Discussion Questions

  • What are some of the key reasons students drop out of college? How can identifying the sociological roots of the problem help us to develop effective policies to address it?

  • What do contemporary data show us about the relationship between family income and academic achievement, as measured by variables like educational attainment or SAT scores? How do sociologists explain the relationship? What are strengths and weaknesses of their arguments?

  • What is the current state of racial segregation in U.S. public schools? How has it changed since the civil rights era of the 1960s? What sociological factors help explain high levels of racial segregation in schools?

  • What historical factors help explain the organization of the modern school day in the United States? Should the school day be reorganized to meet new societal needs? What might a new school day look like?

  • What is the role of internships in higher education today? Who benefits from the growth in students’ participation in internships? How can internships be structured to maximize student knowledge and employability?