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Sociology of Education in IndiaChanging Contours and Emerging Concerns$
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Geetha B. Nambissan and Srinivasa Rao

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198082866

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082866.001.0001

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Opening Up the Black Box?

Opening Up the Black Box?

Sociologists and the Study of Schooling in India

Chapter:
(p.83) 4 Opening Up the Black Box?
Source:
Sociology of Education in India
Author(s):

Geetha B. Nambissan

S. Srinivasa Rao

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082866.003.0005

This chapter examines the sociology of schooling in India, and describes the contours of this field of research. It highlights the failure to realize the full potential of sociological research in India, and to open up the so-called black box of schooling. The author feels that Indian schools and classrooms are among the most under-researched segments of the sociology of education (SoE), and this neglect has led to a glossing over of complex processes that mediate school experiences and influence learning in children. She stresses the need for sociologists to study learning contexts and schooling processes in order to better understand the potential and limitations of the institution of formal education in India. In this context, the author discusses the complex practices and processes of discrimination, disadvantage, as well as spaces that provide opportunities for exclusion of lower caste students, or dalits, within educational institutions. The author feels that SoE has a critical role to play in bringing in the language of possibility for the equitable inclusion of such excluded groups. For this, the building of a theoretical and empirical understanding of schools as institutions within Indian society—keeping in mind their linkages with the larger social context—becomes very important.

Keywords:   sociology of schooling, Indian classrooms, learning in children, student exclusion, student discrimination, sociological research, Indian schooling, Indian classroom, sociology of education, Indian schooling processes, Indian learning contexts, Dalit students

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