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  1. Dignity and Dreams: What the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Means to Low-Income Families

    Money has meaning that shapes its uses and social significance, including the monies low-income families draw on for survival: wages, welfare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This study, based on in-depth interviews with 115 low-wage EITC recipients, reveals the EITC is an unusual type of government transfer. Recipients of the EITC say they value the debt relief this government benefit brings. However, they also perceive it as a just reward for work, which legitimizes a temporary increase in consumption.

  2. Lifetime Socioeconomic Status, Historical Context, and Genetic Inheritance in Shaping Body Mass in Middle and Late Adulthood

    This study demonstrates that body mass in middle and late adulthood is a consequence of the complex interplay among individuals’ genes, lifetime socioeconomic experiences, and the historical context in which they live. Drawing on approximately 9,000 genetic samples from the Health and Retirement Study, we first investigate how socioeconomic status (SES) over the life course moderates the impact of 32 established obesity-related genetic variants on body mass index (BMI) in middle and late adulthood.

  3. Elements of Professional Expertise: Understanding Relational and Substantive Expertise through Lawyers’ Impact

    Lawyers keep the gates of public justice institutions, particularly through their roles in formal procedures like hearings and trials. Yet, it is not clear what lawyers do in such quintessentially legal settings: conclusions from past research are bedeviled by a lack of clear theory and inconsistencies in research design. Conceptualizing litigation work in terms of professional expertise, I conduct a theoretically grounded synthesis of the findings of extant studies of lawyers’ impact on civil case outcomes.

  4. Taking Time-Off Work to Raise Children is Damaging to the Careers of Highly Skilled, High Earning Women

    Mothers who leave work to raise children often sacrifice more than the pay for their time off; when they come back their wages reflect lost raises, according to a new study by Paula England, Professor of Sociology at New York University.

  5. Health Insurance Status and Symptoms of Psychological Distress among Low-income Urban Women

    Although numerous studies have considered the effects of having health insurance on access to health care, physical health, and mortality risk, the association between insurance coverage and mental health has been surprisingly understudied. Building on previous work, we use data collected from a two-year follow-up of low-income women living in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio to estimate a series of latent fixed-effects regression models assessing the association between insurance status and symptoms of psychological distress.

  6. Class Advantage, Commitment Penalty: The Gendered Effect of Social Class Signals in an Elite Labor Market

    Research on the mechanisms that reproduce social class advantages in the United States focuses primarily on formal schooling and pays less attention to social class discrimination in labor markets. We conducted a résumé audit study to examine the effect of social class signals on entry into large U.S. law firms. We sent applications from fictitious students at selective but non-elite law schools to 316 law firm offices in 14 cities, randomly assigning signals of social class background and gender to otherwise identical résumés.

  7. Strategies Men Use to Negotiate Family and Science

    Despite the growing research devoted to women in science, the connection made between family life and work by men in science is not fully known. Here we present results from interviews with 54 men who were selected from a broader national survey and housed at prestigious U.S. universities. Men remain acutely aware of cultural expectations for devotion to work and breadwinning, either compromising work commitments for more time with family or time at home in exchange for increased academic prestige.

  8. New Study Contradicts Perceived Immigrant Education Paradox

    For years, social science research has revealed a seemingly paradoxical pattern in which educational attainment of immigrant children, even with language and cultural disadvantages, surpasses that of their native-born same socio-economic status peers. This is known as the immigrant paradox in education. Based on these findings scholars have suggested that Americanization is a developmental risk and have raised concerns that United States culture is inferior in some ways to other national cultures.

  9. Socius Special Issue Call for Papers

    Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World invites papers for a special issue on gender in the 2016 elections. We invite contributions on all topics relevant to gender and politics. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to): gender and the executive; women, social policy, and state legislative elections; intersectionality and the media; gender and public opinion; and women in changing political institutions. Informative papers on trends or cross-national comparisons are welcome as long as they are framed in relation to the 2016 U.S. election.

  10. Does College Enrollment and Bachelor’s Completion by Mothers Impact Children’s Educational Outcomes?

    Today, many undergraduates are themselves raising children. But does college-going by parents improve their offspring’s educational attainment? I address this question using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth–1979 and linked Children and Young Adults Survey. I first model postnatal college enrollment and bachelor’s completion by mothers and use predicted probabilities to minimize selection bias through inverse probability of treatment weighting.