Special issue of the RASE magazine dedicated to the coronavirus pandemic

  • Office of the Principal
  • May 11st, 2020

José Beltrán, professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences and coordinator of the special issue of the Journal of the Sociology of Education (RASE), warns about the increase in inequalities due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 and how those most affected are the most vulnerable groups in society.

Under the name 'Educating in times of confinement: The task of renewing a common world', the special edition of the RASE magazine has been coordinated by the professor of the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, José Beltrán, and by the professor of the University of Granada, Mar Venegas.

As the professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences explains, the objective of this special edition is to provide an analysis and understanding of the new reality we are living with the coronavirus crisis from the perspective of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The issue is divided into two parts: the first part involves the participation of nine academic experts who analyze their vision of the impact of the pandemic on education in their respective articles, and the second part features the voices of twenty of the main educational and social agents (teachers from nursery school to university, secondary and high school students, mothers and fathers, heads of the Parents' Association (AMPA) and trade union representatives).

Surely, this pandemic will pass, but the worst that can happen is that we forget that it has been the result of human decisions and actions. This pandemic will mark a before and after in the field of education', warns researcher José Beltrán.

Beltrán warns: 'The big losers of this crisis are the most vulnerable groups in society, which are also the furthest away from a school culture that is now also a digital culture’.

In the face of this new reality, the sociology of education is questioning what the educational system is doing, from nursery school to university, in the midst of this complex, extreme and critical situation such as this pandemic that affects all of humanity. And, consequently, what knowledge and learning should be relevant to that school work in which the digitalization of school work can become a goal -that of digital competencies- and yet it must be only a means to achieve that goal which is the formation of the subject.

This special issue of RASE magazine also analyses the digital gap and the reliance on "the public" in times of need, within the framework of policies with a markedly neoliberal orientation, as opposed to the emphasis on the community and social aspects. If there is a guiding theme to be highlighted in these pages, it is that which is specific to sociology: facing up to the uncomfortable facts with honesty in order to participate in social sciences at the service of democracy,' adds José Beltrán. 

The conclusion reached by this special edition is that 'it is necessary to draw attention to the consequences of this crisis in the intensification of inequality,' explains the professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Decision-making has to be responsible and therefore Social Sciences have a fundamental role to play in producing reliable knowledge based on more systematic and controlled images of reality, obtained through the rigorous approach provided by sociology', analyzes Beltrán.

José Beltrán ends with a final wish: 'our task now is to renew this world and a better world can only be a common world'.


This content has been prepared by the institutional communication area of the Office of the Principal of the Universitat de València with the collaboration of the Faculty of Social Sciences.


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