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  1. Parents, Partners, Plans, and Promises: The Relational Work of Student Loan Borrowing

    When does student loan borrowing prompt relational work between borrowers and family members? Research on student loans has focused on quantitative estimation of the effects of borrowing on educational attainment, economic well-being, health, and life-course milestones. Drawing on 60 interviews with lawyers in the northeastern United States, the authors argue that student loans also have underappreciated relational effects, even for relatively privileged borrowers.

  2. Avoiding Us versus Them: How Schools’ Dependence on Privileged “Helicopter” Parents Influences Enforcement of Rules

    As privilege-dependent organizations, U.S. public schools have an interest in catering to higher-SES White families. But, what happens when privileged families’ interests conflict with schools’ stated goals? Focusing on the case of homework, and drawing insights from organizational theory, cultural capital theory, and research on parent involvement in schools, I examine how schools’ dependence on higher-SES White families influences their enforcement of rules.
  3. Producing Facts in a World of Alternatives: Why Journalism Matters and Why It Could Matter More

    In a time of shrinking newsrooms, newspaper closings, fake news, alternative facts and outrage, and incursion from outsiders, why does professional journalism matter anymore? How can journalists, looking to defend their profession and the news they produce, claim authority over truth and fact? Michael Schudson engages these questions in Why Journalism Still Matters, a collection of writings on the value of today’s journalism for today’s democracy.
  4. Grandparenting and Mortality: How Does Race-Ethnicity Matter?

    Little is known about whether and how intergenerational relationships influence older adult mortality. This study examines the association between caring for grandchildren (i.e., grandparenting) and mortality and how the link differs by race-ethnicity. Drawing from the Health and Retirement Study (1998–2014, N = 13,705), I found different racial-ethnic patterns in the effects of grandparenting on mortality risk.
  5. Getting Involved: Lizbeth Mateo

    Jody Agius Vallejo sits down with immigrant rights activist and attorney, Lizbeth Mateo.
  6. Pro-Environmental Views of Climate Skeptics

    Using data from interviews with self-identified climate change skeptics, it becomes clear that there is a public misperception about climate change skepticism. Skeptics are concerned about pollution, support environmentally friendly policies, and oppose continued reliance on oil. Current climate change communication is problematic; here, we explore the policies that garner skeptics’ support.
  7. If Only It Were That Complex

    Research on the dynamics of social change is often framed by what Damon Centola refers to in his new book How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions as “the convenience of classical epidemiological tropes” (p. 173) in which “contagions” spread from infected to susceptible individuals through interaction. Social networks became alluring to use in conjunction with this epidemiological frame because the two together evoke the determinism of electrical wiring, with charges traveling paths (ties) structured by the location of switches (nodes) in the line.
  8. Vaccine Refusal and Pharmaceutical Acquiescence: Parental Control and Ambivalence in Managing Children’s Health

    Parents who confidently reject vaccines and other forms of medical intervention often seek out pediatric care, medical treatments, and prescription medications for their children in ways that seem to contradict these views. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 34 parents who rejected some or all vaccines for their children, this article examines the strategies they use to pharmaceutically manage their children’s health, even when espousing a larger rejection of pharmaceutical interventions like childhood vaccines.
  9. 2019 Presidential Address: Sociology Engaged in Social Justice

    This article expands on my presidential address to further bolster the case that sociology has, from its inception, been engaged in social justice. I argue that a critical review of our discipline and our Association’s vaunted empiricist tradition of objectivity, in which sociologists are detached from their research, was accomplished by a false history and sociology of sociology that ignored, isolated, and marginalized some of the founders.
  10. Pushed or Pulled Out? The Racialization of School Choice in Black and White Mothers’ (Home) Schooling Decisions for Their Children

    Homeschooling is an increasingly common schooling option for middle-class black families yet is often overlooked in research on race and education. Drawing on interviews with 67 middle-class black and white mothers living in one northeastern metropolitan area—half of whom homeschool, while the other half enroll their children in conventional school—the author examines how race influences mothers’ decisions to homeschool or conventional school. The findings show that mothers’ schooling explanations reflect their experiences as shaped by the racial hierarchy constituted in schools.