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  1. Why Prisons Continue to Grow, Even When Crime Declines

    The U.S. prison population continued to rise even after the crime rate began declining in the mid-1990s because judges were faced with more repeat offenders, a new study suggests.

    Using data from Minnesota, an Ohio State University sociologist found that the U.S. criminal justice system felt the reverberations from the increase in violent crime and imprisonment that occurred from the 1960s to the early 1990s.

  2. Greater Academic Achievement in High School Increases Likelihood of Moving Away, Study Finds

    High school students who completed higher levels of math, performed better academically, and had a greater sense of control of their future were more likely to migrate and work in labor markets with larger shares of college-educated workers, according to a new study by sociologists at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). 

  3. Great Recession’s Other Legacy: Inconsistent Work Hours

    It can be hard to plan for basic needs, like paying rent or taking care of your kids, if you don’t know when you’ll be working next week or just how many hours you will be needed. 

    A new study by researchers at the University of California-Davis, finds that an unpredictable work week is the norm for growing numbers of low-wage workers — nearly 40 percent of whom worked variable hours for at least one four-month period after the start of the 2007-09 Great Recession. 

  4. Ramen Noodles Supplanting Cigarettes as Currency Among Prisoners

    Ramen noodles are supplanting the once popular cigarettes as a form of currency among state prisoners, but not in response to bans on tobacco products within prison systems, finds a new study. 

    Instead, study author Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona School of Sociology, found that inmates are trying to figure out ways to better feed themselves as certain prison services are being defunded. 

  5. Private Detention of Immigrants Deters Family Visits, Study Finds

    Immigrants detained in a privately run detention facility while awaiting deportation decisions are far less likely than those held in county or city jails to receive visits from their children, a new study finds. 

  6. Study Finds Changes to Retirement Savings System May Exacerbate Economic Inequality

    A shift to defined-contribution retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, has led to an income and education gap in pension savings that could exacerbate future economic inequality, according to a study that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  7. Lousy Jobs Hurt Your Health by the Time You’re in Your 40s

    Job satisfaction in your late 20s and 30s has a link to overall health in your early 40s, according to a new nationwide study. 

    While job satisfaction had some impact on physical health, its effect was particularly strong for mental health, researchers found. 

    Those less than happy with their work early in their careers said they were more depressed and worried and had more trouble sleeping. 

    And the direction of your job satisfaction — whether it is getting better or worse in your early career — has an influence on your later health, the study showed. 

  8. One Nation, United? Science, Religion, and American Public Opinion

    Debates about science and religion—whether they conflict and how they factor into public opinion, policies, and politics—are of longstanding interest to social scientists. Research in this area often examines how elites use science and religion to justify competing claims. But, how do members of the public more generally incorporate science and religion into their worldviews? The assumption that science and religion inherently conflict with one another has come under increasing scrutiny and recent studies reveal that science and religion are more compatible than previously assumed.

  9. Religion in Public Action: From Actors to Settings

    Contemporary social research often has located religion’s public influence by focusing on individual or collective religious actors. In this unitary actor model, religion is a stable, uniform feature of an individual or collectivity. However, recent research shows that people’s religious expression outside religious congregations varies by context.

  10. Educational Authority in the ''Open Door Marketplace: Labor Market Consequences of For-profit, Nonprofit, and Fictional Educational Credentials

    In recent years, private for-profit education has been the fastest growing segment of the U.S. postsecondary system. Traditional hiring models suggest that employers clearly and efficiently evaluate college credentials, but this changing institutional landscape raises an important question: How do employers assess credentials from emerging institutions? Building on theories of educational authority, we hypothesize that employers respond to an associate’s degree itself over the institution from which it came.