Publication Date: August 25, 2013
Series: Multicultural Education Series
Class Rules challenges the popular myth that high schools are the “great equalizers.” In his groundbreaking study, Cookson demonstrates that adolescents undergo different class rites of passage depending on the social-class composition of the high school they attend. Drawing on stories of schools and individual students, the author shows that where a student goes to high school is a major influence on his or her social-class trajectory. Class Rules is a penetrating, original examination of the role education plays in blocking upward mobility for many children. It offers a compelling vision of an equitable system of schools based on the full democratic rights of students.
Peter W. Cookson Jr. is managing director of Education Sector in Washington, D.C., and teaches at Teachers College (Columbia University) and Georgetown University. He is president of Ideas without Borders, an educational consulting firm specializing in 21st-century education, technology, and human rights.
“Recommended (for) graduate, research, and professional collections.”
“Cookson does a superb job of analyzing the powerful forces in our schools that reinforce the racial, ethnic, and social-class structures our nation hopes to overcome. He reminds us of what high schools can be, the great equalizers, institutions for promoting America’s finest values.”
—David Berliner, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University
“This highly readable and original book illuminates why we don’t have open class warfare in our society, despite huge inequalities. Peter Cookson humanizes the abstract concept of social class, showing how schools reproduce classes through institutional practices that forge class-based consciousness. He also suggests how education might be changed.”
—Caroline Hodges Persell, professor emerita of sociology, New York University
2014 Society of Professors of Education Book Award