Irenee Beattie, Ph.D.


UC Merced

Irenee R. Beattie is Associate Professor of Sociology at University of California, Merced, where she has spent the past decade helping build the new Sociology undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Her research centers on the sociology of education, with a focus on social inequality (race/class/gender/sexuality) and life course transitions. Using primarily quantitative analyses of survey and institutional data, she has published on a wide variety of topics relating to educational inequalities, including the transition from high school to college, school discipline, the importance of social capital for college success, and teacher retention in charter vs. traditional public schools. Her work has been published in such outlets as Sociology of Education, Journal of Higher Education, Youth & Society and on Harvard University Press. She is also co-editor, with Richard Arum and Karly Ford, of The Structure of Schooling: A Reader in Sociology of Education (Sage), now in its third edition. The CTERIN-funded study she is engaged with brings together her interests in social inequality across the life course, undergraduate education, and teacher retention. She believes that understanding teachers’ experiences as both learners and workers across the life course is likely to shed light on important processes relating to teacher training and retention that can create a diverse teaching workforce.

Professor Beattie earned her BA in Social Psychology (Summa Cum Laude en thesi) from Tufts University where she honed her interests in educational inequality and passion for research while writing her senior honors thesis. She then taught 6th Grade Math, Science, and Health in East Palo Alto, CA through the Teach for America program before returning school to earn her MA and Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Arizona. She currently serves as the President of the Sociology of Education Association and Chairperson of her daughter’s elementary school site council.