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.