training, sociology of
Training implies preparation for a specific task or role
by ordered instruction. Academic sociologists often contrast training with education. Sociologically, however, training should be conceptually opposed to schooling, leaving discussion of the educational merits of either to others. Training is carried out preparatory to employment, during the course of it, or for domestic work. Although in large industrial firms it is often formalized in separate training workshops, and is increasingly found in schools themselves, such instruction should, in principle, be considered as training so long as the quantity and quality of the curriculum
is shaped by commercial and labour-market criteria, rather than by broader pedagogies governing the management of knowledge in schools. The relationship between schooling and training is enormously variable across industrial societies, and is the subject of interesting comparative research, suggesting (for example) that it is an important element in economic growth
and the effective use of human capital
. Training is also of considerable significance to mainstream sociological concerns. These include debates about skill, the labour process and labour-market, the relationship between the subjective experience of work and class consciousness (or the lack of it), trade unions, and unionateness (all of which are discussed under separate headings elsewhere in this dictionary). The theoretical debates surrounding training, together with an insightful case-study, are discussed in David Lee et al.
, Scheming for Youth
. See also EDUCATION, SOCIOLOGY OF