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  1. Fifty Years since the Coleman Report: Rethinking the Relationship between Schools and Inequality

    In the half century since the 1966 Coleman Report, scholars have yet to develop a consensus regarding the relationship between schools and inequality. The Coleman Report suggested that schools play little role in generating achievement gaps, but social scientists have identified many ways in which schools provide better learning environments to advantaged children compared to disadvantaged children. As a result, a critical perspective that views schools as engines of inequality dominates contemporary sociology of education.

  2. What Skills Can Buy: Transmission of Advantage through Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills

    Parental income and wealth contribute to children’s success but are at least partly endogenous to parents’ cognitive and noncognitive skills. We estimate the degree to which mothers’ skills measured in early adulthood confound the relationship between their economic resources and their children’s postsecondary education outcomes.

  3. Choice, Preferences, and Constraints: Evidence from Public School Applications in Denver

    Does ‘‘choosing a home’’ still matter for ‘‘choosing a school,’’ despite implementation of school choice policies designed to weaken this link? Prior research shows how the presence of such policies does little to solve the problems of stratification and segregation associated with residentially based enrollment systems, since families differ along racial/ethnic and socioeconomic lines in their access to, and how they participate in, the school choice process. We examine how families’ nearby school supply shapes and constrains their choices.

  4. Colonized Curriculum: Racializing Discourses of Africa and Africans in Dutch Primary School History Textbooks

    Although U.S. scholars have long documented the stereotypical appearance of Africa in textbooks, scant research does so in the Netherlands. The Dutch, internationally recognized for generous aid, contributed to Africa’s historical underdevelopment by kidnapping, trading, and enslaving Africans. In this study, the author uses content and discourse analysis to examine how Africa, African independence, and European, particularly Dutch, aid organizations operating in Africa are represented in all Dutch primary school history textbooks published since 1980.

  5. Teaching for Social Justice: Motivations of Community College Faculty in Sociology

    This article evaluates the reasons for career choice and job satisfaction among community college faculty who teach sociology, in relation to a social justice motivation for teaching. Using closed- and open-ended response data from a 2014 national survey of community college sociology faculty, this study finds that a preponderance of faculty do not see themselves as pushed into their careers through external factors but, rather, describe being pulled into community college instruction through a set of personally meaningful internal motivations.

  6. How Do We Integrate Students Vocational Goals into Introduction to Sociology Curricula, and What Are the Effects of Doing So?

    President Obama’s America’s College Promise proposal has brought renewed attention to community colleges’ capacity to connect the college and career aspirations of today’s undergraduates. Despite this capacity, however, community colleges have historically offered students two distinct educational pathways: a liberal education transfer-oriented program or a terminal vocational program.

  7. Instrumental and Expressive Education: College Planning in the Face of Poverty

    Nearly all young people in the United States aspire to a college degree, but many fail to complete college in a timely manner. Does this lack of attainment reflect abandoned college plans? I analyze mixed-methods data from a five-year study of 700 low-income mothers at two Louisiana community colleges. Hurricane Katrina displaced respondents and interrupted their college educations; respondents had to decide whether, how, and why to return to school. Few women earned degrees during the study, but survey data indicate that the rate of reenrollment and intentions to complete were high.

  8. Study Explores What Draws Sociology Faculty to Teach in Community Colleges

    Community college faculty who teach sociology are drawn to their positions for reasons that are personal and meaningful to them, including serving a diverse and underserved population and advancing social justice principles. This is despite the oftentimes challenging work conditions faced at community colleges, according to a new study by members of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Task Force on Community College Faculty in Sociology.

  9. “How Far Is Too Far?”: Gender, Emotional Capital, and Children’s Public School Assignments

    The authors analyze how gender and other individual and family characteristics shape attitudes toward children’s school assignments. Using a mixed-methods approach, the authors analyze preferences for (1) diversity- and (2) neighborhood-based schools and three new dimensions of negative emotional capital: (3) parental challenge from student reassignments, (4) perceived dangers to children from reassignments, and (5) the uncertainty reassignment entails.

  10. Review Essays: Mapping the Causes of Unequal Schooling and the Transformative Possibilities of Sociology

    Long-standing debates about the sources of inequality shed light on the possibilities and limitations of sociology. At a presentation for teachers recently, I was asked what percentage of inequality in schools is the fault of students, parents, and teachers. Having just presented on my book, Academic Profiling, and the interlocking macro-meso-micro processes reproducing educational injustices, this question caught me off guard.