American Sociological Association

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  1. Biracial Identity Development at Historically White and Historically Black Colleges and Universities

    This study explores the relationship between biracial identity development and college context. I draw on interviews with 49 black-white biracial first- and second-year students attending historically black colleges/universities (HBCUs) or historically white colleges/universities (HWCUs) and follow-up interviews with the same students at the end of college to explore how and why their racial identities changed over time.
  2. The Right Fit? Classroom Mismatch in Middle School and Its Inconsistent Effect on Student Learning

    Research on college admissions shows that all students tend to benefit from overmatching, but high-status students are most likely to be overmatched, and low-status students are most likely to be undermatched. This study examines whether mismatching takes place when students are sorted into classrooms in middle school. Given prior research on effectively maintained inequality, we theorize that classroom sorting acts as an opportunity for privileged parents to obtain a qualitative advantage for their children.

  3. Learning Inequality in Francophone Africa: School Quality and the Educational Achievement of Rich and Poor Children

    Influential reports about the “learning crisis” in the global South generally pay insufficient attention to social inequalities in learning. In this study, we explore the association between family socioeconomic status and learning outcomes in 10 francophone African countries using data from the Programme for the Analysis of Education Systems, a standardized assessment of pupils’ mathematics and reading competence at the end of primary school. We start by showing that learning outcomes among grade 6 pupils are both poor and highly stratified.

  4. First-Birth Timing and the Motherhood Wage Gap in 140 Occupations

    Is delayed fertility associated with a reduced motherhood wage gap in all occupations? Using multilevel models and data from the 2011–2015 American Community Survey, O*NET, and the Current Population Survey, I examine whether delayed fertility is associated with a reduced motherhood wage gap in 140 occupations. Delayed childbearing is one strategy women use to mitigate the motherhood wage penalty. Findings indicate that mothers in high-earning professional occupations experienced the largest wage penalties with early motherhood but also the largest premiums with delayed childbearing.

  5. Tournament Mobility in Mathematics Course-Taking Pathways

    This visualization represents the structure of mathematics course opportunities as seen in the progress through middle and high school for one cohort of students in Texas. Trajectories are consistent with a tournament mobility regime in which there are repeated opportunities to fall behind but almost none to catch up. Pathways are also characterized by staggered starts, with differences in when students begin the mathematics sequence that have consequences for ultimate attainment.

  6. The Educational System and the Ethnic Skills Gap among the Working-Age Population: An Analysis of 16 Western Immigration Countries

    Research shows that children of immigrants, the “second generation,” have comparatively high educational aspirations. This “immigrant optimism” translates into ambitious educational choices, given the second generation’s level of academic performance. Choice-driven (comprehensive) education systems, which allow the children of immigrants to follow their ambitions, are therefore regarded as facilitating their structural integration. The authors focus on an underappreciated consequence of these findings.

  7. Exclusionary School Discipline and Neighborhood Crime

    The author investigates the impact of law-and-order schools, defined as those that rely heavily on exclusionary discipline (i.e., suspension and expulsion) as a form of punishment, on neighborhood crime. Additional analyses are performed to assess whether the effects of punitive school discipline on local crime are moderated by neighborhood disadvantage. Findings suggest that suspensions are associated with increases in local crime—evidence of a macro-level school-to-prison pipeline—while expulsions are generally associated with fewer crime incidents.
  8. Parents, Partners, Plans, and Promises: The Relational Work of Student Loan Borrowing

    When does student loan borrowing prompt relational work between borrowers and family members? Research on student loans has focused on quantitative estimation of the effects of borrowing on educational attainment, economic well-being, health, and life-course milestones. Drawing on 60 interviews with lawyers in the northeastern United States, the authors argue that student loans also have underappreciated relational effects, even for relatively privileged borrowers.

  9. In the Footsteps of Siblings: College Attendance Disparities and the Intragenerational Transmission of Educational Advantage

    Studies in social stratification have used siblings as a tool to learn about the intergenerational transmission of advantage but less often have asked how siblings impact one another’s life chances. The author draws on social capital theory and hypothesizes that when youths attend college, they increase the probability that their siblings attend college. The author further hypothesizes that this effect is strongest among youths whose parents do not have college degrees. Findings from a U.S. national probability sample support both hypotheses.

  10. Educational Status Hierarchies, After-School Activities, and Parenting Logics: Lessons from Canada

    This article draws from American research on ‘‘concerted cultivation’’ to compare the parenting logics of 41 upper-middle-class parents in Toronto, Canada. We consider not only how parents structure their children’s after-school time (what parents do) but also how the broader ecology of schooling informs their parenting logics (how they rationalize their actions). We find that parenting practices mirror American research. Upper-middle-class families enroll their children in multiple lessons and cultivate their children’s skills.