SOCI-163-01 Education and Society
Fall for 2016-2017
MW 9:30 - 10:45am

Schooling is a particular institutional form for educating and socializing young people. In this course, we will examine the social aspects of education and schooling in the United States; the interaction between home, society, and educational institutions; the ways that social inequalities are reproduced or ameliorated through schools; and the ways that identities are formed through education.

What role do schools play in society’s system of stratification? The core concern of the Sociology of Education as a field of inquiry is the role that schools play in relation to a given society’s system of stratification. That is the organizing frame for this course. We will review various theoretical perspectives on schools and inequality and then look historically at the evolution of formal education within the United States. We will note the link between schools and societal stratification, addressing how schools both contribute to social mobility and to the reproduction of the prevailing social order by focusing in part on the family and community context of children’s personal and academic development. We will then discuss the outcomes of schooling and how these outcomes are produced. Finally, we will consider sociological perspectives on contemporary education reform.

The primary goal of this course is to understand the relationship between education and society. In order to achieve this goal, students will develop the tools necessary to analyze educational processes and practices through the sociological lens, an approach that incorporates individuals, groups, and institutions within its analytical frame. Using both theoretical and empirical texts, we will investigate questions about the role of schooling, the social structure of schools, stratification processes within and between schools, and the outcomes of education.
Among the many questions we will explore to this end this semester are: 1) How do schools help to maintain and perpetuate social inequality?; 2) How do factors of race, class, and gender affect the educational experiences of students both within and across schools?; 3) And what is the ultimate purpose of education and how can we as a society best achieve this purpose?

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Course syllabi
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '16: Hinkson L (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
More information
Look for this course in the schedule of classes.

The academic department web site for this program may provide other details about this course.