Gender and Racial/Ethnic Differences in Educational Outcomes: Examining Patterns, Explanations, and New Directions for Research

  • Catherine Riegle-CrumbEmail author
  • Sarah Blanchard Kyte
  • Karisma Morton
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


Gender and race/ethnicity function as major axes of social stratification in the United States, and males and those from White backgrounds have historically occupied a position of advantage within the educational system. Although there has been progress towards decreasing inequality in recent decades, gender disparities and, to a much greater extent, racial/ethnic disparities remain in educational outcomes. This chapter reviews the empirical patterns and discusses the major theoretical explanations behind these patterns, focusing on K–16 education within the U.S. Additionally, some of the limitations of prior research are discussed. In closing, the authors also outline three key areas where more empirical sociological research is needed, and highlight recent research that provides compelling examples of where the field of sociology of education should be headed in order to better understand and disrupt educational inequality.


Gender Race/ethnicity Black Hispanic Inequality 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Riegle-Crumb
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah Blanchard Kyte
    • 1
  • Karisma Morton
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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