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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2010

SOC 321L • Sociology of Education-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46375 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
BUR 231

Course Description

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to key theoretical and empirical work in the sociology of education. Sociology of education is a large field of research that covers a wide array of themes. This year we will focus on the ways educational systems maintain and challenge social inequality in Africa and Latin America. We will discuss the ways that education differentially allocates resources based on race, class, and gender. Some of the questions addressed throughout the course are: What consequences does schooling have on individuals' life chances and opportunities? How do race, class, and gender affect schooling trajectories and experiences? How are schooling and its consequences experienced in different societies?

A second goal for this course is to encourage students to think sociologically about educational issues in different societies. A third goal is to teach students skills that will enable them to more easily read academic work and write clearly and concisely. Students will practice reading academic research, do class exercises, write reaction papers, and complete a research proposal that will aid them in these goals.

Monday class will focus on issues in the sociology of education. These classes will be a combination of lecture and discussion. Wednesday class will be for building students' research and writing skills. In this portion of the class, group exercises will give students practice reading, writing, and constructing research and policy proposals.

Grading Policy

Final research paper--A 15-20 page paper dealing with a major sociology of education issue in Latin America or Africa covered in class 30%
Three examinations during the semester—short-answer and essay questions—over the assigned readings and materials presented in class 45%
Class presentation--A brief presentation of an item during one of the final class periods on Thursdays 15%
Class participation--Class participation includes regular attendance and advance preparation of the readings for discussion. Participation in in-class group exercises is also part of the grade for class participation 10%


Arum, Richard and Irenee R. Beattie, The Structure of Schooling: Readings in the Sociology of Education,. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2000
Carnoy, M., Cuba's Academic Advantage: Why Students in Cuba Do Better in School, Stanford: Stanford University Press
Riordan, Cornelius, Equality and Achievement, Saddle River: Pearson, 2004


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