Fall 1999


Francisco O. Ramirez, Stanford University

My memories of Chicago have yet to recede. We had a spectacular program for which many section faithful and especially Annette Lareau deserve our gratitude. We had a touching and well-attended memorial service for David Stevenson, a fabulous reception honoring ASA president, Alejandro Portes (thank you Spencer Foundation), and a Section sponsored dinner that was, as American undergraduates are apt to say, awesome!

This will be a hard act to follow, but I am pleased to announce that we are off to a good start. Thanks to the heroic recruiting efforts of Gary Dworkin (and those who joined him in this quest for the common good) our section membership increased to 601. This gain translates into an additional fourth panel session for the Sociology of Education section. In addition there will be the lively roundtables and the, at least, equally lively reception (thank you, American Institute of Research). Rolf Blank and Mark Berends will be in charge of the section dinner; in Washington, DC every dinner is potentially a "power" dinner.

Section Day is the third day of the annual meetings, August 14. Mark this date on your calendar maker. Mark also January 10, 2000 the postmark deadline for submitting papers to organizers. Mark and observe these dates or you too may be ambitious but directionless!


As usual I get by with a little help from my friends. And these are:

Willard Waller Award for Distinguished Scholarship
Mary Metz, University of Wisconsin, Chair
Jaap Dronkers, University of Amsterdam
Valerie Lee, University of Michigan
Richard Rubinson, Emory University
Alan Sadovnik, Adelphi University

The award, to be presented at the 2000 Annual Meeting, will be for a book published in the sociology of education in 1997, 1998, or 1999. Nominations should be sent by February 2, 2000 to:
Mary Metz
School of Education
University of Wisconsin
100 Bascom Halll, Madison WI 53706
Tel:(608) 262-6863 or (414) 962-2064 (home)
email: mhmetz@facstaff.wisc.edu

David Lee Stevenson Graduate Student Award Committee
Chandra Mueller, University of Texas at Austin, Chair
Anthony Antonio. Stanford University
Jeanne Ballantine, Wright State University
Sophia Catsambis, Queens College
Scott Davies, McMaster University

This award is given for an outstanding paper written by a graduate student or students on a topic in education. The author (or first author) must be a graduate student at the time of submission, and all authors must have been graduate students when it was written. Nominations from members of the section and self-nominations are welcome.
Please send submissions by Feburary 2, 2000 to:
Chandra Mueller
Sociology Department
Campus Mail Code: A1700
University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712
Tel: (512) 471-1122
email: cmuller@soc.utexas.edu


Nominations Committee
Pamela Walters, Indiana University, Chair
Karen Bradley, Western Washington University
Sam Lucas, University of California at Berkeley
Gary Natriello, Teachers College, Columbia University
Yossi Shavit, Tel Aviv University

Local Arrangements Committee
Marc Berends, Rand Corporation
Rolf Blank, CCSS

Membership Recruitment Committee
Gary Dworkin, University of Houston


There are many interesting sociology of education venues in the 2000 ASA program. There is a thematic session on "confronting racism, sexism, and homophobia in academia: struggles for diversity" There are several special sessions: and these include academic freedom in the 21st century, black-white differences in academic achievement and attainment, culture, power, and domination (the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu), educational equity, restructuring admissions policies, within the university of California, and the sociology of school choice. The regular sociology of education session will be chaired by David Kinney, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant MI 48859 kinne1da@cmich.ed

Educational sociologists may also check out the Special Interest Group in Sociology of Education in the American Education Research Association. Sophia Catsambis heads this group as it heads to New Orleans (April 24-28). Interested in comparative education? Check out the Comparative and International Education Society meetings in San Antonio (March 8-12) and later the Comparative Education Society of Europe in Bologna (September 3-7)

Let a thousand flowers bloom!


