1st Edition

Bringing Knowledge Back In From Social Constructivism to Social Realism in the Sociology of Education

By Michael Young Copyright 2008
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    268 Pages
    by Routledge

    'This book tackles some of the most important educational questions of the day... It is rare to find a book on education which is theoretically sophisticated and practically relevant: this book is.' From the Foreword by Hugh Lauder

    What is it in the twenty-first century that we want young people, and adults returning to study, to know? What is it about the kind of knowledge that people can acquire at school, college or university that distinguishes it from the knowledge that people acquire in their everyday lives everyday lives, at work, and in their families?

    Bringing Knowledge Back In draws on recent developments in the sociology of knowledge to propose answers to these key, but often overlooked, educational questions. Michael Young traces the changes in his own thinking about the question of knowledge in education since his earlier books Knowledge and Control and The Curriculum of the Future. He argues for the continuing relevance of the writings of Durkheim and Vygotsky and the unique importance of Basil Bernstein’s often under-appreciated work. He illustrates the importance of questions about knowledge by investigating the dilemmas faced by researchers and policy makers in a range of fields. He also considers the broader issue of the role of sociologists in relation to educational policy in the context of increasingly interventionist governments. In so doing, the book:

    • provides conceptual tools for people to think and debate about knowledge and education in new ways
    • provides clear expositions of difficult ideas at the interface of epistemology and the sociology of knowledge
    • makes explicit links between theoretical issues and practical /policy questions
    • offers a clear focus for the future development of the sociology of education as a key field within educational studies.

    This compelling and provocative book will be essential reading for anyone involved in research and debates about the curriculum as well as those with a specific interest in the sociology of education.




    Forward - Professor Hugh Lauder, University of Bath Introduction  Part 1 - Theoretical Issues  1. Rescuing the Sociology of Education from the Extremes of Voice Discourse  2. Knowledge and the Curriculum in the Sociology of Education  3. Durkheim, Vygotsky and the Curriculum of the Future  4. Structure and Activity in Durkheim’s and Vygotsky's Theories of Knowledge  5. Curriculum Studies and the Problem of Knowledge; Updating the Enlightenment?  6. Education, Knowledge and the Role of the State: The Nationalization of Educational Knowledge?  7. Rethinking the Relationship Between Sociology and Educational Policy Part 2 - Applied Studies  8. Contrasting Approaches to Qualifications and their Role in Educational Reform  9. Conceptualizing Vocational Knowledge  10. Professions, Professional Knowledge and the Question of Identity: An Analytical Framework  11. Academic/Vocational Divisions and the Problem of Knowledge in Post-Compulsory Education  12. Further Education and Training College Teachers in South Africa and the UK: A Knowledge-Based Profession of the Future?  13. Experience as Knowledge? Notes on the Recognition of Prior Learning  14. The Knowledge Question and the Future of South African Education Next Steps  15. Truth and Truthfulness in the Sociology of Educational Knowledge (With Johann Muller) Endword


    Young, Michael

    'Bringing Knowledge Back In provides a much-needed challenge to the pessimism of the postmodernists, to the relativism of the constructivists, and to those critical theorists who regard emancipation as but a consequence of having been exposed to emancipatory critiques...[Young] makes a very compelling case for social realism, and brings together in a most original manner a range of important epistemological and sociological perspectives, and the book relates them to a commendably wide range of current policy and practice.' - British Journal of Sociology of Education