Subject: Sociology of Education

Scientific Area:



43 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - Know the main theorists currents and respective of the sociology of education.
2 - Provide students with a conceptual support of reference, at the level of the sociology of education, enabling the analysis and resolution of problems in educational settings.
3 - Learn about inequalities in the education system, to allow a focused reflection on the diversity of institutions, contexts and actors.
4 - Understand the relations and impacts of educational policies in educational contexts and in the economic development of nations.


1 - Module 1. Sociology as science: characteristics and possibilities in the field of education. Theoretical perspectives of sociology: Functionalism, Conflict and Interactionism.
2 - Module 2. Socialization agents. The family as a social institution and its role in socialization and education. Social roles, youth cultures and peer groups.
3 - Module 3. Sociology of education: perspectives and theorists. 1. Functionalism: Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, Robert Merton. 2. Conflict: Karl Marx, Christian Baudelot, Roger Establet, Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis, Henry Giroux, Pierre Bourdieu and Jean Claude Passeron. 3. Action/Interactionism: Raymond Boudon, George Herbert Mead, Erving Goffman, Max Weber, Randall Collins
4 - Module 4. Inequalities in school context. 1. The school impotence in face to the inequalities: Coleman Report; Christopher Jenks and Michael Rutter. 2. sociological interpretations of school inequalities: Social environment of the student; Structure and school organization; the gender.
5 - Module 5. The functions of education: social, political, economic, social selection, transmission of the culture of society and training.


A. Mendonça , 2009 , O Insucesso Escolar: Políticas Educativas e Práticas Sociais , Pedago
C. Pinto , 2000 , Sociologia da Escola , McGrawHill
J. Formosinho , 1998 , A Construção Social da Educação , ASA

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
The classes will have a weekly theoretical and practical component. At first it will make the explanation of concepts and syllabus through texts and pictures. The reading texts aims to provide reflection, dialogue and debate. In practical lessons students apply the theorists knowledge either covered in lectures or in independent research. The evaluation (continuous) will focus on two occasions namely: Two-frequency tests Weight each time point for the allocation of the final grade: Frequency: 50% each