American Sociological Association

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  1. The Global Increase in the Socioeconomic Achievement Gap, 1964 to 2015

    The “socioeconomic achievement gap”—the disparity in academic achievement between students from high- and low-socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds—is well-known in the sociology of education. The SES achievement gap has been documented across a wide range of countries. Yet in most countries, we do not know whether the SES achievement gap has been changing over time. This study combines 30 international large-scale assessments over 50 years, representing 100 countries and about 5.8 million students.

  2. Crossing Categorical Boundaries: A Study of Diversification by Social Movement Organizations

    When do protest organizations borrow issues or claims that are outside their traditional domains? Sociologists have examined the consequences of borrowing claims across movement boundaries, but not the antecedents of doing so. We argue that movement boundaries are strong when there is consensus about the core claims of a social movement, which we measure by cohesion and focus. Cohesion and focus enhance the legitimacy of a movement and impede member organizations from adopting claims associated with other movements.

  3. Equalization or Selection? Reassessing the “Meritocratic Power” of a College Degree in Intergenerational Income Mobility

    Intergenerational mobility is higher among college graduates than among people with lower levels of education. In light of this finding, researchers have characterized a college degree as a great equalizer leveling the playing field, and proposed that expanding higher education would promote mobility. This line of reasoning rests on the implicit assumption that the relatively high mobility observed among college graduates reflects a causal effect of college completion on intergenerational mobility, an assumption that has rarely been rigorously evaluated. This article bridges this gap.

  4. Brilliant or Bad: The Gendered Social Construction of Exceptionalism in Early Adolescence

    From kindergarten through college, students perceive boys as more intelligent than girls, yet few sociological studies have identified how school processes shape students’ gender status beliefs. Drawing on 2.5 years of longitudinal ethnography and 196 interviews conducted at a racially diverse, public middle school in Los Angeles, this article demonstrates how educators’ differential regulation of boys’ rule-breaking by course level contributed to gender-based differences in students’ perceptions of intelligence.

  5. Intracohort Trends in Ethnic Earnings Gaps: The Role of Education

    This study demonstrates that studying ethnic/racial inequality on the basis of cross-sectional data conceals how such inequality might unfold over the life course. Moving beyond a snapshot perspective, we ask, Do Israel’s Jewish ethnic groups differ in their long-term earnings trajectories? Analyzing nearly 20 years of registered earnings data, the authors find that for the same cohort (25- to 32-year-old Jews in 1995), the ethnic earnings gap has widened over these years.

  6. The Influence of Foreign-born Population on Immigrant and Native-born Students’ Academic Achievement

    With recent increases in international migration, some political and academic narratives argue for limiting migration because of possible negative effects on the host country. Among other outcomes, these groups argue that immigrant students have an impact on education, negatively affecting native-born students’ academic performance. The authors contextualize the relationship between immigrant status and academic achievement by considering a macro social setting: country-level foreign-born population.

  7. The Advantaged Cause: Affect Control Theory and Social Movements

    The role of grievances in drawing public concern and activist support is a surprisingly understudied topic in modern social movement literature. This research is the first to parse issues into core components to understand whether some grievances are more successful than others in evoking reactions that can benefit social movements.

  8. Mental Health Outcomes of Discrimination among College Students on a Predominately White Campus: A Prospective Study

    Racial discrimination is a social stressor harmful to mental health. In this paper, we explore the links between mental health and interpersonal discrimination-related social events, exposure to vicarious racism via social media, and rumination on racial injustices using a daily diary design. We utilize data from a racially diverse sample of 149 college students with 1,489 unique time observations at a large, predominantly white university.

  9. Queer Integrative Marginalization: LGBTQ Student Integration Strategies at an Elite University

    The author draws on the oral histories of 44 LGBTQ Princeton alumni who graduated from 1960 to 2011 to examine student strategies for negotiating marginal identities when integrating into an elite university. Even with greater LGBTQ visibility and resources at the institutional level, LGBTQ students’ experiences and strategies suggest that we question the larger social narrative of linear progress.

  10. Crisis as Opportunity: Nixon’s Announcement to Close the Gold Window

    The authors reexamine the announcement of the August 1971 decision to suspend convertibility of U.S. dollars to gold, or closing of the gold window, which ended the Bretton Woods system and ushered in the neoliberal era. Existing accounts identify critical pressure on the U.S. gold supply after May 1971 international currency disruptions as a tipping point for this policy. In contrast, using new archival evidence, the authors reveal that Nixon strategically framed May 1971 events as an urgent economic “crisis,” deploying “crisis” as a justification for closing the gold window.