Sociology of Education


The sociology is a science that studies groups of individuals living in clusters within a partnership , in other words, studies the social groups . It is a science that has the ability to analyze the different forms of internal organization that maintain the relationships between the individuals that make it up. It has several important branches, including the sociology of education .

What is the sociology of education?

The sociology of education is the branch of sociology that is responsible for the study , speculatively , of the influence that the social environment exerts on all types of educational media as well as its social function.

  • Characteristics of the sociology of education
  • Story
  • What do you study
  • Objectives of the sociology of education
  • Features
  • Representatives
  • Books
  • Importance of the sociology of education
  • Examples

Characteristics of the sociology of education

Among the main characteristics that can be observed in the sociology of education, the following are mentioned:

  • The aim of the sociology of education is not practical but on the contrary it is only descriptive .
  • It is a science that can be studied using different methods that include qualitative and quantitative .
  • Use strategies such as psychology and pedagogy .
  • It is mainly theoretical .
  • He sees the educational system as a means of transmitting knowledge for new generations.
  • Shape the youngest through teaching .
  • It has very varied objects of study .
  • See education as a science that has several objectives.


Sociology as a science has existed for thousands of years, even before it was seen as a science. Many important philosophers and scientists, such as Herodotus , made a series of comprehensive descriptions of the customs of peoples. In the case of the sociology of education, its history begins during the first decade of the 20th century and was promoted by Emile Durkheim , however, years ago the relationship between education and society was already beginning to be studied and analyzed . It is Durkheim who is considered the father of this branch of sociology.

Karl Marx was one of the first men who contributed his ideas and thoughts related to the sociology of education, for him, education was a tool used by the bourgeoisie to achieve control over the proletariat , in such a way that, the system Educational was the one that had the ability to change the mentality of the lower classes in society.

What do you study

The sociology of education is responsible for studying the relationship between education and society, ensuring that culture can be maintained and transmitted . It is a science that focuses on studying and understanding all the bases that are underlying in society, which provokes criticism of the educational process in more modern societies, being able in this way to exert an influence on teaching .

It also studies, in a global way, all the phenomena that can influence education and the way in which it can also cause effects on culture , at the same time, studying the different social processes that arise in a classroom and the dynamics that occur between the teacher and the students.

Objectives of the sociology of education

The main objectives of the sociology of education are related to the teaching process . One of them is to understand the way in which the environment of society can influence education and on the other hand, it aims to study the role that education plays within a specific culture . It is important to mention that these objectives are closely related to each other, and for this reason, they are always studied and investigated equally.

It also helps to be able to understand and analyze in a more effective way the reality that the socio-educational reality faces and transmits at the same time a series of norms and cultural values ​​that generate social interest.


Among the main functions of the sociology of education, the following are mentioned:

  • Analyze the relationship between the educator and the student .
  • Facilitate the student the analysis related to the different dimensions of education.
  • Understand the relationship between society and the teaching process .
  • Familiarize the student with the sociological method .
  • Know all kinds of social process that can occur in a classroom.
  • To form a more critical attitude to analyze the different social influences to the teaching process.
  • It helps the individual, in this case the student, to better adapt .
  • Ensures the continuity of the educational process.
  • Empowers the professionals in education.
  • Generate social changes and promote human progress .


Among the most prominent representatives of the sociology of education are the following:

  • Emile Durkheim : is considered the father of the sociology of education and used various theories on objective and scientific methods to develop science. For him, education was a way of influencing, on the part of the older generations to the younger ones, who did not have any type of experience within society. He claimed that teaching was the means to perpetuate the existence of society as such.
  • As classical representatives we can also mention Weber with his contribution related to the comprehensive approach, Marx with his idea of didactic materialism and Comte , with his theory of logical positivism .
  • The representatives known as reproductionists were Bourdieu with his constructivist structuralism , Baudelot and Bowels-Gintis and his correspondence theory.
  • Current representatives: among them we can mention Bemstein who contributed the theory of pedagogical discourse, Willis , Apple and Giroux with the idea of ​​resistance theory.


Some good books that give accurate information and adequately explain the meaning and field of study of the sociology of education are as follows:

  • Sociology of Education by PW Musgrave
  • Manual of Sociology of Education by Antonio Guerrero Serón
  • Current Perspectives in the Sociology of Education of the Institute of Educational Sciences of the Autonomous University of Madrid
  • Sociology of Education . The Educational Process . From Regina Jiménez and Lucina Moreno Valle .

Importance of the sociology of education

The sociology of education is important because through it, a series of descriptions can be made that explain the different social problems that may arise in the field of education and that at the same time may influence the decision making within the practice of pedagogy . Through it, it is possible to find the reasons for certain situations related to the school environment to arise, such as student apathy , violence between students, discriminationand other related problems in order to establish a diagnosis for these situations, establishing work routes in order to find adequate “cures” .


Some examples where we can observe the application of the sociology of education are the following:

  • Ways to bring education to different people from different regions.
  • Development of a better university knowledge.
  • Creation of education levels according to the strata.
  • Formation of educational policies at the national level.
  • Eradication of illiteracy.
  • Improvements in schooling rates that occur in educational centers.

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