Section on Sociology of Education. Session topics are open to all submissions. Send papers to:
Francisco Ramirez
School of Education
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305
Tel: (650) 723-8421
E-Mail: ramirez@leland.stanford.edu

Deadline for submissions: January 10, 2000

Sociology of Education Section
Business Meeting Minutes
August 7, 1999
Submitted By David Baker, Secretary/Treasurer

Reports and Acknowledgements:

The Chair and Council members would like to thank all of the 1998-1999 committee members for their service to the Section this past year:

Ad hoc Awards committee - Teachers College Press award: Amy S. Wells - Chair, Karl Alexander, and Aaron Benovat; Communications: David Levinson - Newsletter Editor; Carl Schmitt, Web Page manager; Rob Kadel, Listserv Manager; Graduate student paper award committee: James Rosenbaum - Chair, Mark Berends, Salvatore Saporito, William Velez, and Linda Grant; Membership: A. Gary Dworkin; Nominations committee: Katy Schiller - Chair, David Kinney, Corneilus Riordan, and Sophia Catsambis; Program committee: Annette Lareau - Chair, Grace Kao, Richard Armur, Richard Ingersol, and Salvatore Saporito; Spencer Reception Committee: Maureen Hallinan - Chair, Pam Walters, and Alan Sadovnik; Willard Waller award Committee (Article): Francisco Rameriz - Chair, Chandra Mueller, Kevin Dougherty, and Julia Wrigley

The section received the following reports:

  1. Treasurer's Report: 1999 Revenues for the section from dues income was $1128, and from the ASA allocation was $2158, for a total of $3286. Savings that can be carried forward in the budget from one electronically published newsletter is about $600.
  2. The results of the recent elections are David Baker, Chair-elect; Kevin Dougherty, Sec.-Treas; Jeanne Ballantine, Gary Dworkin and Sam Lucas - Council
  3. The Willard Waller Award for Outstanding Scholarship (Best journal article in past three years) was awarded to Suet-ling Pong of Penn State University, for "The School Compositional Effect of Single Parenthood on 10th-Grade Achievement."
  4. The Graduate Student paper award went to The 1999 SOE graduate student award
    went to Mark J. Schafer, Ph.D Indiana Univ "International Nongovernmental
    Organizations and Third-World Education: A Cross-National Study."
  5. Section membership has now exceeded 600, resulting in another annual session being allocated to the Section by ASA! Gary reported that our holding steady was in the context of membership decline on the part of other Head of our continual membership drive, Gary Dworkin reported that the Section sections. The Section warmly thanked Gary for his tireless efforts towards the section. Keep searching for new members!
  6. Aaron Pallas, Editor of the journal Sociology of Education, reported on the healthy condition of this journal and announced a millennial edition. He asked interested authors to contact him.
  7. Chandra Muller will head up an ad hoc committee to raise funds for the new David L. Stevenson Graduate Student paper award.
  8. Special thanks go to the Spencer Foundation for sponsoring the Section's reception in honor of ASA President and Spencer Foundation Board member Alejandro Portes. The Section also recognizes Maureen Hallinan's efforts towards this event. Thanks also to Rob Kadel for organizing the Section's listserve, which now has about 200 subscribers. And a special thanks for David Levinson's continued editorship of the Section's newsletter.

New Business:

  1. Karl Alexander's ad hoc committee recommended that the Section petition the ASA for approval of a grant funded by Teachers College Press awarded to promising sociology of education dissertation in memorial to Ronald Galbraith, a recently deceased, young editor at the Press. The grant would be awarded with the intent of TC Press to publish the dissertation as a monograph. A motion was seconded and passed that upon approval by the ASA, a standing committee would be appointed each year to select the dissertation and award the grant of $500.
  2. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to name the Section's current Graduate Student Outstanding Paper Award in memorial to David Lee Stevenson a recently deceased member of the Section. The award will carry a cash prize of $500 to be funded through interest on a trust fund from donations from David's friends, family, and colleagues coordinated by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Section's chair.

