SOCI 1050 Introduction to Education and Society

This course is an introduction to sociological research, concepts, and theories about education. In the course, the purpose and function of education for the individual and society are critically considered, and a substantial amount of time is spent discussing the links between education and inequality. Topics that are discussed in detail include: the potential and limitations of schools, schools as agents of socialization, cross-national differences in educational systems, social relationships in schooling (the influence of community, social capital, parents, and peers), within and between school inequalities (school effects/ ability grouping), the effects of school characteristics and ascriptive forces on schooling outcomes, and variation in schooling outcomes themselves (achievement, attainment, labor market outcomes). Students will gain an appreciation of the role of schools as powerful determinants of the opportunities that individuals experience in modern societies.