Socialization and Education: Essays in Conceptual Criticism

By Wolfgang Brezinka; James Stuart Brice | Go to book overview

Preface

One can think about a subject only insofar as one has distinct concepts of it; where these cease, ignorance begins.

CHRISTOPH MARTIN WIELAND 1797 ( 1984: 471).

There is a lack of clearly defined concepts in the social sciences. Social scientists are all too prone to adopting the latest fashionable words and slogans. The prevailing linguistic unclarity is a consequence of unclear thinking and itself tends to promote unclear thinking. But if we do not recognize vague and ambiguous concepts, statements and statement systems for what they are, they will continue to retard the process of acquiring social scientific knowledge. Therefore linguistic and conceptual analysis is among the necessary prerequisites for unmasking pseudo-knowledge and achieving real knowledge.

This book carefully examines three terms which in the last few decades have become widespread in the social sciences. The greatest amount of attention will be devoted to the term "socialization." Authors of many texts on this topic fail to state precisely what they intend it to mean. Often "socialization" is confused with "education" and "education" with "socialization." Though a fashionable word, it is one which, instead of facilitating, tends to interfere with precise thinking. Its inflationary use is a symptom of conceptual confusion, which prevails as much in psychological and sociological theories of the emergence of personality as in educational theories dealing with actions intended to guide this process.

The conceptual confusion is similarly great with the use of the fashionable word "model." The second chapter is devoted to this term. The third investigates the slogan

-vii-

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Socialization and Education: Essays in Conceptual Criticism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions to the Study of Education ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - Socialization and Education 1
  • Notes 89
  • 2 - Models" in Educational Theories: A Contribution to the Clarification of Concepts" 103
  • Notes 137
  • 3 - Conflict Education": Analysis and Critique of a New Pedagogical Slogan" 145
  • Notes 163
  • Bibliography 167
  • Name Index 201
  • Subject Index 209
  • About the Author 217
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