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Education in a New Society

Renewing the Sociology of Education

In recent decades, sociology of education has been dominated by quantitative analyses of race, class, and gender gaps in educational achievement. And while there’s no question that such work is important, it leaves a lot of other fruitful areas of inquiry unstudied. This book takes that problem seriously, considering the way the field has developed since the 1960s and arguing powerfully for its renewal.
The sociology of education, the contributors show, largely works with themes, concepts, and theories that were generated decades ago, even as both the actual world of education and the discipline of sociology have changed considerably. The moment has come, they argue, to break free of the past and begin asking new questions and developing new programs of empirical study. Both rallying cry and road map, Education in a New Society will galvanize the field.


“Recruiting some of the best and most thoughtful scholars to address the status of the field and to review their work in the context of a reassessment of the field is a major achievement. Education in a New Society is ushering in a new understanding of education for the discipline of sociology, and is a must-read for all scholars and every graduate student interested in education.”

Floyd M. Hammack, New York University

Education in a New Society is timely and thoughtful, full of interesting and intriguing arguments that made me think about our field in a new way. The ambition of this volume and the stature and insights of its contributors should generate a lively debate in the field about the core concerns of the sociology of education and what lines of theory and research could be most fruitful.”

Maia Bloomfield Cucchiara, Temple University

"For those who are not already card-carrying members in the sociology of education, Education in a New Society opens a window onto how the field is tackling new themes or critically appraising older ones. It is sociology that matters by virtue of its capacity to bring clarity and new perspectives to problems that matter to the larger community."

Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning

Table of Contents

Foreword / A Much-Needed Project / Michele Lamont

ONE / Education in a New Society: Renewing the Sociology of Education / Jal Mehta and Scott Davies

PART ONE / Theoretical Perspectives

TWO / Social Theory and the Coming Schooled Society / David P. Baker
THREE / The Deepening Interpenetration of Education in Modern Life / Scott Davies and Jal Mehta
FOUR / An Institutional Geography of Knowledge Exchange: Producers, Exports, Imports, Trade Routes, and Metacognitive Metropoles / Steven Brint
FIVE / Professional Education in the University Context: Toward an Inhabited Institutional View of Socialization / Tim Hallett and Matt Gougherty

PART TWO / Substantive Contributions

SIX / Talking Pigs? Lessons from Elite Schooling / Shamus Khan
SEVEN / What’s Up with Assessment? / Richard Arum and Amanda Cook
EIGHT / College and University Campuses as Sites for Political Formation: A Cultural-Organizational Approach / Amy Binder
NINE / Digital Badges and Higher Education in a New Society: A Bersteinian Analysis / Michael Olneck
TEN / Research Universities and the Global Battle for the Brains / John D. Skrentny and Natalie M. Novick

PART THREE / Old Themes, New Perspectives

ELEVEN / The Expansion of the “School Form” and Deepening Inequality / David Karen
TWELVE / Reopening the Black Box of Educational Disadvantage: Why We Need New Answers to Old Questions / Janice Aurini and Cathlene Hillier
THIRTEEN / Schools as Great Distractors: Why Socioeconomic-Based Achievement Gaps Persist / Douglas B. Downey
FOURTEEN / Race and White Supremacy in the Sociology of Education: Shifting the Intellectual Gaze / John B. Diamond
FIFTEEN / Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Processes in Education: New Approaches for New Times / Natasha Kumar Warikoo
SIXTEEN / Claim No Easy Victories: Some Notes toward a Fearless Sociology of Education / Charles M. Payne

Epilogue / What Next for the Sociology of Education? / Mitchell Stevens


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