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About the SeriesThe SAGE Key Concepts series provides students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension.Key Concepts in Education provides students with over 100 essential themes, topics and expressions that Education students are likely to encounter, both during their courses and beyond in professional practice. Co-authored to draw on experiences of working within academia, local authorities and the classroom, the entries provide:a definition of the concepta description of the historical and practical contextan explanation of how the concept is appliedan evaluation of the concepthelpful references and suggested further readingThis book will be essential reading for students of Education, and an invaluable reference tool for their professional careers. About the AuthorsFred Inglis is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Sheffield. Lesley Aers is a senior member of a local authority school improvement service and an Ofsted inspector. Both authors are former schoolteachers.  


Authority is the right to command. This immediately begs the question – who gives this right? Medieval kings believed it had been granted by God, and that they were God's deputies on earth. The authority of modern government has been conferred by the people (or at least, the ones who bother to vote) through the ballot box. Debate still rages, however, as to how far that authority should go, in interfering in people's lives.

Authority is questioned and sometimes treated with contempt, increasingly so in modern times. In order to be fully effective on its own terms, it has to have power to enforce obedience. In medieval times, questioning the king (or God) would get you hanged. Nowadays, obedience is enforced by the army or ...

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