A philosophical commentary on the concept of school socialization
The central concern of this thesis is to formulate an interpretation of the concept of socialization which may provide the basis for a detailed empirical theory which will explain the part played by schools in the process by which children are led to become acceptable members of our society. In Chapter 1 the mode of analysis to be employed is discussed and it is found to lie in a meta-theoretical investigation of the foundations of possible research approaches. In Chapter 2 the conceptual features of research approaches are elucidated and those of the social systems research approach set forth. In Chapter 3 it is shown that the socialization theories advanced by certain writers may be assigned to this research approach and an appraisal of their work is undertaken. In Chapter 4 criteria are formulated by which a critique of the social systems research approach may be made. There then follows an evaluation of the perspective on group stability and efficiency and on the acquisition and expression of moral convictions associated with this research approach. An examination is also made of its ontological commitments and methodology. It is concluded that there are substantial conceptual difficulties inherent in this research approach and in consequence it may be preferable to adopt a quite different research approach. In Chapter 5 an alternative research approach, one based on the ethogenic approach to social interaction, is elaborated. Following an elucidation of the knowledge and abilities required in social interactions, the metaphysical paradigms, ontology and methodology are rendered explicit and interpretations of "socialization" and allied concepts are made. Finally, in Chapters 6 and 7, an attempt is made to provide a detailed vindication of this research approach as it may be applied to the study of both school role and school socialization.