Sociology of Education Association Annual Meeting - February 25-27, 2000
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA

The theme this year is "Educational Stratification: Past and Prospects." The conference will again be held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds on the Monterrey Coast of California. If you are planning to attend (and I hope you are), I need your registration form and a check for the conference fees sent to me no later than December 15, 1999 in order to guarantee you a room at Asilomar. One very important change to be aware of this year is that Asilomar does not have arrangements with local hotels to handle overflow. This means that we really must know who is coming and who is planning to stay at Asilomar by December 15, 1999. Most of the ccommodations at Asilomar are double occupancy, so please let me know your roommate preference. Also indicate whether you prefer regular or vegetarian meals. A web version is available at http://www.lmrinet.ucsb.edu/sociology/sea.html. Just click on "Registration".



The winner of the Willard Waller Award for Outstanding Paper in the Sociology of Education for the years 1996-98 is: Suet-ling Pong, Associate Professor of Education and Sociology at Pennsylvania State University. The paper is "The School Compositional Effect of Single Parenthood on 10th Grade Achievement" Sociology of Education 71; 24-43 1998.

This paper has the twin virtues of continuity and innovation. It addresses an important and ongoing issue in the sociology of education, the issue of whether there are school contextual effects on achievement, net of the effects of individual characteristics. To this tradition of inquiry the paper adds a novel focus by examining the effects of attending a school with a high concentration of children from single parent homes on mathematics and reading achievement. Using NELS data, Pong finds a detrimental contextual effect; her further analysis of the data reveals that the academic disadvantage of going to schools with high levels of single parent children can be offset when social relations and networks among parents are strong. This paper concludes by recommending the formation of social capital in schools contextually at risk of having children achieve poorly.

The awards committee singled out this paper because of its substantive value, its methodological sophistication, and its policy relevance. The awards committee consisted in Kevin Dougherty, Chandra Mueller, Julia Wrigley, and Francisco O. Ramirez (Chair).

Research in Sociology of Education -- Annual Volumes

Inviting brief paper proposals

Bruce Fuller, University of California at Berkeley
Emily Hannum, Harvard University

This note is to let you know that we are inheriting, from Aaron Pallas, the editorship of the JAI Press Research in Sociology of Education.

Under a new format, each annual volume will be published under a thematic title, with secondary reference to the "annual review" side of the series. JAI's new parent
company, Elsevier Science, also is committing new resources and imagination to their
marketing approaches in the U.S. and abroad.

We are inviting two-page letters proposing important, empirically based, papers for the first volume under our editorship, to be published in the year 2000. This first volume will focus on how family, neighborhood, or peer forces may influence children's school achievement or related facets of development. We hope to select -- after a vigorous peer review process -- 6 to 8 top notch empirical papers. In addition, critical commentaries will be invited that place one or two papers in broader theoretical or applied policy debates.

While sociologists, political scientists, institutional economists, and anthropologists have long been interested in family-community-school linkages, new directions and empirical debates have emerged over the past decade. For example, many are intrigued with construct of "social capital." But what is it? How do we measure it? How do children's and parents' social linkages translate into proximal determinants of school achievement or child development? Recent papers regarding social capital, family networks, the influence of neighborhood context -- with a few important exceptions -- have failed to look at variation across ethnic and cultural groups, or comparatively across societies. We will publish high quality work, employing quantitative or qualitative methods, which helps to open-up this general topic.

If you are interested in submitting a paper, we request that you send us an email or letter ASAP (preferably by December 1, 1999) that contains these elements:

  1. Your core research question and why the empirical issue is important,
  2. How your proposed paper would illuminate the volume's topic and contribute to theoretical and/or applied currents,
  3. The nature of the data that you will analyze,
  4. Methods of data analysis and argumentation,
  5. Major results and implications for the field.

If you want to talk a bit prior to submitting a letter feel free to email us. Informal queries or your two-page letter can be sent to RSE@gse.harvard.edu, or:
Gutman Library
4th Floor, 6 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA 02138-3704
Attention: E.Hannum and P.Tung.

Many thanks. We look forward to building an exciting, important new annual series with you.

Actions from ASA Council--August 1999
Important Issues of Governance and Publications Addressed

The Council of the American Sociological Association (ASA) met on August 9-11, 1999 in conjunction with the ASA Annual Meeting. The meeting on August 9th, which took place the afternoon after the open Business Meeting of the membership, was the last meeting of the 1998-1999 Council. Outgoing President Alejandro Portes (Princeton University) presided over this meeting. The meeting on August 10-11th was the first meeting of the 1999-2000 Council, and incoming President Joe Feagin (University of Florida) presided.

