American Sociological Association

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  1. Risk and Emotion Among Healthy Volunteers in Clinical Trials

    Theorized as objective or constructed, risk is recognized as unequally distributed across social hierarchies. Yet the process by which social forces shape risk and risk emotions remains unknown. The pharmaceutical industry depends on healthy individuals to voluntarily test early-stage, investigational drugs in exchange for financial compensation. Emblematic of risk in late modernity, Phase I testing is a rich site for examining how class and race shape configurations of emotion and risk.

  2. Income Inequality Leads Millennials to Start Families before Marriage

    Rising income inequality, and the resulting scarcity of certain types of jobs, is a key reason a growing number of young Americans are having babies before getting married.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. America's Biggest Secret or Life in a Culture of Pay Secrecy?

    My eight-year-old daughter received the classic Hasbro Game of Life as a holiday gift this past year.  What caught my attention right away while playing the game with her were the salaries.

  7. 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.

  8. Sexual Orientation in the Labor Market

    Most analyses of sexual orientation and earnings find that gay men face a wage gap, whereas lesbian women earn higher wages than similar heterosexual women. However, analyses rarely consider bisexual men and women as a unique group separate from other sexual minorities. I argue that such binary views of sexual orientation—treating sexual minorities as a homogenous non-heterosexual group—have obscured understandings of the impact of sexual orientation on labor market outcomes.

  9. Collective Labor Rights and Income Inequality

    This article examines the relationship between income inequality and collective labor rights, conceptualized as workers’ legal and practical ability to engage in collective activity. Although worker organization is central to explaining income inequality in industrialized democracies, worldwide comparative studies have neglected the role of class-based actors. I argue that the repression of labor rights reduces the capacity of worker organizations to effectively challenge income inequality through market and political processes in capitalist societies.

  10. 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.