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  1. The Right Fit? Classroom Mismatch in Middle School and Its Inconsistent Effect on Student Learning

    Research on college admissions shows that all students tend to benefit from overmatching, but high-status students are most likely to be overmatched, and low-status students are most likely to be undermatched. This study examines whether mismatching takes place when students are sorted into classrooms in middle school. Given prior research on effectively maintained inequality, we theorize that classroom sorting acts as an opportunity for privileged parents to obtain a qualitative advantage for their children.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Racial Disparities in Emotional Well-Being during Pregnancy

    In light of persistent racial disparities in maternal and child health, it is important to understand the dynamics shaping outcomes for black mothers. We examine racial patterns in women’s emotional well-being regarding pregnancy (i.e., women’s reported happiness to be pregnant), which has been shown to have health consequences. Using the 2002–2017 National Survey of Family Growth (N = 6,163 pregnancies ending in birth), we find that black women are less happy about their pregnancies than white women both for intended and mistimed pregnancies.

  5. 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.

  6. The Educational System and the Ethnic Skills Gap among the Working-Age Population: An Analysis of 16 Western Immigration Countries

    Research shows that children of immigrants, the “second generation,” have comparatively high educational aspirations. This “immigrant optimism” translates into ambitious educational choices, given the second generation’s level of academic performance. Choice-driven (comprehensive) education systems, which allow the children of immigrants to follow their ambitions, are therefore regarded as facilitating their structural integration. The authors focus on an underappreciated consequence of these findings.

  7. Emotions and Medical Decision-Making

    Sociologists have written surprisingly little about the role emotions play in medical decision-making, largely ceding this terrain to psychologists who conceptualize emotional influences on decision-making in primarily cognitive and individualistic terms. In this article, I use ethnographic data gathered from parents and physicians caring for children with life-threatening conditions to illustrate how emotions enter the medical decision-making process in fundamentally interactional ways.
  8. Social Class, Diagnoses of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Child Well-Being

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder among U.S. children. Diagnosis can bring positives, like proper treatment, extra testing time, and social support, but may also trigger negatives, like stigmatization. Although rates of diagnosis are high across socioeconomic status (SES) groups, the balance of positive and negative consequences of diagnosis may differ by SES.

  9. Reproduction during COVID-19: Implications of Physical and Social Isolation (Sociology of Sex and Gender)

    Over the past few months, I have conducted interviews with people experiencing pregnancy, childbirth, and life with newborns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve spoken with single first-time mothers and working mothers of six, those who have had home births and those who have been induced in the hospital, those giving birth with emergency or scheduled cesarean sections. As is typical in any sample of pregnant women, some welcomed and celebrated the transition to motherhood while others resented their pregnancy and feared the birthing process.

  10. Sociology as a Lens on the Pandemic and Responses to It (Medical Sociology)

    Compared to natural disasters—hurricanes, tornadoes, floods—pandemics are comparatively rare.  British sociologist Phil Strong (1990) was one of the few to study pandemics.  He developed a framework based on accounts of pandemics back to the Black Death in 14th century Europe. Pandemics represented moments of transparency in the social order. All sorts of institutions, relationships, and interactions suddenly became problematic. The taken-for-granted assumptions of everyday life were exposed and became uncertain and questionable.