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  1. Dual Autonomies, Divergent Approaches: How Stratification in Medical Education Shapes Approaches to Patient Care

    The United States relies on international and osteopathic medical graduates (“non-USMDs”) to fill one third of residency positions because of a shortage of American MD graduates (“USMDs”). Non-USMDs are often informally excluded from top residency positions, while USMDs tend to fill the most prestigious residencies. Little is known, however, about whether the training in these different settings is comparable or how it impacts patients.
  2. Education’s Limitations and Its Radical Possibilities

    by Prudence L. Carter, Spring 2018 Contexts

  3. Timing Is Everything: Late Registration and Stratified Access to School Choice

    School choice policies necessarily impose registration timelines, constraining access to schools of choice for students who register late. Drawing on administrative data, survey data, and interviews with 33 parents in Boston, we find that late registration is common and highly stratified: Nearly half of black kindergarteners miss the first registration deadline, a rate almost three times higher than their white peers, consigning them to the least preferred schools.
  4. 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.  

  5. My Body of Work: Promotional Labor and the Bundling of Complementary Work

    What if certain types of work allow workers to earn higher incomes when bundled together? Using qualitative interview data on the careers of sex workers in California, the author argues that workers can attempt to increase overall earnings by taking part in promotional labor: a specific type of labor in which workers strategically bundle complementary forms of work with differing status and income levels to increase overall income.
  6. The Stratified Legitimacy of Abortions

    Roe v. Wade was heralded as an end to unequal access to abortion care in the United States. However, today, despite being common and safe, abortion is performed only selectively in hospitals and private practices. Drawing on 61 interviews with obstetrician-gynecologists in these settings, we examine how they determine which abortions to perform.

  7. Watching the Ethnographers

    Interrogating Ethnography: Why Evidence Matters by Steven Lubet Oxford University Press, 2017 216 pages

  8. Social Conditions as Fundamental Causes of Health Inequalities: Theory, Evidence, and Policy Implications

    Link and Phelan (1995) developed the theory of fundamental causes to explain why the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and mortality has persisted despite radical changes in the diseases and risk factors that are presumed to explain it. They proposed that the enduring association results because SES embodies an array of resources, such as money, knowledge, prestige, power, and beneficial social connections that protect health no matter what mechanisms are relevant at any given time.

  9. What is Critical Realism? And Why Should You Care?

    Critical realism (CR) is a philosophical system developed by the Indo-British philosopher, Roy Bhaskar, in collaboration with a number of British social theorists, including Margaret Archer, Mervyn Hartwig, Tony Lawson, Alan Norrie, and Andrew Sayer. It has a journal, a book series, an association, an annual meeting and, in short, all the usual trappings of an intellectual movement. The movement is centered in the UK but has followers throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas, and the Antipodes.

  10. Beyond Social Contagion: Associative Diffusion and the Emergence of Cultural Variation

    Network models of diffusion predominantly think about cultural variation as a product of social contagion. But culture does not spread like a virus. We propose an alternative explanation we call associative diffusion. Drawing on two insights from research in cognition—that meaning inheres in cognitive associations between concepts, and that perceived associations constrain people’s actions—we introduce a model in which, rather than beliefs or behaviors, the things being transmitted between individuals are perceptions about what beliefs or behaviors are compatible with one another.