The High Status Track

Studies of Elite Schools and Stratification

Edited by Paul W. Kingston & Lionel S. Lewis

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, Frontiers in Education
Paperback : 9780791400111, 296 pages, March 1990
Hardcover : 9780791400104, 296 pages, April 1990

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Table of contents

Tables and Figures

Introduction: Studying Elite Schools in America
Paul William Kingston and Lionel S. Lewis

Part I: Preparatory Schools

1. On the Making of Good Men: Character-Building in the New England Boarding Schools
Christopher F. Armstrong

2. Chartering and Bartering: Elite Education and Social Reproduction
Caroline Hodges Persell and Peter W. Cookson, Jr.
Part II: Elite Undergraduate Institutions

3. Patterns of Upper-Class Education in Four American Cities: 1875–1975
Richard Farnum

4. Prestige in the Ivy League: Democratization and Discrimination at Penn and Columbia, 1890–1970
Richard Farnum

5. Undergraduates at Elite Institutions: The Best, the Brightest, and the Richest
Paul William Kingston and Lionel S. Lewis

6. Pathways to Attendance at the Elite Colleges
James C. Hearn

7. The Economic Pay-Off of Prestigious Colleges
Paul William Kingston and John C. Smart

8. Pathways to Top Corporate Management
Michael Useem and Jerome Karabel

Part III: Professional Schools

9. The Inside Tracks: Status Distinctions in Allocations to Elite Law Schools
Charles L. Cappell and Ronald M. Pipkin

10. Getting on the Fast Track: Recruitment at an Elite Business School
Paul William Kingston and James G. Clawson

Author Index

Subject Index


The essays in this groundbreaking volume significantly advance our understanding of the process by which an elite school education provides graduates with distinctly favorable life chances. The authors examine the contemporary issue and controversy in the field of education (and society) which focuses on both the advantages and disadvantages of public versus private schooling. Those interested in issues of social stratification and its impact in the educational context will find this a useful and important contribution to the literature in the field.

Paul Kingston is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia. Lionel Lewis is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at State University of New York at Buffalo.


"Elite preparatory schools and elite colleges have been neglected in the sociological literature. The research contained in this book suggests that recruitment to elite positions operates differently from recruitment to middle-class positions. This is highly significant. " — C. Hurn, University of Massachusetts