American Sociological Association

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  1. Aggression, Conflict, and the Formation of Intimidating Group Reputation

    From inmates in prison gangs to soldiers in elite units, the intimidating reputation of groups often precedes its members. While individual reputation is known to affect people’s aggressiveness, whether one’s group reputation can similarly influence behavior in conflict situations is yet to be established. Using an economic game experiment, we isolate the effect of group reputation on aggression and conflict from that of individual reputation.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Big Ideas from Little People: What Research with Children Contributes to Social Psychology

    Beginning in the 1970s, research in childhood studies led to the reevaluation of children’s agency and their contributions to society. In my work on children’s interactions with peers and adults in schools and families, I challenged traditional views of socialization offering the alternative view of interpretive reproduction and associated concepts of peer culture and priming events.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

  9. 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.
  10. Pushed or Pulled Out? The Racialization of School Choice in Black and White Mothers’ (Home) Schooling Decisions for Their Children

    Homeschooling is an increasingly common schooling option for middle-class black families yet is often overlooked in research on race and education. Drawing on interviews with 67 middle-class black and white mothers living in one northeastern metropolitan area—half of whom homeschool, while the other half enroll their children in conventional school—the author examines how race influences mothers’ decisions to homeschool or conventional school. The findings show that mothers’ schooling explanations reflect their experiences as shaped by the racial hierarchy constituted in schools.