Read SYLLABUS -s2007-socofed text version



Instructor: William Carbonaro Phone: 631-3633 Office Hrs: Tue 2-3, Thurs 10-11, Fri 9-10 Office: 1016 Flanner Email: [email protected]

Course Description

Sociologists of education espouse the ideal of meritocracy: ascribed characteristics should have little to no relationship with either educational opportunities or outcomes. In this course, we will examine two main ascriptive characteristics that affect both educational opportunities and outcomes: social class and race-ethnicity. In particular, we will focus primarily on the importance of families and peers in creating class and race-ethnic inequality.

Course Materials

SUGGESTED BOOKS FOR PURCHASE Jencks, Christopher and Meredith Phillips. (Ed.s) 1998. The Black-White Test Score Gap. Brookings Institution Press. Mayer, Susan. 1997. What Money Can't Buy. Harvard University Press. Steinberg, Laurence. 1997. Beyond the Classroom. Simon and Schuster. Lareau, Annette. 2003. Unequal Childhoods. University of California Press. Eaton, Susan. 2001. The Other Boston Bussing Story. Yale University Press. These books are NOT available at Hammes bookstore. I will make it possible for you to photocopy the texts if you wish. Alternatively, they can be ordered on-line or through any local bookstore. The Hurn book is out of print and may either be photocopied, or purchased used from an on-line bookseller such as Amazon. Just be sure to get the correct edition! If you want to purchase the books, don't wait too long to do so! ARTICLES Many of the readings can be downloaded and printed from If not, copies of the article will be made available for photocopying. More details on this topic will be provided in class.

SUGGESTED TEXTS FOR SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION Below, I list some popular readers and secondary sources in the sociology of education that are good resources that we will not use in this course. READERS Arum, Richard, and Irenee Beatie. 2000. The Structure of Schooling: Readings in the Sociology of Education. Mayfield. (Good overview on many topics ­ fairly current.) Ballantine, Jeanne, and Joan Spade. 2004. Schools and Society: A Sociological Approach to Education. Second Edition. Thomson Wadsworth. (Excellent abridgments of some classic articles and books.) Karabel, Jerome and A.H. Halsey. 1977. Power and Ideology in Education. (Truly a classic ­ it has more diversity in content along with a more international flavor compared to the other readers. Somewhat dated, but still very much worth reading.) SECONDARY SOURCES Brint, Stephen. 1998. Schools and Society. Pine Forge Press. (An excellent introduction to the field. The book provides much more of an international flavor than Hurn, and hence, it is a nice complement to it. Good preparation reading for the area exam.)

Hurn, Christopher. 1993. The Limits and Possibilities of Schooling: An Introduction to the Sociology of Education. Third Edition. Allyn and Bacon. OUT OF PRINT (This book is out of date, but it gives a good summary of some of the early debates and research in the sociology of education. It's great for giving some background and establishing a foundation of knowledge, but it will not lead you to the cutting edge of research in the field.)


Course Requirements

There are two main requirements for this course: (1) class participation, and (2) a major written project. (1) Participation in Class Discussion (25%) Students must read the assigned materials before each class and attend class prepared to discuss them. Discussion will be the main mode of instruction in this class. Consequently, the success of the class depends on your vigorous participation in class discussions. I will also ask you to do some additional preparation for class. We will talk about different formats early in the semester, and decide what best suits our needs. (2) Major Written Assignment (75%) Rather than require all students in the class do the same assignment, I will allow each student to design their own project for the class. Graduate students have very different needs depending on where they are in their program. Here are several examples of some legitimate goals that students may pursue in the course: · · · · Finding a research question that they can pursue further in a Master's thesis. Preparing for the area exam in sociology of education. Writing an original paper (with data analysis) to submit for a conference, and possibly for publication. Finding a dissertation topic and lay the groundwork for one's proposal.

