American Sociological Association

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  1. Through the Contested Terrain: Implementation of Downsizing Announcements by Large U.S. Firms, 1984 to 2005

    Since the 1980s, leading U.S. firms have announced massive downsizing plans in the name of maximizing shareholder value, but some observers are skeptical about how serious firms are in implementing these plans. Building on political theories of corporate governance, I examine how conflicts of interest and alignment among investors, workers, and top managers affect the implementation of announced downsizing plans.

  2. The Role of Gender, Class, and Religion in Biracial Americans Racial Labeling Decisions

    Racial attachments are understood to be socially constructed and endogenous to gender, socioeconomic, and religious identities. Yet we know surprisingly little about the effect of such identities on the particular racial labels that individuals self-select. In this article, I investigate how social identities shape the racial labels chosen by biracial individuals in the United States, a rapidly growing population who have multiple labeling options.

  3. Childhood Disadvantage and Health Problems in Middle and Later Life: Early Imprints on Physical Health?

    Drawing from cumulative inequality theory, we examine the relationship between childhood disadvantage and health problems in adulthood. Using two waves of data from Midlife Development in the United States, we investigate whether childhood disadvantage is associated with adult disadvantage, including fewer social resources, and the effect of lifelong disadvantage on health problems measured at the baseline survey and a 10-year follow-up.

  4. Choice, Information, and Constrained Options: School Transfers in a Stratified Educational System

    It is well known that family socioeconomic background influences childhood access to opportunities. Educational reforms that introduce new information about school quality may lead to increased inequality if families with more resources are better able to respond. However, these policies can also level the playing field for choice by equalizing disadvantaged families’ access to information. This study assesses how a novel accountability system affected family enrollment decisions in the Chicago Public Schools by introducing new test performance information and consequences.

  5. Stuck in Unhealthy Places: How Entering, Exiting, and Remaining in Poor and Nonpoor Neighborhoods Is Associated with Obesity during the Transition to Adulthood

    Adolescents from poor versus nonpoor neighborhoods are more likely to become obese during the transition to adulthood. It is unclear whether this pertains to all adolescents from poor neighborhoods or only those who remain in disadvantaged settings. Further, it is unknown how neighborhood poverty entries and exits are associated with obesity.

  6. Poverty Attributions and the Perceived Justice of Income Inequality: A Comparison of East and West Germany

    Though the concept of social justice is widely used in the social sciences, we know little about the amount of income inequality that is perceived as just and why perceptions vary across social contexts. In this paper, we argue the ways people define the causes of poverty are related to how they perceive and justify existing income inequality. We examine internal and external attributions of poverty using survey data from the 2006 International Social Justice Project (ISJP). We compare two culturally and structurally distinct regions—East and West Germany.

  7. Cancer Diagnosis and Mental Health among Older White Adults: Moderating Role for Social Networks?

    Cancer is a life-changing condition for many American seniors, and a growing body of literature is assessing the mental health implications of living with the disease. This article builds from the well-known buffering hypothesis with insights from recent cancer research to investigate whether social networks moderate the association between cancer and mental health for older men and women.

  8. Variation in the Protective Effect of Higher Education against Depression

    Numerous studies document that higher education is associated with a reduced likelihood of depression. The protective effects of higher education, however, are known to vary across population subgroups. This study tests competing theories for who is likely to obtain a greater protective benefit from a college degree against depression through an analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and recently developed methods for analyzing heterogeneous treatment effects involving the use of propensity scores.

  9. A Design and a Model for Investigating the Heterogeneity of Context Effects in Public Opinion Surveys

    Context effects on survey response, caused by the unobserved interaction between beliefs stored in personal memory and triggers generated by the structure of the survey instrument, are a pervasive challenge to survey research. The authors argue that randomized survey experiments on representative samples, when paired with facilitative primes, can enable researchers to model selection into variable context effects, revealing heterogeneity at the population level.

  10. Ability Groupings Effects on Grades and the Attainment of Higher Education: A Natural Experiment

    To test the effect of ability grouping on grades and the attainment of higher education, this study examines a naturally occurring experiment—an admission reform that dramatically increased ability sorting between schools in the municipality of Stockholm. Following six cohorts of students (N = 79,020) from the age of 16 to 26, I find a mean effect close to zero and small positive and negative differentiating effects on grades.