James S. Coleman (1926–1995) is widely considered to be one of the most outstanding sociologists of the second half of the twentieth century. He was born in 1926, in Bedford, Indiana, graduated as a bachelor of science from Purdue University in 1949, had a brief stint as a chemical engineer, and then studied sociology at Columbia University in New York from 1951 to 1955, mainly with Robert Merton, Paul Lazarsfeld, and Martin Lipset. During his lifetime, he published 28 books and more than 300 articles. The publications that had the highest impact were on the sociology of community and education (schools), on policy research, and on mathematical and rational choice sociology. After getting his PhD in sociology in 1955 (Columbia), he spent three years as ...

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