A key item on the agenda was the issue of Council's selection in February 1999 of Charles Camic and Franklin Wilson (University of Wisconsin-Madison) as co-editors of the American Sociological Review (ASR) when they were not among the two ranked choices recommended by the ASA's Publications Committee. Council's decision led to a special meeting of the Publications Committee in May 1999 and the resignation of Committee member Michael Burawoy (University of California-Berkeley) in June.

The May meeting of the Publications Committee produced a number of concrete recommendations about how to proceed in the future event that Council should disagree with the Committee's recommendations for an editor selection. Subsequent to Burawoy's public resignation, many ASA members expressed concern about Council's treatment of one of ASA's most important Committees (a committee comprised of the ASA President and Secretary as well as six at-large members elected by the ASA membership).

Other concerns were also expressed by members at the open Business Meeting and in e-mail and listserv communications (especially on the listserv of Sociologists for Women in Society--SWS) before the Annual Meeting. These concerns included (1) whether Council, in rejecting the recommendations of the Publications Committee, was less committed than the Publications Committee to ASR's becoming more diverse and inclusive; (2) whether confidentiality was being invoked appropriately or instead in a way that limited members' access to the reasons underlying important decisions by the Publications Committee and Council; and (3) whether governance changes recommended by Council and adopted by the membership in spring 1998 limited member participation and did so without adequate time for member deliberation.

At the Business Meeting, two resolutions passed: One, introduced on the floor by Margaret Andersen (University of Delaware) and passed with a friendly amendment from Cheryl Townsend Gilkes (Colby College), called for continuing the ASR editorship under the now immediate-past editor Glenn Firebaugh (Pennsylvania State University) until a search and decision on an editor could be effectively implemented. The other resolution, prepared in advance by SWS and presented by its President Judith Auerbach (National Institutes of Health), urged that, in light of concerns about limiting democratic participation at ASA, a task force be appointed to reexamine the elimination of the Committee on Committees (COC) and of regional representation on the Committee on Nominations (CON).

Council devoted considerable time to the specific topics raised in the context of Council's departure from the recommendation of the Publications Committee for ASR editor. Council also discussed the critical sentiment being expressed by some members and how best to enhance communication to all members and to respond to the merits. Over the three days, a number of resolutions were adopted. The specific language of these resolutions will be published in the September/October issue of Footnotes and on the ASA homepage after final review by Council.

According to Article VII of the ASA Constitution, at least at the outset resolutions passed at the Business Meeting are considered advisory resolutions to Council. Council takes such resolutions quite seriously and considered at length each.

  • Regarding the first resolution passed at the Business Meeting, in a close vote, Council tabled the resolution to ask the immediate-past ASR editor to continue as editor because the new editors were appointed based on their merit and according to current procedure and the transition to the new office has already occurred. The general discussion that took place in offering this resolution could, in the view of Council, best be addressed by other actions.

  • Regarding the second resolution passed at the Business Meeting, which focused on the COC and CON, Council unanimously accepted this resolution with minor modification. Council decided to establish a task force to consider alternative models for the structure and election of the Committee on Committees and the Committee on Nominations as well as related issues without a priori assumption about what, if anything needs to be done, but with sufficient time for member discussion and deliberation, if a By-law change is necessary. (President Feagin is in the process of appointing this task force.)

Other key actions of Council include the following:

  • In accord with the Publications Committee recommendation, to ask the Chair of the Publications Committee to present the Committee's recommendations to Council on editor selection and other matters deemed of importance.

  • In accord with the Publications Committee recommendation, if Council rejects all recommendations of the Publications Committee for an editor, to appoint a subcommittee of Council and the Publications Committee to discuss and prepare a mutual recommendation for Council's consideration.

  • To arrive at a process and schedule for editor selection that, if necessary, can accommodate a subcommittee of Council and the Publications Committee without delaying the transition to the new editor beyond the anticipated date.

