ASA speaks with ethnographer and sociologist Jessica Calarco at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Calarco talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how she uses sociology in her work, highlights of her work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and her advice to students interested in entering the field.
Tensions between the demands of the knowledge-based economy and remaining, blue-collar jobs underlie renewed debates about whether schools should emphasize career and technical training or college-preparatory curricula. We add a gendered lens to this issue, given the male-dominated nature of blue-collar jobs and women’s greater returns to college. Using the ELS:2002, this study exploits spatial variation in school curricula and jobs to investigate local dynamics that shape gender stratification.
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.
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.
Existing research on race relations between racial/ethnic groups in the United States highlights how personal contact can lead to increased harmony or conflict between groups and may reduce intergroup prejudice. This study engages this literature and draws from more than 20 months of ethnography and 66 interviews in a Spanish/English dual-language school in Los Angeles to qualitatively examine Latino-white relations in diverse settings.
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.
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.
This study uses data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, in conjunction with neighborhood-level data from the U.S. decennial census and American Community Survey, to examine the trajectory of individuals’ neighborhood characteristics from initial household formation into mid-to-late adulthood. Multilevel growth curve models reveal both different starting points and different life course trajectories for blacks and whites in neighborhood economic status and neighborhood racial composition.
A modified version of Monopoly has long been used as a simulation exercise to teach inequality. Versions of Modified Monopoly (MM) have touched on minority status relative to inequality but without an exploration of the complex interaction between minority status and class. This article introduces Gender Stratified Monopoly (GSM), an adaptation that can be added to existing versions of MM as a step toward such a conversation. I draw on written student reflections and observations from five test courses over two years to demonstrate the effectiveness of GSM.
The publication of Bully Nation in 2016 could not have been more timely. Its release came as the United States witnessed acts of domestic terrorism and mass shootings, a rash of video-recorded police killings of unarmed African American men, and the successful presidential bid of a candidate whose campaign engaged in unprecedented acts of intimidation and personal abuse of political rivals, including threats of incarceration and political assassination of his opponent in the general election.