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16. Comparative Sociology of Education

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Chapter Summary

Comparing formal education across time and place has a long scholarly history, but systematic sociological analysis of the topic is relatively new. Older and non-sociological comparative study of education was narrow, lending sociology only a modest intellectual legacy upon which to build, and this likely retarded the early growth of a "comparative sociology of education" (CSE). The largest undertaking of formal education in any known human society is that which has occurred across the world in the form of rapid growth in education and a robust culture of education over the past century and a half. The demography of the education revolution is well known to sociologists. Armed with immense amounts of high-quality comparative data from an increasing number of nations, sociologists working within the CSE have demonstrated that most topics in sociology of education can be empirically and theoretically enhanced by a comparative perspective.

Keywords: education revolution; human capital production; national economies; sociology of education (CSE)



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