Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Higher Education  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Higher Education

ISBN 9780367869953
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
414 Pages

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Book Description

This is the first handbook to cover the sociological approaches to higher education. It is timely because of global expansions of mass higher educational systems, especially as these systems come under scrutiny by a variety of stakeholders. Questions are being raised about the value of traditional pedagogies along with calls for efficiency, accountability and cost-reduction, but above all job training.

Within this neoliberal context, each chapter examines different sociological aspects of, and debates about, educational institutions as status-conferring organizations, with myriad positional characteristics, experiences, and outcomes. Many current debates concern the legitimacy of the statuses conferred, including the continuing debate regarding the role of universities in legitimating social class reproduction as well as more recent concerns about standards in mass systems.

This handbook puts these issues and debates in focus in ways that will be of interest to a variety of stakeholders, within academia as well as in policy circles.

Table of Contents


Part I: Anglo-American Higher Education Institutes through Time and Place

1. The History and Scope of the Sociology of Higher Education, (James Côté and Andy Furlong)

2. The University and Society: Structural change and conflicting roles, (George Fallis)

3. Theories of the Sociology of Higher Education Access and Participation, (Lesley Andres)

4. Higher Education Missions over Time in Anglo-American Institutions, (Sarah Pickard)

5. Maintaining Status in New Times: The continuing stratification of Anglo-American universities, (Scott Davies and Roger Pizarro Milian)

Part II: How Mass Higher Education Institutions have Taken Shape

6. The Structural Force Exerted by Marketization on Higher education Systems, Research Universities and Academic Researchers, (Donald Fisher, Amy Scott Metcalfe and Cynthia Field)

7. The McDonaldization of Higher Education Revisited, (Dennis Hayes and Robin Wynyard)

8. From Multiversity to Postmodern University, (Claire Donovan)

9. Vicious Circle: Academic Insecurity and Privatization in Western Universities, (Claire Polster)

10. From in Loco Parentis to Consumer Choice: Patterns and Consequences of the Changing Relationship Between Students and Institutions, (Josipa Roksa and Karen Jeong Robinson)

Part 3: Inequality and Diversity in Higher Education

11. Access to Higher Education, (Michael Osborne)

12. Social Class in UK Higher Education: Still an Elephant in the Room, (Diane Reay)

13. ‘Non-Traditional’ Students and Diversity in Higher Education, (Marion Bowl and Ann-Marie Bathmaker)

14. The Forces of Persistent Inequality: Minority Statuses in Higher Education, (Patricia M. McDonough and Carrie E. Miller)

15. Ethnic Capital, Higher Education and Life Chances, (Tehmina

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James E. Côté’s educational research, focused on education-to-work transitions in the North American context, has culminated in two recent books on the sociology of higher education, Lowering Higher Education: The Rise of Corporate Universities and the Fall of Liberal Education (University of Toronto Press, 2011) and Ivory Tower Blues: A University System in Crisis (University of Toronto Press, 2007).    

Andy Furlong has written extensively on youth and young adulthood as well as on the sociology of higher education in the UK. He led three funded projects on socio-economic disadvantage and higher education, leading to several articles and a book, Social Justice and Higher Education (Open University Press, 2009).


"This volume offers a foundational contribution to the field—one that is both comprehensive in its global reach and impressive in the array of analytical perspectives thoughtfully presented in each chapter. It will stand as a valuable resource for many years to come."  - Patricia J. Gumport, Professor of Education, Director of the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, and Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Stanford University