American Sociological Association

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  1. 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.
  2. Where Ivy Matters: The Educational Backgrounds of U.S. Cultural Elites

    Status transmission theory argues that leading educational institutions prepare individuals from privileged backgrounds for positions of prestige and power in their societies. We examine the educational backgrounds of more than 2,900 members of the U.S. cultural elite and compare these backgrounds to a sample of nearly 4,000 business and political leaders. We find that the leading U.S. educational institutions are substantially more important for preparing future members of the cultural elite than they are for preparing future members of the business or political elite.
  3. Comparing Internet Experiences and Prosociality in Amazon Mechanical Turk and Population-Based Survey Samples

    Given the high cost of traditional survey administration (postal mail, phone) and the limits of convenience samples such as university students, online samples offer a much welcomed alternative. Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) has been especially popular among academics for conducting surveys and experiments. Prior research has shown that AMT samples are not representative of the general population along some dimensions, but evidence suggests that these differences may not undermine the validity of AMT research.
  4. The Social Psychology Behind Teacher Walkouts

    Why are we seeing so many teacher walkouts when traditional collective bargaining for teachers has weakened considerably in recent decades? A key part of the answer involves the social psychology through which teachers develop their professional culture, and how the evolution of accountability has been toxic to that culture.
  5. Thriving as a Sociology Graduate

    Students major in sociology because they want to understand social life and social change, but does wanting a meaningful career equal a large salary? As it turns out, while sociology graduates do not earn top dollars in their first year out of undergraduate school, their salaries do increase and usually double by ten years out.
  6. If Only It Were That Complex

    Research on the dynamics of social change is often framed by what Damon Centola refers to in his new book How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions as “the convenience of classical epidemiological tropes” (p. 173) in which “contagions” spread from infected to susceptible individuals through interaction. Social networks became alluring to use in conjunction with this epidemiological frame because the two together evoke the determinism of electrical wiring, with charges traveling paths (ties) structured by the location of switches (nodes) in the line.
  7. Educational Expansion, Skills Diffusion, and the Economic Value of Credentials and Skills

    Examining the economic value of education has been a central research agenda of social scientists for decades. However, prior research inadequately accounts for the discrepancy between educational credentials and skills at both the individual and societal levels. In this article, I investigate the link between credentials, skills, and labor market outcomes against a background of societal-level educational expansion and skills diffusion.
  8. Predicting Postsecondary Pathways: The Effect of Social Background and Academic Factors on Routes through School

    Access to institutions of higher education has increased in recent decades; however, increased access has not led to parallel increases in degree completion among all types of students. In this article, I examine the associations between individual-level factors and the particular paths through educational institutions that students follow as they navigate their educational careers. Research on educational pathways has typically examined individual educational “transitions” but failed to examine the full “trajectories” that students experience.
  9. Why Does the Importance of Education for Health Differ across the United States?

    The positive association between educational attainment and adult health (“the gradient”) is stronger in some areas of the United States than in others. Explanations for the geographic pattern have not been rigorously investigated. Grounded in a contextual and life-course perspective, the aim of this study is to assess childhood circumstances (e.g., childhood health, compulsory schooling laws) and adult circumstances (e.g., wealth, lifestyles, economic policies) as potential explanations.

  10. Does Achievement Rise Fastest with School Choice, School Resources, or Family Resources? Chile from 2002 to 2013

    Debates in education policy draw on different theories about how to raise children’s achievement. The school competition theory holds that achievement rises when students can choose among competing schools. The school resources theory holds that achievement rises with schools’ resources per student. The family resources theory holds that achievement rises as parents become more educated and earn higher incomes.