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Journal Article

Review: Psychological and Sociological Perspectives on Migrant Education: The Ethnic Encounter in the Secondary School by Brian Bullivant

Reviewed Work: The Ethnic Encounter in the Secondary School by Brian Bullivant
Review by: Ian D. Smith
Curriculum Inquiry
Vol. 20, No. 4 (Winter, 1990), pp. 475-481
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/1179882
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1179882
Page Count: 7
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Psychological and Sociological Perspectives on Migrant Education
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Abstract

It is the thesis of this review that both psychology and sociology make valuable contributions to theory and practice in many fields, including the study of education. This may appear to be restating a truism, but it is a necessary reminder in the context of reviewing this work. Individual, group, and societal perspectives are all legitimate ways of describing and explaining what happens in the complex environment of the school. Psychologists generally seek concepts and theories based on the individual or class level of analysis, whereas sociologists tend to take the school or society as the unit of analysis in proposing explanations of how the individual student accepts or resists the schoolwide expectations. Socialization of the student is a good example of the different approaches. Psychologists usually take the individual's perspective in his or her attempt to interpret the influence of parents, peers, and teachers. Sociologists, on the other hand, tend to focus on whether the students conform to or are alienated from the dominant ethos of the school. It will be argued that both approaches have a place in furthering our understanding of what goes on in schools.

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