American Sociological Association

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  1. Men’s Overpersistence and the Gender Gap in Science and Mathematics

    Large and long-standing gaps exist in the gender composition of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Abundant research has sought to explain these gaps, typically focusing on women, though these gaps result from the decisions of men as well as women. Here we study gender differences in STEM persistence with a focus on men’s choices, finding that men persist in these domains even where opting out could lead to greater material payoffs.
  2. Scaling Down Inequality: Rating Scales, Gender Bias, and the Architecture of Evaluation

    Quantitative performance ratings are ubiquitous in modern organizations—from businesses to universities—yet there is substantial evidence of bias against women in such ratings. This study examines how gender inequalities in evaluations depend on the design of the tools used to judge merit.
  3. “Keeping Us in Our Place”: Low-Income Moms Barred From College Success

    Mothers, trying to graduate their way out of poverty, describe controlling state policies and university cultures of exclusion that seem aligned in barring them from social mobility.
  4. Getting Ahead in Singapore: How Neighborhoods, Gender, and Ethnicity Affect Enrollment into Elite Schools

    Is education the social leveler it promises to be? Nowhere is this question better addressed than in Singapore, the emblematic modern-day meritocracy where education has long been hailed as the most important ticket to elite status. In particular, what accounts for gender and ethnic gaps in enrollment into Singapore’s elite junior colleges—the key sorters in the country’s education system? We consider how the wealth of neighborhoods has combined with the elite status of schools to affect the social mobility of gender and ethnic groups.
  5. Performative State-Formation in the Early American Republic

    How do proto-state organizations achieve an initial accumulation of power, such that they are in a position to grow (or shrink) as an organization, maintain their prestige (or lose it), and be viewed, by elite and populace, as something real and consequential that can be argued about, supported, or attacked?
  6. Scientific Elite: Nobel Laureates in the United States

    Zuckerman’s well-written book provides a comprehensive study of Nobel Laureates in the United States. The process by which the Nobel Prize is awarded is examined as a case study of the reward and evaluation system in science. Analysis is based on an impressive array of data.
  7. Students Under Stress

    With surveys, participant observation, depth interviews, and sociometry, David Mechanic researched twenty-three University of Wisconsin sociology graduate students preparing for their comprehensive examinations. His report deserves thorough utilization by two types of researchers: those concerned with the sociology of psychiatric disorders; and sociologists of higher education. Mechanic’s study was first released in 1962 and has received a fair amount of attention, but not nearly what it deserves and will hopefully receive with this reissue.
  8. Navigating the Process of Curriculum Redesign in Sociology: Challenges and Lessons from One Program

    The American Sociological Association has produced a wide range of reports and materials addressing curricular best practices. Collectively, those materials are an invaluable resource for guiding revisions of the sociology major, but they do not address processes for implementing such revisions. In this conversation piece, we describe the steps by which our department implemented a thorough curricular redesign—a process nearing completion after five years of formal discussions, and with roots reaching back even farther.
  9. Who Counts as a Notable Sociologist on Wikipedia? Gender, Race, and the “Professor Test”

    This paper documents and estimates the extent of underrepresentation of women and people of color on the pages of Wikipedia devoted to contemporary American sociologists. In contrast to the demographic diversity of the discipline, sociologists represented on Wikipedia are largely white men. The gender and racial/ethnic gaps in likelihood of representation have exhibited little change over time. Using novel data, we estimate the “risk” of having a Wikipedia page for a sample of contemporary sociologists.
  10. Do Well-off Families Compensate for Low Cognitive Ability? Evidence on Social Inequality in Early Schooling from a Twin Study

    This article bridges the literature on educational inequality between and within families to test whether high–socioeconomic status (SES) families compensate for low cognitive ability in the transition to secondary education in Germany. The German educational system of early-ability tracking (at age 10) represents a stringent setting for the compensatory hypothesis. Overall, previous literature offers inconclusive findings.