Studies of academic achievement and educational and occupational mobility constitute mainstream educational sociology. The key questions and main findings within these research traditions are identified, emphasizing both stable cross-national generalizations as well as cross-national contexts which lead to variable outcomes. To illustrate, family background is clearly related to academic achievement cross-nationally, but there is much cross-national variation in the relationship between achievement and aspirations. A comparative cross-national perspective adds to our understanding of how and why standard educational variables are related to one another. To revitalize the sociology of education, however, requires going beyond its established research traditions. In this spirit the second part of this paper explores questions about the changing logic of citizenship and its 'terms of inclusion' implications for schooling. I also examine the rise of valorized diversity and its influence on the changing character of universities.