American Sociological Association

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  1. What Explains Racial/Ethnic Inequality in Job Quality in the Service Sector?

    Precarious work in the United States is defined by economic and temporal dimensions. A large literature documents the extent of low wages and limited fringe benefits, but research has only recently examined the prevalence and consequences of unstable and unpredictable work schedules. Yet practices such as on-call shifts, last minute cancellations, and insufficient work hours are common in the retail and food-service sectors.

  2. Early Signs Indicate That COVID-19 Is Exacerbating Gender Inequality in the Labor Force

    In this data visualization, the authors examine how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis in the United States has affected labor force participation, unemployment, and work hours across gender and parental status. Using data from the Current Population Survey, the authors compare estimates between February and April 2020 to examine the period of time before the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States to the height of the first wave, when stay-at-home orders were issued across the country.

  3. 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.

  4. Boxed In: Beliefs about the Compatibility and Likability of Mother-Occupation and Father-Occupation Role Combinations

    Researchers have long noted that role expectations of a “good” mother conflict with those of a “good” worker, described as the “cultural contradiction” of motherhood. But given that work roles vary tremendously in terms of the cultural meanings the public assigns them, the authors examine variability in the perceived compatibility of mother-occupation and father-occupation combinations.

  5. 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.

  6. Are Labor Market Institutions Countercyclical?

    The deregulatory perspective on labor market institutions argues that such institutions push up wage and employment costs while discouraging hiring and job seeking. In contrast, an institutionalist perspective argues that labor market institutions support deeper skill formation and better job searches. Building on this literature, the authors focus on temporal variation, emphasizing that some labor market institutions are likely countercyclical: they can potentially limit job losses in economic downturns.
  7. Teaching about Animals: Incorporating Nonhuman Animals into Sociology Classrooms

    The topic of human–animal studies (HAS) remains largely ignored within the sociology classroom. While a few sociologists have encouraged teaching about animals, none has assessed whether incorporating nonhuman animals into the curriculum is effective. In this study, three instructors at two universities incorporated animal-related materials in their sociology courses in a variety of ways. Data analyzed from course exam responses and student papers as well as end-of-semester student surveys indicate that student learning and enjoyment were enhanced.
  8. Workplace Compensation Practices and the Rise in Benefit Inequality

    This article aims to explain why inequality in fringe benefits has grown faster than wage inequality over the past four decades. We depart from previous income inequality research by studying benefits in addition to wages, but also by focusing on workplaces as the main drivers of benefit determination. We advance the argument that benefits determination is more organizationally embedded than wages mainly because workplaces have greater ability and incentive to alter benefits.
  9. Understanding Recent Growth Dynamics in Small Urban Places: The Case of New England

    This article utilizes recently published US Census data covering the pre‐and post‐Great Recession period (1990–2015) to identify key determinants of growth among small urban places in the New England Region. We find little evidence of random growth and robust evidence of convergence in growth, indicating that smaller urban areas tend to experience faster rates of growth than larger ones, over both the short and long term. Factors such as distance to large city areas and amenities are found to be particularly relevant to population growth rates.

  10. In Search of Greater Understanding: The Impact of Mastery Learning on Social Science Education

    Mastery learning approaches were designed to improve student learning and elevate the level of understanding across a broader swath of students. These approaches operate under the belief that all students are capable of learning if given enough time. Little research has examined the utility or applicability of a mastery learning approach for social sciences outside of research methods courses.