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  1. Education’s Limitations and Its Radical Possibilities

    by Prudence L. Carter, Spring 2018 Contexts

  2. Income Inequality Is Changing How Parents Invest in Their Kids, Widening Class Divides in the U.S.

    A new study shows that rising income inequality in the U.S. has led affluent parents to increase spending on their children, widening the gap in child investment along class lines. The results suggest that income inequality erodes the equality of opportunity by increasing gaps between children from a young age.  

  3. The Emergence of Statistical Objectivity: Changing Ideas of Epistemic Vice and Virtue in Science

    The meaning of objectivity in any specific setting reflects historically situated understandings of both science and self. Recently, various scientific fields have confronted growing mistrust about the replicability of findings, and statistical techniques have been deployed to articulate a “crisis of false positives.” In response, epistemic activists have invoked a decidedly economic understanding of scientists’ selves. This has prompted a scientific social movement of proposed reforms, including regulating disclosure of “backstage” research details and enhancing incentives for replication.
  4. The Role of Social Media in Collective Processes of Place Making: A Study of Two Neighborhood Blogs in Amsterdam

    The wide use of social media has facilitated new social practices that influence place meaning. This paper uses a double case study of two neighborhood blogs in gentrifying communities, to explore the role of social media in sharing place associations and community formation. Drawing on Collins’ theory of interaction ritual chains, this research project investigates how the intertwining of online and offline interaction around the blogs creates interaction chains whereby the place associations of participants in the blog become more aligned, creating an alternative place narrative.

  5. The Effects of Gentrification on Neighborhood Public Schools

    Gentrification is generally associated with improvements in neighborhood amenities, but we know little about whether the improvements extend to public schools. Using administrative data (from spring 1993 to spring 2004) from the third largest school district in the United States, we examine the relationships between gentrification and school‐level student math and reading achievement, and whether changes in the composition of the student body account for any changes in achievement.

  6. Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of High School and What Can Be Done About It

    Thomas B. Hoffer reviews Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of High School and What Can Be Done About It by Russell W. Rumberger.

  7. Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent

    The origin of values and preferences is an unresolved theoretical question in behavioral and social sciences.

  8. Estimating Income Statistics from Grouped Data: Mean-constrained Integration over Brackets

    Researchers studying income inequality, economic segregation, and other subjects must often rely on grouped data—that is, data in which thousands or millions of observations have been reduced to counts of units by specified income brackets.
  9. Comment: The Inferential Information Criterion from a Bayesian Point of View

    As Michael Schultz notes in his very interesting paper (this volume, pp. 52–87), standard model selection criteria, such as the Akaike information criterion (AIC; Akaike 1974), the Bayesian information criterion (BIC; Schwarz 1978), and the minimum description length principle (MDL; Rissanen 1978), are purely empirical criteria in the sense that the score a model receives does not depend on how well the model coheres with background theory. This is unsatisfying because we would like our models to be theoretically plausible, not just empirically successful.
  10. The Problem of Underdetermination in Model Selection

    Conventional model selection evaluates models on their ability to represent data accurately, ignoring their dependence on theoretical and methodological assumptions. Drawing on the concept of underdetermination from the philosophy of science, the author argues that uncritical use of methodological assumptions can pose a problem for effective inference. By ignoring the plausibility of assumptions, existing techniques select models that are poor representations of theory and are thus suboptimal for inference.