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Caroline H Persell

Professor Emerita of Sociology

Ph.D. 1971 (Sociology), M.A. 1967 (Sociology), Columbia University; B.A. 1962 (English), Swarthmore College.

Office Address: 

295 Lafayette St., Room 4132


(212) 998-8350

Areas of Research/Interest: 

Sociology of education; race and education in the U.S. and in comparative perspective; education and inequality; technology, teaching, and learning; scholarship of teaching and learning; income inequality; the black-white educational achievement gap.

Research Description: 

"For-Profit Postsecondary Education and Civic Engagement." (with Harold Wenglinsky). "Thinking Sociologically about Digital Technology and Student Learning" (with Benson, Haney, Ore, Schulte, Steele, and Winfield). Chapter in preparation, "The Mixed Poten-tialities of Digital Technologies in Higher Education" for The McDonaldization of Higher Education, edited by Dennis Hayes and Robin Wynyard, forthcoming 2002, Greenwood Publishing Co. "Moments of Difficulty, Focused Online Discussions, and Student Understanding." "Focused Web-based Discussion Groups and Sociological Thinking." Continuing research on the use of the internet in teaching sociology.

Curriculum Vitae

External Affiliations:

Advisory Board, National Student Aid Survey; National Center for Education Statistics; American Educational Research Association; Nominations Committee, American Sociological Association; Eastern Sociological Society; Sociology of Education; International Sociological Association Research Group on Education; Sociologists for Women in Society.


Carnegie Foundation Scholar, 2000-2001; Faculty Development Award from the National Science Foundation; President (1995-1996), Eastern Sociological Society; Named the First Robin M. Williams, Jr. Distinguished Lecturer by the Eastern Sociological Society (1993-1994); Hans Mausch Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education; Faculty Fellow, Yale University (1991).

“What Should Students Understand After Taking Introduction to Sociology?”  (with Kathryn M. Pfeiffer and Ali Syed). 2007.  Teaching Sociology 35 (4): 300-314.

“Teaching Social Science Reasoning and Quantitative Literacy: The Role of Collaborative Groups” (with Susan L. Caulfield). 2006.  Teaching Sociology 34 (4): 39-53.

“Race, Education, and Inequality” (with Giselle Hendrie), pp. 533-612 in the Blackwell Companion to Social Inequalities, edited by Mary Romero and Eric Margolis.  New York and London: Basil Blackwell.  2005.

“Racial and Ethnic Educational Inequality in Global Perspective” (with Richard Arum and Kathryn Seufert), pp. 261-280 in the Handbook of Social Problems: A Comparative International Perspective, edited by George Ritzer.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 2004.

Education and Inequality, New York: Free Press of Macmillan, 1977. Paperback edition, 1979.

A Gateway to Resources for Teaching Introduction to Sociology 

Current Research on Race and Educational Inequality

Updated on 08/22/2014