  • To appoint a joint subcommittee of Publications and Council to articulate a policy regarding confidentiality and accountability that addresses the interests of both candidates and the ASA membership.

  • In a four-part resolution, to state the following: (1) accept that the crisis over the selection of the ASR editor reflects a lack of confidence by a substantial number of ASA members in the procedures and practices of Council; (2) express confidence in the new ASR editors, Camic and Wilson; (3) acknowledge the need to bring more articles of general interest and more articles in underrepresented areas to ASR; (4) convene a conference that would reflect on the inclusiveness and diversity of ASR and potentially other ASA journals; and (5) extend an apology and expression of gratitude to the new ASR editors, to ASR editor candidates Walter Allen (University of California-Los Angeles) and Jerry Jacobs (University of Pennsylvania) whose names have become public in this process, and to all candidates for their willingness to apply and potentially serve.

On related governance issues, Council took the following action:

  • To reaffirm its longstanding policy that Council meetings are open except when in Executive Session.

  • In accord with the views expressed by many Section officers, to recommend to the membership expanding the composition of the Committee on Sections from six to nine members to include three section officers (from small, medium, and large sections) elected by section officers.

This report on the August Council meetings is intended as background briefing to ASA members, relevant committees, and other interested sociologists and publics. It is being posted on the ASA homepage (http://www.asanet.org) and otherwise distributed. Further inquiries should be directed to Felice J. Levine, Executive Officer, levine@asanet.org, or at:
American Sociological Association
1307 New York Avenue NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005-4701.


A Conference on Carework will take place at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on August 11, 2000, the day before the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. The conference will bring together researchers, policymakers, and advocates involved in various domains of carework for one day of meetings and networking. Participants from all academic disciplines, and who take various approaches to the study of carework and carework policy, are welcome. Carework research and policy focus on the caring work of individuals, families, communities, paid caregivers, social service agencies, and state bureaucracies, and ask important questions about such matters as: how women's labor force participation has affected the nature and scope of women's and men's caring work; how identities influence carework; how inequality based on gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other factors relates to caring; how caring work is recognized and compensated; how various state welfare policies shape the distribution of carework; and whether and to what extent citizens have a right to receive, and a duty to provide, care. For more information about the conference, and to join ongoing discussions at the cutting edge of carework research and policy, please subscribe to the carework listserve by contacting the list administrator at: careadmn@soc.umass.edu.

Sociology of Education Section Officers: 1999-2000

Francisco Ramirez, ramirez@leland.stanford.edu
Chair elect:
David P. Baker, dpb4@psu.edu
Past Chair:
Annette Lareau lareau@vm.temple.edu
Kevin Dougherty kd109@columbia.edu
Sophia Catsambis ('00); Mark Berends ('01) Chandra Muller('01) Jeanne Ballantine ('02) Gary Dworkin ('02) and Sam Lucas ('02)

Call for Papers: PEWS 2000
Political Economy of the World-System XXIV Annual Conference

The twenty-fourth annual conference of the Political Economy of the World-System Section of the American Sociological Association will take place on March 24-25, 2000 at Boston College.

The 24th annual conference of the PEWS is about the Modern World-System in the 20th Century. We will do a retrospective analysis of the 20th century by focusing on several world-scale, long-term processes. Priority will be given to papers that covers from 50 to 100 years or more in terms of time-length and/or encompass a regional or world scale level in terms of the spatial dymensions. We will discuss several processes that have been crucial in changing some of the geopolitical, geocultural and economic dynamics of the capitalist world-system in the 20th century and that have important implications for the next century.


Please submit materials to:
Ramón Grosfoguel
Sociology Department
McGuinn Hall 426
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02167-3807
E-mail:: grosfog@ix.netcom.com.

Announcing a new publication.

  Announcing a new publication.

