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.

chapter 1|16 pages


The history and scope of the sociology of higher education

part 1|44 pages

Anglo-American higher education institutions through time and place

chapter 2|10 pages

The university and society

Structural change and conflicting roles

chapter 5|12 pages

Maintaining status in new times

The continuing stratification of Anglo-American universities

part 2|55 pages

How mass higher education institutions have taken shape

chapter 9|12 pages

Vicious circle

Academic insecurity and privatization in western universities

chapter 10|10 pages

From In Loco Parentis to consumer choice

Patterns and consequences of the changing relationship between students and institutions

part 3|91 pages

Inequality and diversity in higher education

chapter 11|12 pages

Access to higher education

chapter 12|11 pages

Social class in UK higher education

Still an elephant in the room

chapter 14|12 pages

The forces of persistent inequality

Minority statuses in higher education

chapter 16|11 pages

At-risk and unprepared students in US higher education

The impact on institutions and strategies to address the new student body landscape

part 4|77 pages

Anglo-American systems contrasted

chapter 19|12 pages

Invoking Humboldt

The German model

chapter 20|11 pages

Higher education in France

Social stratification and social reproduction

chapter 22|10 pages

Russian higher education

A sociological analysis

chapter 23|11 pages

Higher education and social change in South Asia

From intellectual elitism to equality of opportunity

chapter 24|11 pages

Transformation of Japanese universities through the process of internationalization

A comparative perspective with Anglo-Saxon universities

chapter 25|13 pages

Is there an alternative university model?

The debate around the Chinese model of the university

part 5|93 pages

Higher education in a global policy perspective

chapter 26|10 pages

Internationalization of higher education institutions

Challenges and opportunities

chapter 27|16 pages

Global higher education partnerships

Equity and epistemic concerns with distribution and flows of intellectual capital

chapter 28|13 pages

Higher education in crisis

Critical voices from emerging countries

chapter 29|10 pages

The digital revolution in higher education

Rhetoric and reality

chapter 30|18 pages

Gender equality and inequality in global higher education

Changing the rules of the game?

chapter 31|13 pages

Life after higher education

The diversity of opportunities and obstacles in a changing graduate labour market

chapter 32|11 pages

Educational transformations

Work and government policy in the schooled society