Research Handbook on the Sociology of Education
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Research Handbook on the Sociology of Education

Edited by Rolf Becker

Presenting original contributions from the key experts in the field, the Research Handbook on the Sociology of Education explores the major theoretical, methodological, empirical and political challenges and pressing social questions facing education in current times.
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Chapter 2: A sociological perspective on education as a lifelong process

Gwendolin Josephine Blossfeld, Pia Nicoletta Blossfeld and Hans-Peter Blossfeld


This chapter highlights several macro-changes in modern societies that suggest that education has become a lifelong process. Following Glen Elder, we conceptualize five principles which determine how education unfolds over the life course, and show that educational decisions, learning environments, and competence development constitute a complex and time-related interdependence over the life course. Finally, we present some new insights based on recent research that considers education as a lifelong process.

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