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The Sociology of Education: A Durkheimian View

In a series of lectures published under the title ‘L’évolution pédagogique en France’, Durkheim analysed how the ‘history’ of secondary and higher education has been marked by a series of changes resulting from new political and economic trends since the Middle Ages. These were shaped by the development of new attitudes and needs.

Durkheim proposed that educational reforms reflect the general cultural context and illustrate the way in which the school attends to emerging needs that are not yet institutionalized in political society as a whole. This attempts an explanation of how the subjects of study which constitute the ‘content’ of education at any given time give rise to ‘categories of thought’ which thus inform the development of a society’s collective representations. Read more

What Makes A Fair Society

Simon Marriott asked to write my thoughts about ‘what makes a fair society?’. He is soliciting opinion on the matter of growing socio-economic inequality across the world and looking for ideas/ideals/mechanisms to improve civic institutions/civil society, education and to advance knowledge of rights and responsibilities, to enable people in all societies to change their own lives and communities for the better.

The following article is what I have written for him to add to the thinkers which constitute The Society For Curious Thought:

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Seeing Like a State suggested by Professor James Smith

As part of the Ragged Library, Professor James Smith – Chair of African and Development Studies, Assistant Principal, Global Development, University of Edinburgh suggested James Scott’s (1999) Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, Yale University Press…


Scott’s work is extremely important in helping us understand the limits and limitations of development planning as the means to order society. Read more

Schooling and Society

Our identity as individuals and develops in context with educational settings and their links with the broader landscapes.  In formal spaces there can often be a tendency to lose track of the autonomy of the individual and how important that autonomy is in renewing a healthy environment. Read more

The Mythology of Greek Monsters' by Heather Rae

Mythology is used to make sense of the world, to explain why things are as they are, from natural phenomena like volcanoes and the weather to human behaviour and society. Greek myths describe the lives of gods and heroes, their loves, interactions with other gods and mortals, and their battles with monsters.

Monsters make up a fair amount of the Greek mythical corpus – there are harpies, gorgons, giants, centaurs, satyrs, sirens, the minotaur, the chimera, werewolves, vampiric phantoms, the many-headed hydra, the sphinx, and other beings who threaten the society which the gods and heroes protect. Read more