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  1. Equalization or Selection? Reassessing the “Meritocratic Power” of a College Degree in Intergenerational Income Mobility

    Intergenerational mobility is higher among college graduates than among people with lower levels of education. In light of this finding, researchers have characterized a college degree as a great equalizer leveling the playing field, and proposed that expanding higher education would promote mobility. This line of reasoning rests on the implicit assumption that the relatively high mobility observed among college graduates reflects a causal effect of college completion on intergenerational mobility, an assumption that has rarely been rigorously evaluated. This article bridges this gap.

  2. Brilliant or Bad: The Gendered Social Construction of Exceptionalism in Early Adolescence

    From kindergarten through college, students perceive boys as more intelligent than girls, yet few sociological studies have identified how school processes shape students’ gender status beliefs. Drawing on 2.5 years of longitudinal ethnography and 196 interviews conducted at a racially diverse, public middle school in Los Angeles, this article demonstrates how educators’ differential regulation of boys’ rule-breaking by course level contributed to gender-based differences in students’ perceptions of intelligence.

  3. Intracohort Trends in Ethnic Earnings Gaps: The Role of Education

    This study demonstrates that studying ethnic/racial inequality on the basis of cross-sectional data conceals how such inequality might unfold over the life course. Moving beyond a snapshot perspective, we ask, Do Israel’s Jewish ethnic groups differ in their long-term earnings trajectories? Analyzing nearly 20 years of registered earnings data, the authors find that for the same cohort (25- to 32-year-old Jews in 1995), the ethnic earnings gap has widened over these years.

  4. The Influence of Foreign-born Population on Immigrant and Native-born Students’ Academic Achievement

    With recent increases in international migration, some political and academic narratives argue for limiting migration because of possible negative effects on the host country. Among other outcomes, these groups argue that immigrant students have an impact on education, negatively affecting native-born students’ academic performance. The authors contextualize the relationship between immigrant status and academic achievement by considering a macro social setting: country-level foreign-born population.

  5. Mental Health Outcomes of Discrimination among College Students on a Predominately White Campus: A Prospective Study

    Racial discrimination is a social stressor harmful to mental health. In this paper, we explore the links between mental health and interpersonal discrimination-related social events, exposure to vicarious racism via social media, and rumination on racial injustices using a daily diary design. We utilize data from a racially diverse sample of 149 college students with 1,489 unique time observations at a large, predominantly white university.

  6. Queer Integrative Marginalization: LGBTQ Student Integration Strategies at an Elite University

    The author draws on the oral histories of 44 LGBTQ Princeton alumni who graduated from 1960 to 2011 to examine student strategies for negotiating marginal identities when integrating into an elite university. Even with greater LGBTQ visibility and resources at the institutional level, LGBTQ students’ experiences and strategies suggest that we question the larger social narrative of linear progress.

  7. Honorary Whites? Asian American Women and the Dominance Penalty

    Women face a double bind in positions of leadership; they are expected to display authority in order to appear competent but are judged as socially deficient if they are perceived to be too dominant. This dominance penalty is well documented, but most studies examine reactions only to white women’s leadership displays.
  8. The Social Pipeline: How Friend Influence and Peer Exposure Widen the STEM Gender Gap

    Individuals’ favorite subjects in school can predetermine their educational and occupational careers. If girls develop weaker preferences for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), it can contribute to macrolevel gender inequalities in income and status. Relying on large-scale panel data on adolescents from Sweden (218 classrooms, 4,998 students), we observe a widening gender gap in preferring STEM subjects within a year (girls, 19 to 15 percent; boys, 21 to 20 percent).
  9. Aggressive Policing and the Educational Performance of Minority Youth

    An increasing number of minority youth experience contact with the criminal justice system. But how does the expansion of police presence in poor urban communities affect educational outcomes? Previous research points at multiple mechanisms with opposing effects. This article presents the first causal evidence of the impact of aggressive policing on minority youths’ educational performance. Under Operation Impact, the New York Police Department (NYPD) saturated high-crime areas with additional police officers with the mission to engage in aggressive, order-maintenance policing.
  10. Using Racial and Class Differences in Infant Mortality to Teach about White Privilege: A Cooperative Group Activity

    A considerable amount of research across the past several decades has documented the emergence of a new racial ideology of “color-blindness” as well as evidence that white college students have difficulty recognizing the racial privileges that are obscured by this color-blindness. To address this, we developed a cooperative group White Privilege Activity that used racial and class differences in infant mortality to help students recognize the existence of white privilege.