Irenee Beattie

Institutional Affiliation 
Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Merced
Professional Bio 

Irenee Beattie’s research focuses on the sociology of education, social inequality (race, gender, and class), adolescent transitions to adulthood, and law and social policy. Her work has been funded by grants from the American Educational Research Association and the Hellman Faculty Fellows Program and has been published in such outlets as Sociology of Education, Journal of Higher Education, and Youth & Society. She has served on the editorial board for Sociology of Education and Journal of Marriage and Family, and has been elected to serve as the secretary of the Sociology of Education Association and a council member of the Sociology of Education section of the American Sociological Association.


Beattie earned her BA (summa cum laude en thesi) in Social Psychology (joint in Sociology and Psychology) with a minor in Women’s Studies from Tufts University, and her MA and Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Arizona. Prior to attending graduate school, she was a Sixth grade teacher in East Palo Alto, CA through the Teach for America program which solidified her longstanding interest in educational equality. She helped found the BA and PhD. programs in Sociology at UC Merced, where she teaches courses in Education, Gender, and Research Methods.

Area of Expertise 

My research is unified by an overarching interest in the role of educational institutions in shaping inequalities by race, gender and class. I use a variety of data sources along and quantitative data analysis techniques to answer theoretically important and policy-relevant questions within this broad area. One main strand of my research focuses on how educational experiences are linked with inequality during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. My work integrates life course and education research, which are often studied separately. I consider how specific curricular and interpersonal aspects of schooling shape inequality in a variety of behavioral and experiential outcomes among students. In a second key area of research, I focus on schools as institutions to look both at how external pressures (such as the legal environment involving school discipline conflicts) shape schools as organizations as well as how school-level organizational factors structure variation in student and teacher experiences. In a third and newer area, I examine the causes and consequences of inequality in academic social capital on college student outcomes, primarily using original survey data.

Workshop Locations