American Sociological Association

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  1. Choice, Information, and Constrained Options: School Transfers in a Stratified Educational System

    It is well known that family socioeconomic background influences childhood access to opportunities. Educational reforms that introduce new information about school quality may lead to increased inequality if families with more resources are better able to respond. However, these policies can also level the playing field for choice by equalizing disadvantaged families’ access to information. This study assesses how a novel accountability system affected family enrollment decisions in the Chicago Public Schools by introducing new test performance information and consequences.

  2. ''Fake It 'til You Make It'': Why Community College Students' Aspirations ''Hold Steady''

    Sociologists of education have explored the relationship between students’ postsecondary aspirations and their propensity to get "cooled out" in community colleges. However, researchers have directed little attention to students whose aspirations remain stable over long periods of time or to the different roles that college degree goals play in the lives of disadvantaged students. Using four waves of longitudinal interviews, I examine the reasons why low-income women hold steady to their aspirations for college degrees over a three-and-a-half-year period.

  3. Inhabiting Latino Politics: How Colleges Shape Students' Political Styles

    To comply with ideals of multiculturalism and diversity, postsecondary institutions incorporate Latino students into distinct campus cultures. These cultures influence how students interact with one another, the university community at large, and communities outside of campus, ultimately shaping how students inhabit Latino politics. Drawing on data from 20 months of ethnographic fieldwork with six student organizations and 60 in-depth interviews, I compare Latino student organizations in a liberal arts college, a research university, and a regional public university.

  4. Field of Study in College and Lifetime Earnings in the United States

    Our understanding about the relationship between education and lifetime earnings often neglects differences by field of study. Utilizing data that match respondents in the Survey of Income and Program Participation to their longitudinal earnings records based on administrative tax information, we investigate the trajectories of annual earnings following the same individuals over 20 years and then estimate the long-term effects of field of study on earnings for U.S. men and women. Our results provide new evidence revealing large lifetime earnings gaps across fields of study.

  5. Should We Talk about the Pain? Personalizing Sociology in the Medical Sociology Classroom

    This article discusses the potential of personalizing sociology curriculum, specifically in Medical Sociology courses, to increase student engagement and sociological awareness. Based on our experiences offering separate Medical Sociology courses at a large public research university and a small private teaching university, respectively, we outline emotional techniques we have each employed—separately and together—in our classes to facilitate student engagement, critical awareness, and medical coming out processes in our classrooms.

  6. Instrumental and Expressive Education: College Planning in the Face of Poverty

    Nearly all young people in the United States aspire to a college degree, but many fail to complete college in a timely manner. Does this lack of attainment reflect abandoned college plans? I analyze mixed-methods data from a five-year study of 700 low-income mothers at two Louisiana community colleges. Hurricane Katrina displaced respondents and interrupted their college educations; respondents had to decide whether, how, and why to return to school. Few women earned degrees during the study, but survey data indicate that the rate of reenrollment and intentions to complete were high.

  7. What Is Racial Residential Integration? A Research Synthesis, 1950-2013

    In the past two decades, there has been a sharp increase in the number of studies on racial residential integration. However, there is a fair amount of disagreement in this work about how to conceptualize integration and how to operationalize it in research. We conduct a research synthesis of published research from 1950 to 2013 to uncover (1) how scholars have defined integration, (2) how scholars have measured integration, and (3) which ethnic/racial groups are integrating with whom. We have three key findings.

  8. LGBT Populations in Studies of Urban Neighborhoods: Making the Invisible Visible

    LGBT Populations in Studies of Urban Neighborhoods: Making the Invisible Visible

  9. Review Essays: Human Agency and the Search for Security in the Global Age

    Maria Aysa-Lastra reviews Making a Life in Multiethnic Miami: Immigration and the Rise of a Global City, by Elizabeth M. Aranda, Sallie Hughes, and Elena Sabogal.

  10. Education, Health, and the Default American Lifestyle

    Education has a large and increasing impact on health in America. This paper examines one reason why. Education gives individuals the ability to override the default American lifestyle. The default lifestyle has three elements: displacing human energy with mechanical energy, displacing household food production with industrial food production, and displacing health maintenance with medical dependency. Too little physical activity and too much food produce imperceptibly accumulating pathologies.