This issue of the Revue française de pédagogie is entirely dedicated to the work of Viviane Isambert-Jamati, who died on November 19, 2019.
For more than thirty years, she occupied a very original position in the landscape of the sociology of education. She argued, as early as 1969, that "determining the links between the state of a social structure and the state of the corresponding school system is undoubtedly the central problem in the sociology of education, but the least advanced. To assert overall that the school is both a reflection of society and a means of consolidating its order is easy. But it is much harder to go beyond approximate correspondences and bring to light mediations". Her entire work was therefore deployed along three main lines, always in conjunction with the question of social inequality:
– studying transformations of school systems in their relationships with social structures and their evolutions;
– studying the main players in these school systems, their practices and representations and the variations of these depending on the context;
– paying attention to the specificity of educational institutions and of the knowledge content they transmit to their students.
After a presentation that underlines the originality and fruitfulness of her work, this report brings together nine of her texts published between 1973 and 2005, and which have become difficult to access. The RFP hopes to do justice and pay homage to a major figure in the sociology of education.