Glossary of terms used on this siteThere are 1025 entries in this glossary.
a term from the work of Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) which refers to the sum of resources held by a group or individual by virtue of possessing a network of (valuable) relationships.
a grouping in society which share the same broad economic social and cultural status. It is still hugely influential in educational outcomes (see middle class working class)
a concept term or category created by humans in society as a way of making sense of experience but which may not have objective reality or existence in nature (see socially constructed)
a term originating in the work of Lev Vygostky (1896-1934) for the process by which the child or learner comes to construct and understand experience through a reciprocal relationship with the social environment. Although sharing much of the constructivist thinking of Jean Piaget (1896-1980) it lays more stress on the social nature of the creation of knowledge and how culture affects perceptions.
an implicit (theoretical) agreement by members of society to cooperate for mutually beneficial purposes and to sacrifice certain elements of individual liberty in return for state protection. It features in the work of such theorists as Hobbes Locke and Rousseau as a way of explaining and justifying political obligation such as the duty to keep laws.
in education the way schools are said to impose on learners values attitudes and behaviours which suit dominant political and cultural forces. Schools are thus seen as a means by which the social status quo is maintained.
the theory that humans both as individuals and groups are subject to the same laws of natural selection as Darwin found in plants and animals. So it is held that human development also demonstrates such phenomena as the 'survival of the fittest'.
a political theory which advocates or a system of socialist government achieved by democratic means rather than revolution.
in education the attempt to effect significant social change through manipulation of the education system and its processes. It is generally used in a pejorative sense with implications of control and authoritarian methods.
the ways in which people understand their social existence: how they fit with others how they interact and the expectations they hold a common understanding that enables everyday social practices. It may be largely implicit but may also include a normative element of how things ought to be.
a political goal whereby marginalised or disadvantaged groups come to be full participants in society in terms of employment education health material wellbeing citizenship and other social benefits.
fairness or equality especially in terms of state distribution of resources opportunities and benefits.
the phenomenon of an individual contributing less to a group activity than would be expected. Other similar terms are 'passenger' or 'free rider', in cases where the person seeks benefit merely through reliance on the efforts of others in the group.
the ability of an individual or group to move (upwards) in social status.
a term more common in mainland Europe for the work of professionals dealing with the care and welfare of children and youth. It is a holistic approach supporting and fostering the personal development social education and overall welfare and care of the whole child (or sometimes young adult). One of its principles is that it is possible and desirable to influence social circumstances and positive social change through education.