Steven G. Brint
Steven G. Brint

Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Policy


“Brint’s agenda-setting book maps out a number of surprisingly optimistic trends for higher education while engaging deeply with decades of scholarship. He brilliantly combines an original big-picture framework with rich and compelling data analysis. My advice is to buy it, read it, study it, think with it, argue with it, build on it.”
—Jerry A. Jacobs, author of In Defense of Disciplines: Interdisciplinarity and Specialization in the Research University


Office: 2144 Watkins Hall
Phone: (951) 827-2103
Fax: (951) 827-3330
E-mail: steven.brint@ucr.edu

IDA website

Curriculum Vitae


Steven Brint is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside, and the director of the Colleges & Universities 2000 study.

Steven Brint is an organizational sociologist whose  research focuses on topics in the sociology of higher education, the sociology of professions, and middle-class politics. He is the author of  four books: The Diverted Dream (with Jerome Karabel) (Oxford University Press, 1989), In an Age of Experts (Princeton University Press, 1994), Schools and Societies (Pine Forge/Sage, 1998, third ed. Stanford University Press 2016), and Two Cheers for Higher Education (Princeton University Press, 2018). He is the editor of The Future of the City of Intellect (Stanford University Press, 2002) and the co-editor (with Jean Reith Schroedel) of the two volume series, Evangelicals and Democracy in America (Russell Sage Foundation Press 2009). His articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, the Annual Review of Sociology, Sociological Theory, Minerva, Work and Occupations, Sociology of Education, The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, The Journal of Higher Education, and many other leading social science journals. His book, The Diverted Dream, won the American Education Research Association’s “Outstanding Book” award of 1991 and the Council of Colleges and Universities’ “Outstanding Research Publication” award the same year. His article, “Socialization Messages in Primary Schools: An Organizational Analysis,” (with Mary F. Contreras and Michael T. Matthews) won the American Sociological Association’s Willard Waller Award for the best article on education in 2001. His work has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2008 and a fellow of the Sociological Research Association in 2018.  Brint has been funded for nearly 20 years by the National Science Foundation and two philanthropies for his studies of U.S. higher education institutions.  He is now completing an NSF-supported study of the outcomes of cluster hiring in U.S. research universities.  His new work includes a study of the American elite stratum and a book on high-leverage sociological concepts. 

A native of Albuquerque, NM, Steven Brint received his B.A. with highest honors in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University. He joined the faculty in Sociology at the University of California, Riverside in 1993, after teaching at Yale University from 1985-1992. At UCR, he received the Chancellor’s Award for Fostering Undergraduate Research in 2006. He was advanced to Distinguished Professor on July 1, 2016. His “intellectual self-portrait” was included in a new book on Leaders in Educational Studies. His thoughts on the current state and future of U.S. higher education were included in a special issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education to be published on Nov. 7, 2016 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Chronicle.


Two Cheers for Higher Education: Why American Universities Are Stronger than Ever – And How to Meet the Challenges They Face. 2018. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Schools and Societies, 3rdedition. 2017. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

“The Educational Backgrounds of American Business and Government Leaders: Status Reproduction, Open Elite, or Sector Variation?” (with Sarah R.K. Yoshikawa).  2017. Social Forces96: 561-90.

“Discursive Frames and Expanding Audiences: What Highly Cited Books and Articles Can Tell Us about the Future of Scholarly Research in the Social Sciences.” 2017. Social Research: An International Quarterly 84: 637-68.

“Scientific Research Productivity in U.S. Research Universities, 1980-2010: ContinuingDispersion, Increasing Concentration, or Stable Inequality?” (with Cynthia E. Carr).  2017. Minerva. DOI: 10.1007/s11024-017-9330-4

“Universities and the Institutional Geography of Knowledge Exchange.” 2018. Pp. 115-43 in Jal Mehta and Scott Davies (eds.) Education in a New Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Elected to the Sociological Research Association, an honorary society of sociologists, in recognition of his contributions to the discipline.

Re-elected Board Chair of the SERU Consortium, a consortium of major public research universities committed to the improvement of undergraduate and graduate education.

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