James Samuel Coleman

James Samuel Coleman (May 12, 1926 – March 25, 1995) was an American sociologist, theorist, and empirical researcher, based chiefly at the University of Chicago.

James Samuel Coleman
Born(1926-05-12)May 12, 1926
Bedford, Indiana, United States
DiedMarch 25, 1995(1995-03-25) (aged 68)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Alma materPurdue University
Columbia University
Scientific career
FieldsSociological theory, Mathematical sociology
Doctoral advisorPaul Lazarsfeld
Doctoral studentsRonald S. Burt
InfluencesRobert K. Merton and James Burnham

He was elected president of the American Sociological Association in 1991. He studied the sociology of education and public policy, and was one of the earliest users of the term social capital. He may be considered one of the original neoconservatives in sociology. His work Foundations of Social Theory (1990) influenced countless sociological theories, and his works The Adolescent Society (1961) and "Coleman Report" (Equality of Educational Opportunity, 1966) were two of the most cited books in educational sociology. The landmark Coleman Report helped transform educational theory, reshape national education policies, and it influenced public and scholarly opinion regarding the role of schooling in determining equality and productivity in the United States.[1]

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