Coleman, James S.

Coleman, James S.,

1926–95, American sociologist, b. Bedford, Ind. A graduate of Columbia (Ph.D., 1955), where he was influenced by Paul LazarsfeldLazarsfeld, Paul F.
, 1901–76, American sociologist, b. Vienna. After beginning as a mathematician, he established a research center for social psychology. Emigrating to the United States in 1933, he taught at Columbia Univ.
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, Coleman achieved recognition with two studies on problem solving: An Introduction to Mathematical Sociology (1964) and Mathematics of Collective Action (1973). After terms at Stanford Univ. and the Univ. of Chicago, Coleman taught at Johns Hopkins (1959–73). While there he chaired the commission that published Equality of Educational Opportunity (1966), which is known as the Coleman report. In 1973 he returned to Chicago, where he taught sociology and was a director of its National Opinion Research Center. His other major works include Youth: Transition to Adulthood (1973), High School Achievement (1982), and Individual Interests and Collective Action (1986).
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Coleman, James S. (Smoot)

(1919–85) political scientist; born in Provo, Utah. He taught after 1953 at the University of California: Los Angeles, there founding the African Studies Center (1960). He is known for his studies of 20th-century Nigerian political history and middle African political elites, including the classic "Nationalism in Tropical Africa" (1954), Nigeria (1958), and the pioneering Politics of the Developing Areas (1960).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.