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  1. Secondary Education Systems and the General Skills of Less- and Intermediate-educated Adults: A Comparison of 18 Countries

    We investigate the impact of external differentiation and vocational orientation of (lower and upper) secondary education on country variation in the mean numeracy skills of, and skills gaps between, adults with low and intermediate formal qualifications. We use data on 30- to 44-year-olds in 18 countries from the 2011–12 round of the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. We find that higher levels of external differentiation (tracking) amplify skills gaps between less- and intermediate-educated adults.

  2. Trusting Each Other: Student-Counselor Relationships in Diverse High Schools

    Many minority, first-generation, and low-income students aspire to college; however, the college application process can present a significant obstacle. These students cannot always rely on their parents for college information and must instead turn to their high schools, where counselors are in a key position.

  3. A Rebuttal to Jack Niemonen's "Whither the White Working Class?"

    Prof. Niemonen claims that the concept of white privilege is "anti-sociological" and "mask[s] complex race–class interactions." He highlights the importance of including social class in discussions of white privilege but focuses exclusively on the white working class, neglecting how race and social class also intersect for people of color. Further, while different social identities mediate how whites experience race privilege, race remains a key factor in shaping life chances and opportunities.

  4. Evaluating Distributional Differences in Income Inequality

    Income and wage inequality between gender and other social groups is commonly evaluated by the difference in average income or the decomposition of the total amount of inequality into between-group and within-group components using an inequality measure such as the Theil index. Either approach ignores the dispersional difference between social groups, often manifested in glass-ceiling and glass-floor effects. The author introduces a refined Theil decomposition that offers two ways of capturing such between-group distributional differences.
  5. 2013 Presidential Address: Why Status Matters for Inequality

    To understand the mechanisms behind social inequality, this address argues that we need to more thoroughly incorporate the effects of status—inequality based on differences in esteem and respect—alongside those based on resources and power. As a micro motive for behavior, status is as significant as money and power. At a macro level, status stabilizes resource and power inequality by transforming it into cultural status beliefs about group differences regarding who is “better” (esteemed and competent).

  6. Kindergarten Black–White Test Score Gaps: Re-examining the Roles of Socioeconomic Status and School Quality with New Data

    Black–white test score gaps form in early childhood and widen over elementary school. Sociologists have debated the roles that socioeconomic status (SES) and school quality play in explaining these patterns. In this study, I replicate and extend past research using new nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011. I find black–white test score gaps at kindergarten entry in 2010 in reading (SD = .32), math (SD = .54), and working memory (SD = .52 among children with valid scores).

  7. Deconcentration without Integration: Examining the Social Outcomes of Housing Choice Voucher Movement in Los Angeles County

    This article reports on the social experiences of tenants moving from low-income neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles to a racially mixed, lower poverty suburb—the Antelope Valley—using Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. Voucher tenants experience significant social exclusion and aggressive oversight. Local residents use racial shorthand to label their black neighbors as voucher holders and apply additional scrutiny to their activity. They aggressively report voucher tenants to the housing authority and police, instigating inspections that threaten tenants’ voucher status.

  8. 2014 Presidential Address: Cultural Knowledge and Social Inequality

    Using both qualitative longitudinal data collected 20 years after the original Unequal Childhoodsstudy and interview data from a study of upwardly mobile adults, this address demonstrates how cultural knowledge matters when white and African American young adults of differing class backgrounds navigate key institutions. I find that middle-class young adults had more knowledge than their working-class or poor counterparts of the “rules of the game” regarding how institutions worked. They also displayed more of a sense of entitlement to ask for help.

  9. Review Essays: Middle Class Inequality: The Market Hits Home

    Michael Hout reviews Income Inequality: Economic Disparities and the Middle Class in Affluent Countries, edited by Janet C. Gornick and Markus Jantti.

  10. "Sorry, Im Not Accepting New Patients": An Audit Study of Access to Mental Health Care

    Through a phone-based field experiment, I investigated the effect of mental help seekers’ race, class, and gender on the accessibility of psychotherapists. Three hundred and twenty psychotherapists each received voicemail messages from one black middle-class and one white middle-class help seeker, or from one black working-class and one white working-class help seeker, requesting an appointment. The results revealed an otherwise invisible form of discrimination. Middle-class help seekers had appointment offer rates almost three times higher than their working-class counterparts.