American Sociological Association

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  1. Career Funneling: How Elite Students Learn to Define and Desire ''Prestigious" Jobs

    Elite universities are credited as launch points for the widest variety of meaningful careers. Yet, year after year at the most selective universities, nearly half the graduating seniors head to a surprisingly narrow band of professional options. Over the past few decades, this has largely been into the finance and consulting sectors, but increasingly it also includes high-tech firms. This study uses a cultural-organizational lens to show how student cultures and campus structures steer large portions of anxious and uncertain students into high-wealth, high-status occupational sectors.

  2. "Both Sides of the Story": History Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa

    Scholars have documented the emergence of apparently race-neutral discourses that serve to entrench racial stratification following the elimination of de jure segregation. These discourses deny the existence of both present-day racism and the contemporary effects of histories of racial oppression. Researchers posit that individuals are socialized into these views, but little empirical attention has been paid to the processes through which such socialization occurs.

  3. Pride and Prejudice and Professionalism

    LGBT educators struggle to balance professionalism and pride in the classroom, splittling, knitting, or quittting, in the words of the authors.

  4. Educational Equity Demands Empathy

    An educator finds empathy is key to conntecting students with each other and with their instructors.

  5. 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.

  6. ''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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.