American Sociological Association

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  1. Extra Credit in the Sociology Classroom

    The role of extra credit in the college classroom has been examined as a philosophical and pedagogical issue, but in this project, we argue that the matter of extra credit is also a sociological one. Using survey data, we examine how college instructors’ status and individual demographic characteristics are related to the use of extra credit. We found that women and instructors with less teaching experience are more likely to offer extra credit.
  2. Gender Gaps in Undergraduate Fields of Study: Do College Characteristics Matter?

    Despite gender parity in earned bachelor’s degrees, large gender gaps persist across fields of study. The dominant explanatory framework in this area of research assesses how gender differences in individual-level attributes predict gaps in major choice. The authors argue that individualistic accounts cannot provide a complete explanation because they fail to consider the powerful effects of the gendered institutional environments that inform and shape young men’s and women’s choices.
  3. Reconceptualizing Participation Grading as Skill Building

    Two common ways that instructors assess participation in sociology courses are recalling participation by memory or counting times spoken during class in real time. However, these common assessments rely on faulty assumptions that do not support their usage. This article reconceptualizes participation grading as an opportunity to motivate skill building across a variety of dimensions. The evidence from two classes of 45 and 47 students demonstrates that this conceptualization can be effectively implemented in undergraduate courses.
  4. Higher Education, Bigger Networks? Differences by Family Socioeconomic Background and Network Measures

    Income or health returns linked to obtaining a college degree often are greatest for individuals who come from socioeconomically disadvantaged families. Although this importantly suggests that college lessens many forms of inequality linked to parental socioeconomic status, empirical knowledge about adult network inequality remains limited. Drawing on the 1972–2014 General Social Survey, the author finds that higher education associates on average with a greater number of nonkin and community ties.
  5. Review Essays: Ivory Tower Fantasies about Affirmative Actions

    In a provocative 2002 essay, political scientist Jennifer Hochschild asks: why has affirmative action been so central to the American culture wars, more so than wage discrimination, underfunded public schools, and a litany of other social issues that have far greater impact on more black Americans?1 And why have social scientists paid affirmative action so little empirical attention, in contrast to the deep philosophical and legal thinking on the topic?
  6. Visualizing Africa’s Educational Gender Gap

    This figure depicts the gendered patterns of educational expansion across Africa. The horizontal axis displays educational access, and vertical lines represent educational gender gaps for 267 country-specific birth cohorts, representing adults born between 1941 and 1992 in 32 African countries. The gaps take on an almond shape. In early stages of educational expansion, boys enter school at higher rates than girls; female enrollment begins to catch up only when at least half of the cohort attends school.
  7. Education, Smoking, and Cohort Change: Forwarding a Multidimensional Theory of the Environmental Moderation of Genetic Effects

    Sociologists interested in the effects of genes on complex social outcomes claim environmental conditions structure when and how genes matter, but they have only studied environmental moderation of genetic effects on single traits at a time (gene-by-environment interactions). In this article, we propose that the social environment can also transform the genetic link between two traits.
  8. Relative Education and the Advantage of a College Degree

    What is the worth of a college degree when higher education expands? The relative education hypothesis posits that when college degrees are rare, individuals with more education have less competition to enter highly-skilled occupations. When college degrees are more common, there may not be enough highly-skilled jobs to go around; some college-educated workers lose out to others and are pushed into less-skilled jobs.
  9. Racial Expropriation in Higher Education: Are Whiter Hispanic Serving Institutions More Likely to Receive Minority Serving Institution Funds?

    Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) are colleges with 25 percent or higher Latinx student bodies. Categorization as HSI permits institutions to apply for restricted competitive federal grants that are meant to help alleviate Latinx educational inequalities. However, HSI designations have increased fivefold over recent decades, leading to greater competition between them for these racially designated resources. This is the first known study to investigate patterns of racialized resource allocation to this subset of colleges.
  10. Students and University Growing Up Together

    A new campus and its first class of students, both in transition.