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Paperback 352 pp.
9 photos; 22 figures; 13 tables, 6" x 9"



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The Schooled Society

An Introduction to the Sociology of Education, Third Edition

Scott Davies and Neil Guppy

Series: Themes in Canadian Sociology

Exploring how education participates and plays a significant role in both modern society and our development as social beings, this text applies classical and contemporary theoretical approaches to study the relationship between school and society. With a thematic organization and a unique focus on socialization, The Schooled Society offers a comprehensive examination of schooling at all levels.

Readership : The Schooled Society is a core or supplemental text for sociology of education courses offered out of sociology and, occasionally, education departments at the second- and third-year college and university levels.


  • "The book is better written and more readable than most texts. It doesn't just simply review the literature - it also builds up and develops arguments."
    --Julian Tanner, University of Toronto

Part One: Introduction
1. The Context for the Schooled Society
Introduction: What Is a "Schooled Society?"
How Schools Relate to Society: Three Roles
Setting the Context
Plan for the Remainder of the Book
2. Classical Sociological Approaches to Education
Introduction: Using Theory to Study Schools
Durkheim and Socialization: The Microfoundations of Social Interaction and the Cultural Shift to Individualism
Marx: Industrial Capitalism, Class Inequality, and the Spectre of Selection
Weber: Organizing and Legitimizing Knowledge
Directions: From Classical to Contemporary Theory
3. Contemporary Sociological Approaches to Schooling
Socialization: Interaction Rituals, Hidden Curricula
Selection: Inequality and Opportunity
Organizing and Legitimizing Knowledge
Conclusion: Consequences and Directions
Part Two: Selection: Inequality and Opportunity
4. Education Revolutionized: The Growth of Modern Schooling
Beginnings of a Schooled Society
Enrolments and Attendance: Creating a Universal Experience
The Revolution in Expectations
Expanding Curricula
Expanding Functions
Expanding Alternatives
Exporting the School Model
5. The Structural Transformation of Schooling: Accommodation, Competition, and Stratification
Thinking Structurally: Established Stratification
Stratification within Post-Secondary Education
Competition: Maintaining Inequality?
A New Form of Stratification
Conclusion: The Upward Movement of Educational Selection
6. Unequal Student Attainments: Class and Socioeconomic Status
Introduction: The Roles of Schooling in Societal Inequality
Describing Class Inequalities: Rising Attainment and Persisting Disparities
Gender and Attainment: Equalizing in Fractal Form?
Racial and Ethnic Variations: Beyond Vertical Mosaic and Abella Images
Causes of Inequality: Schools, Families, and Environments
Social Mechanisms of Educational Inequality
Secondary Mechanisms: Orientations to School and Cultural Mismatches
7. Attainments by Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Other Equity Categories
Gender Inequalities
Racial and Ethnic Variations: Beyond Vertical Mosaic and Abella Images
What is Schooling's Role in Change and Persistence?
Sidebar: Thinking about Equity Categories
Mental Health and Other Emerging Equity Categories
Towards a Sociology of Educational Equity
Part Three: Social Organization and Legitimation
8. The Changing Organization of Schooling
From Traditional to Legal Authority
Institutional Theory: Schools as Loosely Coupled Bureaucracies
Schooling as Work: Motivating Students
Progressive Pedagogy in the Mainstream: Less Structure Is Better
Open Schools, Free Schools, and Deschooling in the 1970s
School Choice and Market Reforms in Education
9. Curriculum: The Content of Schooling
Content: The Multiple Dimensions of Modern Progressivism
Form: Rationalizing and "Blocking" Knowledge
More Rationalized Form: Types of Evaluation, Assessment, and Testing
Social Influences on the Curriculum
Schooling Ghosts in the Hidden Curriculum?
Empirical Research: Socialization Messages, Status Cultures and Skill Sets
Mechanisms of Stability: Rationalization
Mechanisms: Legitimating Curricula
Mechanisms: Loose Coupling
10. The Sociology of Teaching
Introduction: The Paradoxes of Teaching in a Schooled Society
Teaching and the Sociology of Professions
Conclusion: How a Noble Task Reinforces Semi-Professionalism
Part Four: Socialization
11. Socialization: The Changing Influence of Schools on Students
Introduction: The Continuum of Socialization
Morality: The Marginalization of Religious Schooling
Shaping Identities: Gender and Race
School Effects: Cognitive, Social, and Political
12. The Limits of School Socialization: Competing Influences on Students
Introduction: Emphasizing Limits
Macro Level Competitors: Forms of Entrenched Inequality
Common Competitors: The Rise of Youth Cultures
Internal Competitors: Peer Hierarchies
Forms of Opposition and Bullying
The Outer Limits: Crime and Violence
Varying Impacts within Schools: Core versus Extracurricula
Varying Impacts Between Schools: Revisiting the Continuum of Socialization
Part Five: Conclusion
13. Future Directions for Canadian Education
Introduction: The Tricky Art of Prediction
The Most Likely Directions for Canadian Education
Finale: The Paradox of a Schooled Society

Image Bank:
Figures and tables from the book
Test Bank:
For each chapter:
20 multiple-choice questions
10 true-or-false questions
3-5 essay questions
Answer key
PowerPoint slides:
For each chapter:
Lecture outline slides
E-Book (ISBN 9780199001118):
Available through CourseSmart.com

Scott Davies is Canada Research Chair in Data, Equity and Policy in Education, and is Professor of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Neil Guppy is a professor of sociology and department head at the University of British Columbia. He has published extensively across the discipline, including co-authoring (with George Gray) Successful Surveys: Research Methods and Practices, 4e (Nelson, 2008) and co-editing (with Edward Grabb) Social Inequality in Canada: Patterns, Problems, and Policies, 5e (Pearson, 2009).

Special Features

  • Canadian text with a wealth of Canadian examples makes the material relevant to students in this country.
  • Classical and contemporary perspectives give students an in-depth look at historical and current debates surrounding schooling and education.
  • Coverage of the future of education in Canada examines the most likely directions for education in this country.
  • Student-friendly writing style explains important and complex concepts in a clear, jargon-free style appropriate for an undergraduate audience.
New to this Edition
  • Additional chapter on inequality (Ch. 7: Attainments by Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Other Equity Categories) offers further insights into patterns of disparity in education and examines the ongoing institutionalization of equity categories.
  • Coverage of contemporary topics such as alternative forms of education, faith-based schools, bullying, Aboriginal education, and policy.
  • Revised and updated to include the latest data, research, and statistics available, giving students access to the most current resource of its kind.