Methodological Transactionalism and the Sociology of Education

Daniel A. McFarland, David Diehl, Craig Michael Rawlings

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The development and spread of research methods in sociology can be understood as a story about the increasing sophistication of tools in order to better answer fundamental disciplinary questions. In this chapter, we argue that recent developments, related to both increased computing power and data collection ability along with broader cultural shifts emphasizing interdependencies, have positioned Social Network Analysis (SNA) as a powerful tool for empirically studying the dynamic and processual view of schooling that is at the heart of educational theory. More specifically, we explore how SNA can help us both better understand as well as reconceptualize two central topics in the sociology of education: classroom interaction and status attainment. We conclude with a brief discussion about possible future directions network analysis may take in educational research, positing that it will become an increasingly valuable research approach because our ability to collect streaming behavioral and transactional data is growing rapidly.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Sociology of Education
EditorsMaureen T Hallinan
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-1576-9
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-1575-2
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Sociology and Social Research


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