The chapters in this volume illustrate the ways in which U.S. sociologists of education continue to plumb the depths of fundamental questions about how schools are organized and consequences of school organization for students and teachers. These studies present new ideas and/or findings in an engaging way, and they attempt to enlarge the audience for sociological research on education. Perhaps even more importantly, however, they generate a host of questions that warrant sustained inquiry by our community. If these authors lead us to think in new ways or to ask new questions, their efforts will have been well-rewarded.
When the state innovates - interests and institutions create the preschool sector, Bruce Fuller and Susan D. Holloway; the university and political authority - historical trends and contemporary possibilities, Phyllis Riddle; world polity and gender parity - women's share of higher education, 1965-1985, Karen Bradley and Francisco O. Ramirez; carving a niche in the high school social structure - formal and informal constraints on participation in the extra curriculum, Pamela Anne Quiroz et al; race, gender and inequity in track assignments, Warren N. Kubitschek and Maureen T. Hallinan; evaluation processes and student disengagement from high school, Gary Natriello; academic press and sense of community - conflict and congruence in American high schools, Roger C. Shouse; the evolution of research on educational attainment and social status in Japan, Gerald LeTendre; exploring the persistence of academic achievement gaps - social differentials in family resource returns in Israel, Yechezkel Dar and Nura Resh; racial and ethnic variations in academic performance, Grace Kao et al; adolescent expectations and adult outcomes - insights from the study of migration, Margaret Mooney Marini.