American Sociological Association

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  1. His and Her Earnings Following Parenthood in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom

    This article advances a couple-level framework to examine how parenthood shapes within-family gender inequality by education in three countries that vary in their normative and policy context: the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We trace mothers’ share of couple earnings and variation by her education in the 10-year window around first birth, using long-running harmonized panel surveys from the 1990s and 2000s (N = 4,117 couples and 28,488 couple-years) and an event study methodology that leverages within-couple variation in earnings pre- and post-birth.

  2. A Numbers Game: Quantification of Work, Auto-Gamification, and Worker Productivity

    Technological advances and the big-data revolution have facilitated fine-grained, high-frequency, low-cost measurement of individuals’ work. Yet we understand little about the influences of such quantification of work on workers’ behavior and performance. This article investigates how and when quantification of work affects worker productivity. We argue that quantification affects worker productivity via auto-gamification, or workers’ inadvertent transformation of work into an independent, individual-level game.

  3. 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.
  4. “You’re Not Supposed to Be into Rock Music”: Authenticity Maneuvering in a White Configuration

    The authors investigate how American and Dutch rock music consumers navigate the whiteness of rock music practice and discourse. In doing so, they address the complex connection between aesthetic categories (popular music) and ethnoracial categories and to what extent this relationship is open or resistant to structural change.

  5. 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.
  6. McJobs and Pieces of Flair: Linking McDonaldization to Alienating Work

    This article offers strategies for teaching about rationality, bureaucracy, and social change using George Ritzer’s The McDonaldization of Society and its ideas about efficiency, predictability, calculability, and control. Student learning is facilitated using a series of strategies: making the familiar strange, explaining McDonaldization, self-investigation and discovery, and exploring and implementing alternatives.

  7. A Penny on the Dollar: Racial Inequalities in Wealth among Households with Children

    The dynamics of racial/ethnic wealth inequality among U.S. families with resident children (child households) have been understudied, a major oversight because of wealth’s impact on child development and intergenerational mobility. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (2004–2016), the authors find that wealth gaps between black and white households are larger in, and have grown faster for, child households relative to the general population. In contrast, black-white income gaps for child households have remained largely unchanged.

  8. National Family Policies and Mothers’ Employment: How Earnings Inequality Shapes Policy Effects across and within Countries

    Although researchers generally agree that national family policies play a role in shaping mothers’ employment, there is considerable debate about whether, how, and why policy effects vary across country contexts and within countries by mothers’ educational attainment. We hypothesize that family policies interact with national levels of earnings inequality to differentially affect mothers’ employment outcomes by educational attainment. We develop hypotheses about the two most commonly studied family policies—early childhood education and care (ECEC) and paid parental leave.
  9. 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.

  10. In the Footsteps of Siblings: College Attendance Disparities and the Intragenerational Transmission of Educational Advantage

    Studies in social stratification have used siblings as a tool to learn about the intergenerational transmission of advantage but less often have asked how siblings impact one another’s life chances. The author draws on social capital theory and hypothesizes that when youths attend college, they increase the probability that their siblings attend college. The author further hypothesizes that this effect is strongest among youths whose parents do not have college degrees. Findings from a U.S. national probability sample support both hypotheses.