Few, if any, sociologists in this century have had more impact on public debates in the United States than James S.Coleman. Beginning in the 1960s with the federal report on equality of opportunity, proceeding in the 1970s with a study of school busing, and then in the 1980s with two studies on public and private schools, Coleman has persistently sparked debates about educational policy. Seldom, if ever, did his work on education confirm commonly held assumptions in the research community. Instead, it challenged many assumptions and thereby stimulated waves of additional research seeking to refute the conclusions he reached. Thus the effects of his work have been twofold. First, his work drew social science research into the arena of public debates-in news magazines, television and, of course, in legislative and judicial decisions. Second, his work legitimated whole new arenas of research as scholars sought to refute, or simply explore, his claims.