Ten: Institutional change in education: Evidence from cross-national comparisons

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ONA TREE DIAGRAM of the evolution of theoretical perspectives on society, the trunk and roots from the structural-functional side of the tree would support the new institutionalism limb. Among those roots would be Durkheimian ideas about how institutions are central to a structural description of modern society, as well as the Weberian idea that institution is to sociology what competition is to economics (Durkheim 1901). New institutionalism is essentially a theory-driven, rich description of social institutions as the basic building blocks of society. Resting as it does on components of a functional theory, it has all of the empirical advantages and disadvantages associated with this broad perspective. Functional images of society have advantages in producing accurate description of culture and social order but suffer disadvantages in describing how social change occurs. Analyses of conflict processes play a far greater role in describing the origins of social change than do institutional analyses of society. Yet for new institutionalism to become a fully mature theory it must address the origins and effects of change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe New Institutionalism in Education
PublisherState University of New York Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780791469057
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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