American Sociological Association

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  1. The Impact of Racial Diversity in the Classroom: Activating the Sociological Imagination

    Diverse college campuses have been conclusively associated with a variety of positive outcomes for all students. However, we still know very little empirically about how student diversity directly impacts the core task of the university: classroom learning. While students vary based on race along a broad spectrum of experiences and backgrounds, we have yet to establish how those varying backgrounds might impact the ways students engage with course material.

  2. The Paradox of Persistence: Explaining the Black-White Gap in Bachelor’s Degree Completion

    Bachelor’s degree (BA) completion is lower among black students than among white students. In this study, we use data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, together with regression-based analytical techniques, to identify the primary sources of the BA completion gap. We find that black students’ lower academic and socioeconomic resources are the biggest drivers of the gap. However, we also find that black students are more likely to enroll in four-year colleges than are white students, given pre-college resources.
  3. BMI Trajectories in Adulthood: The Intersection of Skin Color, Gender, and Age among African Americans

    This study addresses three research questions critical to understanding if and how skin color shapes health among African Americans: (1) Does skin color predict trajectories of body mass index (BMI) among African Americans across ages 32 to 55? (2) To what extent is this relationship contingent on gender? (3) Do sociodemographic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors explain the skin color–BMI relationship?
  4. As Disaster Costs Rise, So Does Inequality

    Across the United States, communities are experiencing increases in the frequency and severity of natural hazards. The pervasiveness and upward trajectory of these damages are worrisome enough, but equally disconcerting are the social inequalities they can leave in their wake. To examine these inequalities, the authors linked county-level damage data to a random sample of American households. The authors visualize the pervasiveness of natural hazards as well as their influence on racial wealth gaps over time.

  5. Problems Establishing Identity/Residency in a City Neighborhood during a Black/White Police‐Citizen Encounter: Reprising Du Bois’ Conception of Submission as “Submissive Civility”

    This article revisits W.E.B. Du Bois' (1943) conception of “The Submissive Man” in the context of a Black/White police‐citizen encounter. Du Bois argued that submission to democratic principles that place the well‐being of the whole over the individual is a Black American ideal, which offers a necessary counter‐balance to the individualism of the dominant White “Strong Man” ideal.

  6. U.S. Empire and the “Adaptive Education” Model: The Global Production of Race

    Following World War I, the U.S. Department of Labor worked with a large-scale commercial philanthropic endeavor called the Phelps Stokes Fund to transfer educational policies designed for African Americans to West Africa and South Africa. They specifically promoted the “adaptive education” model used at Tuskegee and the Hampton institutes for African American education. This model emphasized manual labor, Christian character formation, and political passivity as a form of racial uplift.
  7. Race as an Open Field: Exploring Identity beyond Fixed Choices

    This paper uses new, nationally representative data to examine how Americans describe their own racial and ethnic identities when they are not constrained by conventional fixed categories. Recent work on shifting racial classifications and the fluidity of racial identities in the United States has questioned the subjective and cultural adequacy of fixed categorization schemes. Are traditional racial boundaries breaking down? We explore the possibility in three ways.
  8. Black-white Biracial Students’ Evaluations of Blackness: The Role of College in Shaping Racial Regard

    This study explores biracial students’ racial regard, an evaluative component of racial identity that captures positive and negative feelings about the racial groups to which one belongs. Drawing on data from interviews with 62 black-white biracial students attending predominantly white institutions (PWIs) or historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), I explore the conditions of educational contexts that promote or hinder development of positive racial regard.
  9. Worshiping across the Color Line: The Influence of Congregational Composition on Whites’ Friendship Networks and Racial Attitudes

    Religious participation has reinforced the color line in American society for generations. Despite rising racial and ethnic diversity across U.S. communities, most Americans continue to belong to congregations composed primarily of others from their own racial/ethnic groups. Yet recent scholarship suggests that the presence of multiple racial or ethnic groups in the same congregation is increasing. The authors examine how the racial/ethnic composition of U.S.
  10. Racial and Ethnic Differences in Consumers’ Economic Expectations

    Consumers’ expectations about the future of their own finances and the macroeconomy are used to forecast consumption, but forecasts do not typically account for differences by race and ethnicity. In this report, the author asks (1) whether there is consistent racial and ethnic variation in consumers’ economic expectations, (2) if differences can be explained by economic experiences, and (3) how the scope of expectations matters.