July 18, 2006

Boiling down the stratification literature

With a new doctoral student this fall, I advised that we arrange an independent reading course on stratification and institutions, because there is no doctoral-level course right now that fits the bill, and the breadth of topics pushed me to figure out the essential introduction to stratification (as one of four topics for the semester). I know the student has read Foucault and has independent ideas on inequalities, so the key thing is enough of an introduction so that anyone having completed the readings would know about structural-functionalist, conflict (including reproduction and resistance in education), human capital, signaling, and networking models. We get into new institutionalism later in the semester, but I think this is a reasonable stab...


  • Ralph H. Turner, “Sponsored and Contest Mobility and the School System,” American Sociological Review 25 (1960), 855-67.
  • Randall, Collins, “Functional and Conflict Theories of Educational Stratification,” American Sociological Review 36 (1971), 1002-1019.
  • Henry Giroux, “Theories of Reproduction and Resistance in the New Sociology of Education: A Critical Analysis,” Harvard Educational Review 53 (1983), 257-93.
  • James E. Rosenbaum, Takehito Kariya, Rick Settersten, and Tony Maier, Market and Network Theories of the Transition from High School to Work: Their Application to Industrialized Societies,” Annual Review of Sociology 16 (1990), 263-99.
  • Charles Tilly, Durable Inequality (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).

Though Foucault's Discipline and Punish is commonly read as his work most obviously relevant to education, A History of Sexuality (the slim volume) has a more digestible discussion of power in general. The readings head off into other territories later in the semester.

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Posted in Teaching on July 18, 2006 11:28 AM |