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. Unpacking the Parenting Well-Being Gap: The Role of Dynamic Features of Daily Life across Broader Social Contexts

    Although public debate ensues over whether parents or nonparents have higher levels of emotional well-being, scholars suggest that being a parent is associated with a mixed bag of emotions. Drawing on the American Time Use Survey for the years 2010, 2012, and 2013 and unique measures of subjective well-being that capture positive and negative emotions linked to daily activities, we “unpack” this mixed bag. We do so by examining contextual variation in the parenting emotions gap based on activity type, whether parents’ children were present, parenting stage, and respondent’s gender.

  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. Getting Eyes in the Home: Child Protective Services Investigations and State Surveillance of Family Life

    Each year, U.S. child protection authorities investigate millions of families, disproportionately poor families and families of color. These investigations involve multiple home visits to collect information across numerous personal domains. How does the state gain such widespread entrée into the intimate, domestic lives of marginalized families? Predominant theories of surveillance offer little insight into this process and its implications.
  5. Health Lifestyles and the Transition to Adulthood

    Prior research has shown the theoretical importance and empirical feasibility of health lifestyles but has not examined their patterns over the life course or their dynamic associations with socioeconomic status (SES) and adult roles. The authors develop and apply a life-course approach to understanding individuals’ health lifestyles across the transition to adulthood, using U.S. data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n = 6,863).

  6. 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.

  7. First-Birth Timing and the Motherhood Wage Gap in 140 Occupations

    Is delayed fertility associated with a reduced motherhood wage gap in all occupations? Using multilevel models and data from the 2011–2015 American Community Survey, O*NET, and the Current Population Survey, I examine whether delayed fertility is associated with a reduced motherhood wage gap in 140 occupations. Delayed childbearing is one strategy women use to mitigate the motherhood wage penalty. Findings indicate that mothers in high-earning professional occupations experienced the largest wage penalties with early motherhood but also the largest premiums with delayed childbearing.

  8. First-Birth Timing and the Motherhood Wage Gap in 140 Occupations

    Is delayed fertility associated with a reduced motherhood wage gap in all occupations? Using multilevel models and data from the 2011–2015 American Community Survey, O*NET, and the Current Population Survey, I examine whether delayed fertility is associated with a reduced motherhood wage gap in 140 occupations. Delayed childbearing is one strategy women use to mitigate the motherhood wage penalty. Findings indicate that mothers in high-earning professional occupations experienced the largest wage penalties with early motherhood but also the largest premiums with delayed childbearing.
  9. Cultural Archipelagos: New Directions in the Study of Sexuality and Space

    Research on sexuality and space makes assumptions about spatial singularity: Across the landscape of different neighborhoods in the city, there is one, and apparently only one, called the gayborhood. This assumption, rooted in an enclave epistemology and theoretical models that are based on immigrant migration patterns, creates blind spots in our knowledge about urban sexualities. I propose an alternative conceptual framework that emphasizes spatial plurality.

  10. Tournament Mobility in Mathematics Course-Taking Pathways

    This visualization represents the structure of mathematics course opportunities as seen in the progress through middle and high school for one cohort of students in Texas. Trajectories are consistent with a tournament mobility regime in which there are repeated opportunities to fall behind but almost none to catch up. Pathways are also characterized by staggered starts, with differences in when students begin the mathematics sequence that have consequences for ultimate attainment.