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  1. Industry, Firm, Job Title: The Layered Nature of Early-Career Advantage for Graduates of Elite Private Universities

    Using concepts associated with effectively maintained inequality theory and horizontal stratification, the authors ask whether the private-public dividing line is a “threshold of consequence” for early-career market entry. To address this empirically, the authors use a novel LinkedIn data set to analyze job pathways for the graduating class of 2016 from the top 25 private and top 25 public universities in the United States.

  2. Logics of Freedom: Debating Religious Freedom Laws and Gay and Lesbian Rights

    In the wake of marriage equality for same-sex couples, many states have introduced and passed laws that provide religious exemptions for certain services and benefits for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) persons. The authors use data from a general population survey of Nebraskans as a mixed-methods case study to examine public opinion of religious freedom laws.
  3. The Organizational Ecology of College Affordability: Research Activity, State Grant Aid Policies, and Student Debt at U.S. Public Universities

    Sociologists have theorized U.S. universities as a heterogenous organizational ecology. We use this lens to compare student debt and college prices for low-income students across public universities according to their research intensiveness and varied state grant aid policies. We show that students at research-intensive public universities have had an easier time repaying student loans than at other schools.
  4. “Daddies,” “Cougars,” and Their Partners Past Midlife: Gender Attitudes and Relationship and Sexual Well-Being among Older Adults in Age-Heterogenous Partnerships

    Discussion of “daddies” has exploded in popular discourse, yet there is little sociological research on age-heterogenous partnerships. This paper uses data from the 2013 Midlife in the United States survey and the 2015–2016 National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project to examine age-heterogenous partnerships at older ages (63 was the approximate average age of each sample).

  5. Summer 2019 Contexts Online Free until August 30

    From the Editors

    Special Issue on Freedom

  6. Diverging Trajectories or Parallel Pathways? An Intersectional and Life Course Approach to the Gender Earnings Gap by Race and Education

    Integrating ideas about intersectionality with life course theories, we explore how trajectories of gender earnings inequality vary across race and education. Past research suggests that gender earnings gaps by race and education are narrower for more disadvantaged groups, yet it remains unknown whether these key differences amplify, decline, or remain constant over the life course.
  7. Reconsidering Student Evaluations of Teaching

    Washington, DC:  A formal statement issued by the American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org/studentevaluations), and endorsed by 17 other scholarly associations, describes the current use of student evaluations of teaching as “problematic” and identifies ways to use student feedback appropriately as one part of holistic assessment of teaching effectiveness in institutions of higher education.

  8. Challenging Evolution in Public Schools: Race, Religion, and Attitudes toward Teaching Creationism

    Researchers argue that white evangelical Christians are likely to support teaching creationism in public schools. Yet, less is known about the role religion may play in shaping attitudes toward evolution and teaching creationism among blacks and Latinos, who are overrepresented in U.S. conservative Protestant traditions. This study fills a gap in the literature by examining whether religious factors (e.g., religious affiliation and Biblical literalism) relate to differences in support for teaching creationism between blacks and Latinos compared to whites and other racial groups.
  9. Predicting GPA at Age 15 in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study

    In this paper, we describe in detail the different approaches we used to predict the GPA of children at the age of 15 in the context of the Fragile Families Challenge. Our best prediction improved about 18 percent in terms of mean squared error over a naive baseline prediction and performed less than 5 percent worse than the best prediction in the Fragile Families Challenge. After discussing the different predictions we made, we also discuss the predictors that tend to be robustly associated with GPA. One remarkable predictor is related to teacher observations at the age of nine.
  10. Friend Request Pending: A Comparative Assessment of Engineering- and Social Science–Inspired Approaches to Analyzing Complex Birth Cohort Survey Data

    The Fragile Families Challenge is a mass collaboration social science data challenge whose aim is to learn how various early childhood variables predict the long-term outcomes of children. The author describes a two-step approach to the Fragile Families Challenge. In step 1, a variety of fully automated approaches are used to predict child academic achievement. In total 124 models are fit, which involve most possible combinations of eight model types, two imputation strategies, two standardization approaches, and two automatic variable selection techniques using two different thresholds.