My goal is to provide students with the autonomy necessary to pursue whatever goal they have for the course. This will enable each student to tailor the course requirements to their specific needs. While I will provide students with a great deal of latitude in devising their projects, I will emphasize that the process is a collaborative one in which the student and I work together to (1) identify his/her goals for the class, and (2) devise an appropriate project that will help him/her meet those goals. I reserve the right to impose certain standards and retain "veto" power for projects that I find poorly conceived or inconsistent with your goals. I will also work to ensure that students have roughly equivalent workloads in doing their projects. Consequently, some students may be required to write more than others. This is entirely equitable because some types of writing are much more time intensive that others. For example, ten pages of article summarizing takes much less time than writing the front end of article. What types of projects might students undertake for this class? Here is a series of suggestions of projects that would be acceptable writing assignments for this class:


(1) Annotated Bibliography ­ Take a specific topic and write summaries of articles, comparing and contrasting as you proceed. It is customary write a brief essay (45 pages) that accompanies the summaries that highlights the overall significance of the body of work you researched, identifies strengths and weaknesses, speculates on fruitful future directions, etc. (2) Handbook of Sociology of Education ­ Take various topics (or "terms") that we encounter over the course of the semester and create a series of entries in a handbook that defines each term and discusses its broader significance in the field, and/or focuses on strengths or limitations of the concept. (3) Research proposal ­ Choose a topic on which you would like to write a paper, and write a proposal for a research project that explores a specific research question. The paper should include a review of the literature, identification of the question, a discussion of the data you plan to analyze (whether it is new data that you collect or a secondary data source), and the research design you would use in the analysis. (This is ideal for students who are in the "planning stage" of their master's thesis.) (4) Research Paper ­ Choose a research question that you are interested in exploring and analyze data to answer that question. The paper should include a review of the literature that frames your question, as well as a description of your data, a justification of your methods, and discussion of the results of your analysis. I am open to the use of other formats, provided that you discuss them with me and I give my approval to the project. Students should come talk with me sometime during the first few weeks of the semester so that we can discuss what type of project you are interested in undertaking. Obviously it will be too early for most of you to have a research topic, but it is important that we establish your goals and determine your project's format.


Course Schedule

WEEK 1 Week One


Classical Views of Education and Society

16 January 16 Required Readings: Durkheim, Emile. "Education: Its Nature and Role." From Education and Sociology. Weber, Max. "Open and Closed Relationships." and "The Rationalization of Education and Training." [From Social Stratification ed. David Grusky] Sorokin, Pitirim. "Social and Cultural Mobility." [From The Structure of Schooling, ed. Arum and Beattie] Week Two II. The Forces of Ascription and Achievement: Part I

January 23 Selections from the Coleman Report Selections from Inequality (Jencks et al.) Introduction to Karabel and Halsey reader (pp.1-28). Heyneman, Stephen and William Loxley. 1983. "The Effect of Primary School Quality on Academic Achievement across Twenty-Nine High- and Low-Income Countries." American Journal of Sociology 88:1162-1194. Baker, David, Brian Goesling, and Gerald LeTendre. 2002. "Socioeconomic Status, School Quality, and National Economic Development: A Cross-National Analysis of the `Heyneman-Loxley' Effect on Mathematics and Science Achievement." Comparative Education Review 46:291-312. Blossfeld, Hans-Peter, and Yossi Shavit. 1993. Chapter 1 from Persistent Inequalities ed. Blossfeld and Shavit.


Week Three III. The Forces of Ascription and Achievement: Part II 30 January 30 Mare, Robert. 1995. "Changes Educational Attainment and School Enrollment." From Reynolds Farley (Ed.) State of the Union, Vol.1. Kao, Grace, and Jennifer Thompson. 2003. "Racial and Ethnic Stratification in Educational Achievement and Attainment." Annual Review of Sociology 29:417-42. Entwisle, Doris, Karl Alexander, and Linda Olson. 2000. "Summer Learning and Home Environment." From A Notion at Risk ed. Richard Kahlenberg. Downey et al. 2004. "Are Schools the Great Equalizer?" American Sociological Review 69:613-635. Steinberg, L. 1997. Beyond the Classroom. Ch.1 and 3. Week Four IV. Educational Expansion

