpose of education should be to develop every individual to their full potential, and give them a chance to achieve as much in life as their natural abilities allow (meritocracy). Few would argue that any education system accomplishes this goal perfectly. Some take a particularly critical view, arguing that the education system is designed with the intention of causing the social reproduction of inequality.

Scope of Sociology of Education

The scope of sociology of education are as follows-

  1. Education and Kinship-

    Both educational and kinship are important institutions of socialization in a society. In the kinship system the most important role towards socialization is performed by parental family. Family is an enduring association of parents and children. Its main functions are:
  • Socialization of the child
  • A social agency for the education and protection of the race.
  • A child acquires important qualities like sincerity, sympathy, self-submission and consciousness of responsibilities from family.
  • It is the character developed in the family which helps the child in becoming an important responsible member of the society.
  • It gets an opportunity to the child for free expression of thoughts and development of his entire personality.
  • The tendencies and habits which he acquires in the family.
  1. The School’s social system-

    After the home, the child is exposed to the school which also influences him. It socializes him, it gives an opportunity to manifest his qualities, instincts, drives and motivates and helps to develop his personality. For the child, the educator’s personality and character provide a model which he strives to copy, thereby consciously or unconsciously moulding his personality. The teachers who succeed in arousing in the child’s mind an attachment and love for themselves. Every little action, every movement, speech, etc. impresses on child’s mind.

Apart from the teacher, the child is also influenced by his school group plays a large part in determining the status and role he is to occupy in society in later life. In the school the child is disciplined. He is aware that disobedience brings immediate punishment, but too strict a system of discipline restricts the child’s mental growth and may even drive him to criminal activity.

  1. Education and Social Stratification-

    Social stratification governs the type of education which a particular individual will be able to secure. This is clear from the influence of castes, religious groups and classes upon education in India.
  • Influence of Castes- The caste which determines the individual’s status and position in the social hierarchy. The caste system which we understand today with all its peculiarities is found in India alone. India is classical land of the caste. In India, we found more than 2800 castes and sub castes with all their peculiarities. Of these the major caste such as Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras are found in almost all states.

In the caste, the professions and occupations of the lower castes are predetermined and fixed and the child aims at adopting the occupation of his own caste. Since the child is almost compelled to adopt the same profession as his forefathers. This creates very undesirable prejudice and gives rise to narrow mindedness in the child. Although there are some advantages in adopting the hereditary occupation, it is undeniably scientific in that it fails to consider the individual differences of the children and does not consider the actual stability of the child to that particular occupation.

  • Impact of Religious groups- India is land of various religions such as Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Jains, etc. most of these religious groups have established and are maintaining many religious schools in which general religion is taught, along with their own respective religious teaching most of these schools try to include a particular set of religious principles in the educant.
  • Impact of Classes- Social class has the most potential influence on the child. On the one hand, we find a steady breakdown of discrimination based on religion and caste, but on the other we find a growing consciousness of the class one comes from, thus intensifying the feeling of difference. This awareness that one belongs to the lower, middle or upper class is communicated to the child also. Consequently children coming from the lower classes start with feeling of inferiority many of them turn to criminal activity, because children from upper classes find pleasure in displaying their superiority which has already created in them and vanity and a number of other ignominious emotions and statements. Political ideologies also reinforce this awareness of the difference of class.
  1. Education and the Political system-

    In modern societies, one finds that education is provided in government controlled institutions as well as privately managed institutions. In present day every government, be it totalitarian or democratic, must contribute to education. There is no doubt that in democracy the government is elected by the people, but it cannot be denied that the people themselves cannot evolve an educational pattern which may look after the educational needs of every individual. And at the same time it is also realized that democracy cannot be successful in the absence of universal education. Hence modern democratic states play a large part in educational planning and organization.
  2. Education and the attitude to Knowledge-

    The sociologist is interested in the social attitude towards the sources, the limits and the validity of knowledge. With the change in these social attitudes one finds a considerable interest in the interaction among educators and the education in educational institutions.

The attitude to knowledge has considerably changed in the modern times. The growth of knowledge in all directions, the substitution of new and sometimes absolutely opposite theories for the older ones, have lead to the growing realization that no knowledge is final. Knowledge is unlimited and can be achieved by innumerable means. The sociologist is interested in knowledge how the changes in the attitude to knowledge influences teacher-taught relationship, inter teacher relation, teacher’s role in society, teacher administrator relationship, in brief all interaction with in the educational system.

  1. Interaction with Educational System-

    The most important area in the scope of sociology of education is interaction within the educational system. The deeper analysis of the interactions with in the educational system will give a better insight in the scope of sociology of education.
  • Teacher Administrator Relationship- The administrator is the employer or agent of the employer. He is the leader and the guide of the teachers. The way of teaching is very much influenced by teacher administrator relationship. The nature of the administrator according to the type of the management. A good relationship will promote the functional relationship of teachers interest and professional efficiency and vice versa.
  • Teacher-teacher relationship­- This relationship may be fraternal or marred by rivalry. While the fraternity results in cooperation, team spirit and goodwill; rivalry leads to mudslinging, favoritism and factionalism. Even in small institutions or university or college departments two or more camps may be found among teachers giving vent to jealousy and rivalry against each other.
  • Teacher-taught relationship- This relation was formalistic, today it is contractual. Formerly, the teacher himself laid down the rules of admission, syllabi, teaching schedules, teaching methods and practically every detail of education. Today the rules and syllabi are framed by experts or the government bodies while schedule is prescribed by the principal or the time table in charge. Age, teachers’s status, attitude of knowledge, image of teacher in society, mode of standardization, etc. governs teacher taught relationship.


 The scope of sociology of education is the study of the inter relationship of education and the social system. It may be noted that the scope and type of interaction between the educators and the education today is becoming more complex and changing fast. This requires an occasional review by the sociologists of education.

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