American Sociological Association



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  1. Wayward Elites: From Social Reproduction to Social Restoration in a Therapeutic Boarding School

    In the past few decades, a multi-billion-dollar “therapeutic boarding school” industry has emerged largely for America’s troubled upper-class youth. This article examines the experiences of privileged youth in a therapeutic boarding school to advance social restoration as a new form of social reproduction. Drawing on interviews and fieldwork inside a Western therapeutic boarding school for young men struggling with substance abuse, I explore how students leverage a stigmatized, addict identity in ways that can restore privilege.

  2. How Do We “Do Gender”? Permeation as Over-Talking and Talking Over

    Gendered expectations are imported from the larger culture to permeate small-group discussions, creating conversational inequalities. Conversational roles also emerge from the negotiated order of group interactions to reflect, reinforce, and occasionally challenge these cultural patterns. The authors provide a new examination of conversational overlaps and interruptions. They show how negotiated conversational roles lead a status distinction (gender) to shape conversational inequality.

  3. Not by Bread Alone: Mobility Experiences, Religion, and Optimism about Future Mobility

    Americans are quite optimistic about their chances of upward mobility, but sometimes even they have their doubts. The authors examine how mobility experiences boost or dampen American optimism about mobility and how the relationship is connected to religion. The authors find that Americans whose subjective financial situations have recently worsened are less optimistic, whereas those whose situations have improved are more optimistic. Objective measures of mobility were not connected to optimism.

  4. Visualizing Individual Outcomes of Social Mobility Using Heatmaps

    Research on the consequences of social mobility usually draws on information about categorical origin and destination variables as well as an outcome variable. The author shows an example of a heatmap created in Stata to visualize the relationship between social mobility and poor self-rated health in Germany and discusses the advantages of this heatmap approach to other visualization approaches.

  5. Overflowing Channels: How Democracy Didn’t Work as Planned (and Perhaps a Good Thing It Didn’t)

    When eighteenth-century revolutionary elites set about designing new political orders, they drew on commonplace theoretical understandings of “democracy” as highly undesirable. They therefore designed government institutions in which popular participation was to be extremely limited. The new political constructions, in both France and the United States, never worked as planned. The mobilizations of the revolutionary era did not vanish as the constitutional designers hoped.

  6. Examining Americans’ Stereotypes about Immigrant Illegality

    People rely on powerful stereotypes to classify others as “illegal,” demonstrating that, like race and gender, documentation status may be as much a social construction as a legal one.

  7. Life after Deportation

    Deportees' reintegration is shaped by the contexts of reception in their countries of origin and the strength of their ties to the United States. For some, the deprivation and isolation of deportation is akin to a death sentence.

  8. 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.

  9. What Drives Ethnic Homophily? A Relational Approach on How Ethnic Identification Moderates Preferences for Same-Ethnic Friends

    Individual preferences for same-ethnic friends contribute to persistent segregation of adolescents’ friendship networks. Yet, we know surprisingly little about the mechanisms behind ethnic homophily. Prior research suggests that ethnic homophily is ubiquitous, but a social identity perspective indicates that strong ingroup identification drives ingroup favoritism.

  10. 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.