Our aim in this book is to provide a clear account of the major sociological perspectives on education. For many years we have been teaching courses in the sociology of education and have often found that students are discouraged from reading extensively in the area by the complex language and style of a number of writers. In such writing any intrinsic difficulties of the subject matter are magnified by obscurities in presentation. However, these sociologists frequently have important and interesting things to say about the role of education in modern society. What we have set out to do, therefore, is to try to present such ideas in a readily intelligible manner, accompanied by an assessment of their validity. In this way we hope to give students the confidence to approach such writers directly and thus deepen their understanding of the ideas.