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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.  


Elite is another of those concepts (like culture or identity) which has a busy life in everyday conversation and a more specialised one in the technical vocabulary of sociology. Translated literally from the French, it simply means ‘chosen’ or ‘elected’ but even the latter term may be ambiguous, as when we refer to ‘the elect’ as meaning an exclusive group somehow set over or above others, as opposed to those elected to a social office by the familiar methods of democratic voting.

Certainly ‘elites’ are those groups commonly recognised as set apart and above other people by virtue of certain talents (for example, sporting elites), or by certain attributes (the beautiful people), or – more usually in social analysis – by the possession of the ...

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