Introduction to Sociology
Sociology Honours 5th Sem
1.1 Meaning & Concept of Sociology of Education
When a child grows in age, they are exposed to a family and neighborhood where people go to work, read books and newspapers, obey traffic rules, respect law, and avoid conflicts. The evolution of society from nomadic to present day’s sophisticated, orderly form has been slow, but ceaseless. Education has fostered this change for the better. The Industrial Revolution in Europe and the work of numerous social reformers in India aided the spread of education from the elite class right down to the lowest sections. Working in a factory needed certain minimum skills, and doing trade required basic mathematics knowledge. Working in offices was possible only for the highly literate. Thus, an uneducated person found himself out of step with the changing society. As a matter of policy, the governments in different countries and in different ages began to make education available to all sections of society. Thus education triggered a Social change of far-reaching consequences.
There is another reason why people took to education. An uneducated person becomes rough, indisciplined, unruly, and dirty. The people around him look down upon him. To avoid such a fate, people sent their children to schools. Thus, education flourished as a social necessity.
Iconic Indian reformers like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Savitribai Phule, Utkalamani Gopabandhu Dash spearheaded spread of education right across caste, religious or economic boundaries. European sociologists like Augusta Comte, Emily Durkheim, Max Weber contributed to the study of Sociology of Education through their original ideas.
1.2 Interrelationship between Education and Society
Society thrives and flourishes with education as its berock. With illetrate, ignorant members, a society would become unstable, strife-torn, selfish, and, in due course, be fragmented. Education curbs the beastly traits of humans, making them empathetic, law-abiding, and skilled enough to pursue their professions efficiently. Take the case of an un-educated farmer. He can not understand soil quality, the type and quantity of fertilizer it needs, and the ways to prevent pests and insects. After harvest, he can’t sell his produce at the best possible rates, because, he lacks basic arithmetical skills. He falls prey to greedy and cruel money-lenders, because he fears going to a bank for a loan. The reverse is the case of an educated farmer.
Whether it’s an industrial or an agrarian economy, education acts like a very useful tool to boost productivity. A productive economy brings welfare and ensures collective good for the society. Clearly, without education, a society will fall apart with time.
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