Traditional views of education and society emphasize the role that education plays in altering individual characteristics and the position of that individual in the economy, social structure, and polity. The focus of such views is on an institution (the school) and its relationship to individual youth. That does not mean that each pupil is treated as an individual case; to the contrary, individuals in their collectivity are immersed in a universal pool, and social and educational science attempts to find the universal norms and rules by which to understand the relation between institution and individual in that pool. We find that, at one and the same time, the individual is universal – is subject to behavior patterns that cut across culture, occupation, social position – and simultaneously is separate, each person responsible for himself or herself at this moment in history, separate from past history, past culture, and past interactions.