The purpose of this article is to highlight two of the most common perspectives on education as an institution - an irresistible mechanism for social reproduction and as a meaningless place for youngsters - and from those ideas to discuss the role of education at the present stage of modernity. To do so, it will be reviewed the classic Weberian theory of the iron cage, Giddens' structuration theory, and the role of human projects in Archer's perspective. The article then concludes with the theories of Young and Charlot about the ways of recovering the meaning and emancipatory purpose of education in contemporary societies. From the empirical perspective, a description of two cultural objects (a short film and an Op-Ed) is taken to illustrate some of the aspects analyzed.
Education; Iron Cage; Structuration; Relationship with knowledge