American Sociological Association

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  1. Great Equalizer or Great Selector? Reconsidering Education as a Moderator of Intergenerational Transmissions

    A long-standing consensus among sociologists holds that educational attainment has an equalizing effect that increases mobility by moderating other avenues of intergenerational status transmission. This study argues that the evidence supporting this consensus may be distorted by two problems: measurement error in parents’ socioeconomic standing and the educational system’s tendency to progressively select people predisposed for mobility rather than to actually affect mobility.

  2. School Outcomes of Children Raised by Same-Sex Parents: Evidence from Administrative Panel Data

    Although widely used in policy debates, the literature on children’s outcomes when raised by same-sex parents mostly relies on small selective samples or samples based on cross-sectional survey data. This has led to a lack of statistical power and the inability to distinguish children born to same-sex parents from children of separated parents. We address these issues by using unique administrative longitudinal data from the Netherlands, which was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage.

  3. The Intergenerational Elasticity of What? The Case for Redefining the Workhorse Measure of Economic Mobility

    The intergenerational elasticity (IGE) has been assumed to refer to the expectation of children’s income when in fact it pertains to the geometric mean of children’s income. We show that mobility analyses based on the conventional IGE have been widely misinterpreted, are subject to selection bias, and cannot disentangle the different channels for transmitting economic status across generations. The solution to these problems—estimating the IGE of expected income or earnings—returns the field to what it has long meant to estimate.

  4. Soldiers to Scientists: Military Service, Gender, and STEM Degree Earning

    The authors use 2014–2018 data from the American Community Survey to answer two questions: To what extent is military service associated with higher rates of earning a bachelor’s degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field (vs. a non-STEM field)? To what extent is this relationship gendered? The findings suggest that military service is associated with higher odds of completing a STEM degree and that this association is particularly strong for female veterans.

  5. Can Social Media Anti-abuse Policies Work? A Quasi-experimental Study of Online Sexist and Racist Slurs

    The authors use the timing of a change in Twitter’s rules regarding abusive content to test the effectiveness of organizational policies aimed at stemming online harassment. Institutionalist theories of social control suggest that such interventions can be efficacious if they are perceived as legitimate, whereas theories of psychological reactance suggest that users may instead ratchet up aggressive behavior in response to the sanctioning authority.

  6. Retrospective Network Imputation from Life History Data: The Impact of Designs

    Retrospective life history designs are among the few practical approaches for collecting longitudinal network information from large populations, particularly in the context of relationships like sexual partnerships that cannot be measured via digital traces or documentary evidence. While all such designs afford the ability to “peer into the past” vis-à-vis the point of data collection, little is known about the impact of the specific design parameters on the time horizon over which such information is useful.

  7. 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.
  8. What Is Title IX? Toward a Campus-Based Pedagogy to Study Inequality

    In this article, we propose a campus-based pedagogy to teach sociology. We offer the example of a project designed to critically assess university Title IX policy and situate it within existing sociological research on gender-based inequalities and violence. Students engage in sociological research regarding issues such as sexual harassment and assault, intimate partner violence, consent, and rape culture, among others, and develop a tool to create greater awareness among the student body of university policy in these areas.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.