American Sociological Association

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  1. The Distribution of School Quality: Do Schools Serving Mostly White and High-SES Children Produce the Most Learning?

    What is schools’ role in the stratification system? One view is that schools are an important mechanism for perpetuating inequality because children from advantaged backgrounds (white and high socioeconomic) enjoy better school learning environments than their disadvantaged peers. But it is difficult to know this with confidence because children’s development is a product of both school and nonschool factors, making it a challenge to isolate school’s role.
  2. Freedom and Frustration: Rachel Dolezal and the Meaning of Race

    Where ethnoracial boundaries are treated as rigid and real, their consequences are also rigid and real. But if Rachel Dolezal had lived in Brazil, she would have been just another negra frustrada.

  3. The Organizational Ecology of College Affordability: Research Activity, State Grant Aid Policies, and Student Debt at U.S. Public Universities

    Sociologists have theorized U.S. universities as a heterogenous organizational ecology. We use this lens to compare student debt and college prices for low-income students across public universities according to their research intensiveness and varied state grant aid policies. We show that students at research-intensive public universities have had an easier time repaying student loans than at other schools.
  4. Teaching about Learning: The Effects of Instruction on Metacognition in a Sociological Theory Course

    This article investigates the effects of teaching about metacognition in a sociological theory course. I created a series of teaching interventions to introduce students to the science of learning, including an interactive lecture on metacognition, a discussion that models metacognitive strategies, and activities for students to practice metacognition. This article describes those teaching interventions and assesses whether direct instruction led to greater use of metacognitive and cognitive strategies, confidence, and motivation to learn.
  5. Historical Shadows: The Links between Sundown Towns and Contemporary Black–White Inequality

    I contribute to our understanding of black–white inequality in the United States by assessing the legacy of “sundown towns.” Sundown towns are places that restricted who could live there based on ideas about race. The often-violent tactics employed to create and maintain all-white spaces reshaped dramatically the demographic and social landscape of the non-South. I extend previous research on sundown towns by examining their association with contemporary black–white economic inequality.

  6. Beyond Tracking and Detracking: The Dimensions of Organizational Differentiation in Schools

    Schools use an array of strategies to match curricula and instruction to students’ heterogeneous skills. Although generations of scholars have debated ‘‘tracking’’ and its consequences, the literature fails to account for diversity of school-level sorting practices.

  7. Uneven Neighborhood Recovery: Hurricane Damage and Neighborhood Change in the Houston–Galveston Region Since 1970

    Despite the growing number of natural disasters around the globe, limited research exists on post‐disaster patterns of neighborhood change. In this paper, we test two theories of neighborhood change, the “recovery machine” and “rent gap,” which predict opposing effects for low socioeconomic status (SES) neighborhoods following damage from hurricanes, tropical storms, and other natural hazard events.

  8. Essay: Sociology's New Steps?

    It was the devastating problems linked to the dramatic shift from farm to factory during the nineteenth century that fueled sociology’s origins, whether we turn to Comte, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, or Simmel. Building on the eighteenth-century Enlightenment spirit of the power of reason and freedom as well as the triumphs of the biophysical sciences, they envisaged a powerful science of human behavior that could solve those problems.

  9. Review Essay: Back to the Future

    In one of my undergraduate courses, I show students a photo of Paul Lazarsfeld and Frank Stanton. Of course, neither social scientist is familiar to them, but I argue to my students that Lazarsfeld had a bigger impact on the daily practice of sociology than any member of the Marx/Weber/Durkheim triumvirate they study in classical theory.

  10. Featured Essay Review: The Durability and Dynamism of David Harvey

    With an export-oriented manufacturing economy dependent on consumer demand in the United States, China confronted a massive crisis of unemployment when the U.S. economy crashed in 2008. To address this crisis, the Chinese government organized an extraordinary wave of investment in physical infrastructure—employing over 20 million workers to build cities, industrial zones, transportation grids, communications networks, and other megaprojects. In just three years, China consumed 1.5 times as much cement as the United States consumed during the entire twentieth century.