Class Rules challenges the popular myth that high schools are the "e;Great Equalizers"e;. In his groundbreaking study, Cookson demonstrates that adolescents undergo different class rites of passage depending on the social-class composition of the high school they attend. Drawing on stories of schools and individual students, the author shows that where a student goes to high school is a major influene on his or her social class trajectory. Class Rules is a penetrating, original examination of the role education plays in blocking upward mobility for many children. It offers a compelling vision of an equitable system of schools based on the full democratic rights of students. This book provides a fresh, dynamic way of understanding educational inequality and social reproduction, offers a breakthrough social/psychological theory of how adolescents acquire class consciousness: and compares the cultures and curricula of five American high schools focusing on the class composition of their students.