February 6 Hurn ­ Chapter 3 Karabel and Halsey Introduction. (pp.28-44) Collins, Randall. 1971. "Functional and Conflict Theories of Educational Stratification." American Sociological Review 36:1002-1019. Rubinson, Richard. 1986. "Class Formation, Politics, and Institutions: Schooling in the United States." American Journal of Sociology 92:519-48. Brint, Stephen, and Jerome Karabel. 1989. Chapter 1 from The Diverted Dream: Community Colleges and the Promise of Educational Opportunity 1900-1985. Labaree, David. 1997. Ch.1 from How to Succeed in School without Really Trying. Walters, Pamela. 2000. "The Limits of Growth: School Expansion and School Reform in Historical Perspective." From Handbook of the Sociology of Education, ed. Hallinan. Brown, David. 1995. Chapter 6 from Degrees of Control. Teacher's College Press. 6

Supplementary Readings (Optional):

Labaree, David. 1986. "Curriculum, Credentials, and the Middle Class: A Case Study of a Nineteenth Century High School." Sociology of Education 59: 42-57. Meyer, John, Francisco Ramirez; Yasemin Nuhoglu Soysal. 1992. "World Expansion of Mass Education, 1870-1980." Sociology of Education 65:128-149. Walters, Pamela, David James, and Holly McCammon. 1997. "Citizenship and Racial Inequality in Southern Schools." American Sociological Review 62:3452.

Week Five V. Genetic Inheritance, Intelligence, Schooling and Life Outcomes

February 13 Fisher et al. Appendix I, Ch.2&3 Jensen, Eric. 2006. Enriching the Brain, Ch.1-4 Nisbett, Ch.3 in Jencks and Phillips. Wahlstein. Flavio and Heckman (NBER Paper) Bowles, Gintis, and Groves. 2005. Selections from Unequal Chances. Week Six VI. Family Resources and Educational Outcomes for Students

February 20 Required Readings: Susan Mayer. 1997. What Money Can't Buy. Ch.1, 3-9 Conley. 2001. Sociology of Education


Orr. 2003. Sociology of Education

Week Seven VII. How Parents Matter: Parent-Child Interactions March 6 Lareau, Annette. 2003. Unequal Childhoods (Ch.1-5) Steinberg Ch. 6 & 7 Chin and Phillips. 2004. Sociology of Education

Supplementary Readings (Optional):

Jencks and Phillips Ch.4 Burkam et al. 2004. Sociology of Education

Week Eight VIII. How Parents Matter: Language Acquisition and Usage 27 February 27 Hart and Risley. 1995. Meaningful Differences. Ch.1,2,6,7 & 9 Sadovonik Chapter Bernstein from Education and Sociology: An Encyclopedia Lareau, Annette. 2003. Unequal Childhoods (Ch.6 & 7)

Supplementary Readings (Optional):

SPRING BREAK Shirley Brice Heath. 1981. Ways with Words. ­ MARCH 13 Hart and Risley. 1999. The Social World of Children Learning to Talk


Week Nine


Parent Involvement and Schooling Success

March 27 Required Readings: Lareau, Annette. 1987. "Social Class Differences in Family-School Relationships: The Importance of Cultural Capital." Sociology of Education 60: 73-85. Lareau, Annette. 2000. Ch.7 from Home Advantage, Second Edition, Rowmann and Littlefield. Lareau, Annette. 2003. Unequal Childhoods, Ch.10&11. Ho, Esther Sui-Chu, and Douglas Willms. 1996. "Effects of Parental Involvement on Eighth-Grade Achievement." Sociology of Education 69:126-141. Useem, Elizabeth. 1992. "Middle Schools and Math Groups: Parents' Involvement in Children's Placement." Sociology of Education 65:263-279. Lareau, Annette and Erin Horvat. 1999. "Moments of Inclusion and Exclusion: Race, Class, and Cultural Capital in Family-School Relations." Sociology of Education 72:37-53. Domina, Thurston. 2005. Sociology of Education

Week Ten X. Cultural and Social Capital

March 20 Required Readings: Coleman, James and Thomas Hoffer. 1987. Final Chapter from Private and Public Schools. Basic Books: NY.


