The sociology of education is a rich interdisciplinary field that studies schools as their own social world as well as their place within the larger society. The field draws contributions from education, sociology, human development, family studies, economics, politics and public policy. Sociology of Education: An A-to-Z Guide introduces students to the social constructions of our educational systems and their many players, including students and their peers, teachers, parents, the broader community, politicians and policy makers. The roles of schools, the social processes governing schooling, and impacts on society are all critically explored. Despite an abundance of textbooks and specialized monographs, there are few up-to-date reference works in this area.
James Ainsworth, Ph.D., received his bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California in 1989, a master's in sociology in 1993 from San Diego State University, and he joined the sociology faculty at Georgia State University in the fall of 1999, after receiving his Ph.D. in sociology from The Ohio State University. His research addresses issues related to sociology of education, social stratification, race and ethnic relations, and the family. He has published his research in some of the leading sociology journals including multiple manuscripts in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Sociology of Education, and The Journal of Marriage and the Family. His work addresses issues such as (1) the oppositional culture explanation for racial disparities in educational performance; (2) the mediation of neighborhood effects on educational outcomes; (3) the differential returns to cultural capital across racial groups; (4) the effectiveness of bilingual education; (5) child well-being in single-parent households; (6) the relationship between labor market structure, participation in vocational education, and occupational trajectories; and (7) racial, class, and gender disparities in study abroad participation. At Georgia State he teaches various undergraduate classes, including Educational Sociology; Wealth, Power, and Inequality; Race and Ethnic Relations; and Social Research Methods. At the graduate level he teaches Social Inequality; Race and Ethnic Relations; Sociology of Education; and Ph.D.-level Statistics.