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Lauen, Douglas L. & Tyson, Karolyn (2009). Perspectives from the Disciplines: Sociological Contributions to Education Policy Research and Debates.. Sykes, Gary; Schneider, Barbara; & Plank, David N. (Eds.) (pp. 71-82). New York: Routledge.


Émile Durkheim and Max Weber laid the foundation for a sociological approach to the study of education, but the sub-discipline of the sociology of education did not emerge until the late 1950s and early 1960s in the U.S. and the U.K. (Dreeben, 1994; Karabel & Halsey, 1977). The dominant social science perspectives on education at the time included psychology, which examined cognition and the learning process; economics, which through human capital theory attempted to account for individual and societal investments in education; and structural functionalism, a sociological theory which attempted to describe the major social systems, including education, and their interrelationships.


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Lauen, Douglas L.
Tyson, Karolyn