The Sociology of James S. Coleman


Marsden, Peter V. 2005. “The Sociology of James S. Coleman.” Annual Review of Sociology 31: 1-24.


This chapter surveys the career and scholarship of James S. Coleman. It tracks scholarly usage of his work, with attention to references after 1995 and the subject areas in which its use is concentrated. At base a scholar of problems in social organization, Coleman made influential contributions that range across the sociology of education, policy research, mathematical sociology, network/structural analysis, and sociological theory. Works from several phases of Coleman's career are cited widely by scholars in sociology, education, economics, business/management, and other social science fields; during the past decade his conceptual work on social capital has been most influential. Coleman's widely debated Foundations of Social Theory is receiving increasing attention and has helped to establish a stable if limited niche for rational choice analysis within sociology.

Last updated on 07/20/2012