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  1. States With Punitive Justice Systems Have Higher Rates of Foster Care, Study Finds

    The number of children in foster care across the country is driven not solely by child abuse and neglect, but by states' varying politics and approaches to social problems, a new University of Washington (UW) study finds.

    States with more punitive criminal justice systems tend to remove children from their homes far more frequently than those with generous welfare programs — meaning that two states with similar rates of child abuse and neglect could have very different rates of foster care entry.

  2. Families With Kids Increasingly Live Near Families Just Like Them

    Neighborhoods are becoming less diverse and more segregated by income — but only among families with children, a new study has found.

    Study author Ann Owens, an assistant professor of sociology at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, examined census data from 100 major U.S. metropolitan areas, from Los Angeles to Boston. She found that, among families with children, neighborhood income segregation is driven by increased income inequality in combination with a previously overlooked factor: school district options.

  3. 2013 Presidential Address: Why Status Matters for Inequality

    To understand the mechanisms behind social inequality, this address argues that we need to more thoroughly incorporate the effects of status—inequality based on differences in esteem and respect—alongside those based on resources and power. As a micro motive for behavior, status is as significant as money and power. At a macro level, status stabilizes resource and power inequality by transforming it into cultural status beliefs about group differences regarding who is “better” (esteemed and competent).

  4. Alexander, Olson, and Entwisle Win Top Education Award for The Long Shadow

    Three Johns Hopkins University researchers whose 2014 book traced the lives of nearly 800 Baltimore City public school students for a quarter of a century have won the prestigious $100,000 Grawemeyer Award in Education. Their research challenges the idea that access to public education means equal opportunity

  5. Kindergarten Black–White Test Score Gaps: Re-examining the Roles of Socioeconomic Status and School Quality with New Data

    Black–white test score gaps form in early childhood and widen over elementary school. Sociologists have debated the roles that socioeconomic status (SES) and school quality play in explaining these patterns. In this study, I replicate and extend past research using new nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011. I find black–white test score gaps at kindergarten entry in 2010 in reading (SD = .32), math (SD = .54), and working memory (SD = .52 among children with valid scores).

  6. Deconcentration without Integration: Examining the Social Outcomes of Housing Choice Voucher Movement in Los Angeles County

    This article reports on the social experiences of tenants moving from low-income neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles to a racially mixed, lower poverty suburb—the Antelope Valley—using Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. Voucher tenants experience significant social exclusion and aggressive oversight. Local residents use racial shorthand to label their black neighbors as voucher holders and apply additional scrutiny to their activity. They aggressively report voucher tenants to the housing authority and police, instigating inspections that threaten tenants’ voucher status.

  7. 2014 Presidential Address: Cultural Knowledge and Social Inequality

    Using both qualitative longitudinal data collected 20 years after the original Unequal Childhoodsstudy and interview data from a study of upwardly mobile adults, this address demonstrates how cultural knowledge matters when white and African American young adults of differing class backgrounds navigate key institutions. I find that middle-class young adults had more knowledge than their working-class or poor counterparts of the “rules of the game” regarding how institutions worked. They also displayed more of a sense of entitlement to ask for help.

  8. Study Finds Evidence of Racial and Class Discrimination Among Psychotherapists

    A new study suggests that psychotherapists discriminate against prospective patients who are black or working class.

    "Although I expected to find racial and class-based disparities, the magnitude of the discrimination working-class therapy seekers faced exceeded my grimmest expectations," said Heather Kugelmass, a doctoral student in sociology at Princeton University and the author of the study.

  9. Review Essays: Middle Class Inequality: The Market Hits Home

    Michael Hout reviews Income Inequality: Economic Disparities and the Middle Class in Affluent Countries, edited by Janet C. Gornick and Markus Jantti.

  10. "Sorry, Im Not Accepting New Patients": An Audit Study of Access to Mental Health Care

    Through a phone-based field experiment, I investigated the effect of mental help seekers’ race, class, and gender on the accessibility of psychotherapists. Three hundred and twenty psychotherapists each received voicemail messages from one black middle-class and one white middle-class help seeker, or from one black working-class and one white working-class help seeker, requesting an appointment. The results revealed an otherwise invisible form of discrimination. Middle-class help seekers had appointment offer rates almost three times higher than their working-class counterparts.