Cover of Schools and Societies by Steven Brint
Schools and Societies
Second Edition
Steven Brint


360 pages.
from $32.95

Cloth ISBN: 9780804755054
Paper ISBN: 9780804750738


Excerpts and More

Schools and Societies provides a synthesis of key issues in the sociology of education, focusing on American schools while offering a global, comparative context. Already a standard text in its first edition, this fully revised and updated second edition offers a broader sweep and stronger theoretical foundation, and takes into consideration key developments in education policy and scholarship since the late 1990s.

The book is distinguished from others in the field by its breadth of coverage, compelling institutional history, and lively prose style. It opens with a chapter on schooling as a social institution. Subsequent chapters examine and compare schooling in industrialized and developing countries, and discuss the major purposes of schooling: transmitting culture, socializing young people, and sorting youth for class and occupations. Materials from different educational systems are interwoven throughout the book. The concluding chapter looks at school reform efforts and the future possibilities of schooling.

About the author

Steven Brint is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside and Director of the College and Universities 2000 study. An award-winning sociologist, he is the author of The Diverted Dream (1989 with Jerome Karabel), and In an Age of Experts (1994). He is also editor of The Future of the City of Intellect (Stanford University Press, 2002).

"The new edition of Schools and Societies is an impressive expansion of the original book. It is an excellent review of the whole field of the sociology of education from a broad macro-sociological point of view. It will find many uses—as an undergraduate and graduate textbook, as an authoritative sourcebook, and as a set of interesting and thoughtful interpretations of research and theory in the field. It is the leading work in its genre, and the central text for those looking for a broadly comparative and historical review of the sociology of education."

—John Meyer, Stanford University

"If you have time to read only one book on the contours of social and political analysis of schooling in modern society, Brint's Schools and Societies would be an excellent choice. Brint weaves divergent perspectives and complicated research findings on schools into a readable story about what scholars and policy analysts alike are coming to understand about formal education. This book is equally valuable as an introduction to the field for students as it is a refresher for the expert."

—David P. Baker, Pennsylvania State University

"Schools and Societies" is a brilliant analysis of why we have the schools we have. Importantly, it reminds us that learning and socialization take place within particular institutional arrangements, that those arrangements vary across time and from country to country, and that the structure of opportunities embedded within those arrangements affects the ways in which schooling benefits individuals and groups. It provides a new way of approaching the question at the center of the current debate about American schooling: how can we reduce various achievement gaps? Brint's analysis reminds us that inequality in educational opportunity is aligned with inequality in educational achievement, and that we cannot understand the latter without understanding the former. This new edition of Schools and Societies is an invaluable resource for teaching and for research."

—Pamela Barnhouse Walters, James H. Rudy Professor of Sociology, Indiana University