THE STRUCTURE OF SCHOOLING: Readings in the Sociology of Education

Richard Arum and Irenee Beattie, University of Arizona
Paper / 544 pages / 2000
ISBN 0-7674-1070-X - Mayfield Publishing

PART I. Theoretical and Historical Perspectives

Status Attainment and Social Mobility

Max Weber, The "Rationalization" of Education and Training Pitirim Sorokin, Social and Cultural Mobility
Ralph H. Turner, Sponsored and Contest Mobility and the School System
Peter M. Blau and Otis D. Duncan, The Process of Stratification

Human, Cultural, and Social Capital

Theodore W. Schultz, Investment in Human Capital
Pierre Bourdieu, Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction
James Coleman and Thomas Hoffer, Schools, Families, and Communities

Changing Theories of Education Systems

Emile Durkheim, The First Element of Morality: The Spirit of Discipline
Willard Waller, The School and the Community Randall Collins, Functional and Conflict Theories of Educational Stratification

Historical Accounts

Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, Beyond the Educational Frontier: The Great American Dream Freeze
David Tyack and Elisabeth Hansot, The Rising Tide of Coeducation in High School

PART II. Stratification Within and Between Schools

School Sector

Peter Cookson and Caroline Hodges Persell, The Chosen Ones Anthony Bryk,
Valerie Lee, and Peter Holland, Classroom Life

Racial Segregation and Resource Inequality

James Coleman, Ernest Campbell, Carol Hobson, James McPartland, Alexander Mood, Frederic Weinfeld, and Robert York, The Coleman Report
Christopher Jencks and Marshall Smith, Henry Acland, Mary Jo Bane, David Cohen, Herbert Gintis, Barbara Heyns, Stephan Michelson, Inequality in Educational Attainment
Jonathan Kozol, The Dream Deferred, Again, in San Antonio
Gary Orfield, The Growth of Segregation: African Americans, Latino,s and Unequal Education
Doris R. Entwistle, Karl Alexander, and Linda Olson, The Nature of Schooling


Maureen Hallinan, Tracking: From Theory to Practice
Jeannie Oakes, The Distribution of Knowledge
Adam Gamoran, Is Ability Grouping Equitable?

PART III. Class, Race, and Gender


Hans-Peter Blossfeld and Yossi Shavit, Persisting Barriers: Changes in Educational Opportunities in Thirteen Countries
Paul Willis, Elements of a Culture
Jay MacLeod, Teenagers in Clarendon Heights: The Hallway Hangars and the Brothers
Annette Lareau, Social Class Differences in Family-School Relationships: The Importance of Cultural Capital


Signithia Fordham and John Ogbu, Black Students' School Success: Coping with the Burden of "Acting White"
Amy Stuart Wells and Robert Crain, Consumers of Urban Education
Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips, America's Next Achievement Test: Closing the Black-White Test Score Gap


Roslyn Arlin Mickelson, Why Does Jane Read and Write So Well? The Anomaly of Women's Achievement
Barrie Thorne, Boys and Girls Together. But Mostly Apart
Michael Apple, Teaching and "Women's Work"

PART IV. Student Behavior and Adolescent Subcultures

James Coleman, The Adolescent Culture
Mary Metz, Classroom Interaction: Principled Conflict
John Devine, Schools or "Schools"?: Competing Discourses on Violence

PART V. Education and Life-Course outcomes

James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein, Schools
James E. Rosenbaum and Amy Binder, Do Employers Really Need More Educated Youths?
Robert Reich, The Education of the Symbolic Analyst
Richard Arum and Michael Hout, The Early Returns: The Transition from School to Work in the United States

PART VI. The Organizational Environment

The Cultural and Institutional Environment

Joseph Tobin, David Wu, and Dana Davidson, A Comparative Perspective
John W. Meyer, W. Richard Scott, David Strang, and Andrew L. Creighton, Bureaucratization without Centralization: Changes in the Organizational System of U.S. Public Education, 1940-1980
Stephen Brint and Jerome Karabel, Community Colleges and the American Social Order
John Chubb and Terry Moe, An Institutional Perspective on Schools

The Politics of School Reform

Peter Cookson, Reformers and Revolutionaries: The Drama of Deregulation
David Berliner and Bruce Biddle, Why Now?

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