Why Teach Sociology?

Processes of Legitimizing the Teaching of Sociology in Brazil


  • Marcelo Cigales University of Brasília




This essay aims to answer the following question: why teach and learn sociology? To this end, a historical perspective of the teaching of sociology in Brazil up to the present time is addressed. It is assumed that three social fields influence the pedagogical meanings of sociology teaching. The first one refers to the political field, where agents linked to this space create discourses concerning the importance of learning sociological contents in school, thus legitimizing the disciplinary presence of sociology in high school, based on the formation for citizenship and for the world of work. The second space is the scientific field, where a critical perspective on sociology is presented, linked to the denaturalization and estrangement of the social world, as well as to the development of the sociological imagination. Finally, there is the representation of the teachers themselves, who in everyday life at school, resignify the relevance of learning and teaching sociology, in which a critical perspective aimed at the transformation of social structures is presented, and may also be associated with the training characteristics of the teachers who teach the subject. Based on a literature review, this essay discusses and presents these different conceptions about the political, scientific and scholarly relevance of teaching sociology in Brazil.