Carbonaro, William. 1998. "A Little Help from My Friend's Parents: Intergenerational Closure and Educational Outcomes." Sociology of Education 71:295-313. Madigan, Timothy. 2002. "Cultural Capital." From Education and Sociology: An Encyclopedia. ed.s Levinson, Cookson, and Sadovnik. DiMaggio, Paul. 1982. "Cultural Capital and School Success: The Impact of Status Culture Participation on the Grades of U.S. High School Students." American Sociological Review 47:189-201. DiMaggio, Paul and John Mohr. 1985. "Cultural Capital, Educational Attainment, and Marital Selection." American Journal of Sociology 90:1231-1261. Kingston, Paul. 2001. "The Unfulfilled Promise of Cultural Capital Theory." Sociology of Education Extra Issue:88-99.

Supplementary Readings:

DeGraaf, Nan, Paul DeGraaf, and Gerbert Kraaykamp. 2000. "Parental Cultural Capital and Educational Attainment in the Netherlands: A Refinement of the Cultural Capital Perspective." Sociology of Education 73:92-111. Stanton-Salazar, Ricardo, and Sanford Dornbusch. 1995. "Social Capital and the Reproduction of Inequality: Information Networks among Mexicanorigin High School Students." Sociology of Education 68:116-135. Morgan, Stephen and Aage Sørensen. 1999. "A Test of Coleman's Social Capital Explanation of School Effects." American Sociological Review 64:661-681. Carbonaro, William. 1999. "Opening the Debate on Closure." American Sociological Review 64:682-686. Hallinan, Maureen and Warren Kubitschek. 1999. "Conceptualizing and Measuring School Social Networks." American Sociological Review 64:687-693. Morgan, Stephen and Aage Sørensen. 1999. "Theory, Measurement, and Specification Issues in Models of Network Effects on Learning." American Sociological Review 64:694-700. Week Eleven



Family Attributes: Size, Spacing, Sibs, Marital Status, Birth Order

April 3 Downey, Douglas. 1995. "When Bigger Is Not Better: Family Size, Parental Resources, and Children's Educational Performance." American Sociological Review 60:746-761. Astone, Nan Marie and Sara McLanahan. 1991. "Family Structure, Parental Practices and High School Completion." American Sociological Review 56: 309-320. McLanahan and Sandefur. Growing Up Single Parent: What Helps, What Hurts. Seletion TBA Steelman, Lala, Brian Powell, Regina Werum, and Scott Carter. 2002. "Reconsidering the Effects of Sibling Configuration: Recent Advances and Challenges." Annual Review of Sociology 28:243-269. Raley et al. 2005. Sociology of Education Cavanagh et al. 2006. Sociology of Education Conley. The Pecking Order. TBA

Week Twelve XII. The Power of Peers: Class and Other Identities April 10 Coleman, James. 1961. Selections from The Adolescent Society Something from or about Willis? Steinberg Ch.8 and 9 Eckert. Jocks and Burnouts? Kinney. Nerds to Normal? Sociology of Education Kahlenberg. Ch.4


Week Thirteen XIII. The Power of Peers: Oppositional Cultures and Race-Ethnicity April 17 Required Readings: Ferguson, Ronald. 2001. "A Diagnostic Analysis of Black-White GPA Disparities in Shaker Heights, Ohio." From Brookings Papers on Educational Policy, (ed.) Diane Ravitch. Selections from Last Ogbu book Downey and Ainsworth-Darnell. American Sociological Review Jencks and Phillips. Ch.10 and 11 Tyson, Darrity. American Sociological Review Suarez-Orozco

Supplementary Readings

Smerdon, Becky. 1999. "Engagement and Achievement: Differences between African-American and White High School Students." Research in Sociology of Education and Socialization 12:103-134. Week Fourteen XIV. Power of Peers: Racial Desegregation April 24 Required Readings: Smith, Stephen. "Desegregation." From Education and Sociology: An Enyclopedia ed.s Levinson, Cookson, and Sadovnik. Wells, Amy Stuart and Crain, Robert. 1994. "Perpetuation Theory and the Long-Term Effects of School Desegregation." Review of Research in Education 64: 531-555. Eaton, Susan. The Other Boston Busing Story. Week Fifteen



Getting Ahead in Life

May 1 Required Readings:

Bowles, Gintis, and Groves. 2005. Unequal Chances (Chapters to be announced)

** LAST CLASS OF SEMESTER ** May 8 (Tuesday) ­ FINAL PROJECT DUE Please Deposit in my Mail Slot (10th Floor Flanner) BY NOON



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