American Sociological Association

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  1. Review Essay: Public Engagement and the Influence Imperative

    These three books—Going Public: A Guide for Social Scientists, by Arlene Stein and Jessie Daniels; The Social Scientist’s Soapbox: Adventures in Writing Public Sociology, by Karen Sternheimer; and The Public Professor: How to Use Your Research to Change the World, by M. V. Lee Badgett—by three sociologists (Stein, Daniels, and Sternheimer) and an economist (Badgett) address the demand for guidance and support as academic sociologists respond to the disciplinary imperative to make our work more influential.
  2. Intergenerational Wealth Mobility and Racial Inequality

    The black-white gap in household wealth is large and well documented. Here, we visualize how this racial wealth gap persists across generations. Animating the flow of individuals between the relative wealth position of parents and their adult children, we show that the disadvantage of black families is a consequence both of wealth inequality in prior generations and race differences in the transmission of wealth positions across generations: Black children both have less wealthy parents on average and are far more likely to be downwardly mobile in household wealth.
  3. Basic Income and the Pitfalls of Randomization

    This essay evaluates the state of the debate around basic income, a controversial and much-discussed policy proposal. I explore its contested meaning and consider its potential impact. I provide a summary of the randomized guaranteed income experiments from the 1970s, emphasizing how experimental methods using scattered sets of isolated participants cannot capture the crucial social factors that help to explain changes in people’s patterns of work.
  4. “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.
  5. Black Debt, White Debt

    Racial discrimination shapes who feels debt as a crushing burden and who experiences debt as an opportunity. U.S. financial products and rules, and the ways they’re implemented, amplify this inequality along racial lines.
  6. Disrupting the Racial Wealth Gap

    African-American families possess a dime for every dollar of White families’ wealth. Among policy ideas to remedy this stark racial wealth divide, baby bonds, basic income, reducing student loan debt, and federal job guarantees hold transformative potential.
  7. Raising Global Children across the Pacific

    Different opportunity structures and different perceptions of risk within the global economy shape the ways parents of similar class and ethnic backgrounds strive to prepare their children for the future.

  8. Not by Bread Alone: Mobility Experiences, Religion, and Optimism about Future Mobility

    Americans are quite optimistic about their chances of upward mobility, but sometimes even they have their doubts. The authors examine how mobility experiences boost or dampen American optimism about mobility and how the relationship is connected to religion. The authors find that Americans whose subjective financial situations have recently worsened are less optimistic, whereas those whose situations have improved are more optimistic. Objective measures of mobility were not connected to optimism.

  9. The Economics of Migration

    Economists broadly agree: the political backlash against immigration in many countries is not economically rational. The evidence strongly supports immigration as, overall, a clear benefit to destination countries.

  10. The Enduring Mental Health Effects of Post-9/11 Discrimination in the Context of the Great Recession: Race/Ethnic Variation

    While prior study has linked discrimination experienced as a result of 9/11 with economic insecurity within the context of the Great Recession, the mental health effects of this linkage are unexamined. This study examined whether economic insecurity during the recession era helps account for long-term effects of 9/11-related discrimination on symptoms of depression and anxiety using structural equation modeling techniques to assess data from a national mail survey.