This collection of specially commissioned articles exposes the practical and personal influences on the process of doing sociology of education. All of the authors have been involved in conducting well know major research projects, and discuss here the pitfalls and problems, conflicts and compromises that went into doing their particular research. A particular feature of the book is that a wide variety of types of research in the sociology of education is covered. The range is from small-scale ethnographic case studies to large-scale postal questionnaire sample surveys and includes studies based on interviews, observation and questionnaires. There are examples of longitudinal work in case studies and in surveys. The collection also includes discussions of action research, the development and influence of theory, and the relationship between research and policy.