American Sociological Association

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  1. 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.

  2. Adopting a Cloak of Incompetence: Impression Management Techniques for Feigning Lesser Selves

    The “cloak of competence” concept captures attempts to disguise limitations and exaggerate abilities. The author examines the conceptual converse: the “cloak of incompetence,” or the various ways people deliberately disregard, disguise, downplay, or diminish their personal abilities. Drawing on a comparative analysis of manifold empirical cases, the author identifies three generic competence-concealing techniques—avoidance, performance, and neutralization—and considers some of the interactional contingencies that can enhance or reduce their effectiveness.
  3. The New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

    Set against the background of mid-twentieth-century institutional changes analyzed by Jürgen Habermas, we provide an account of new social conditions that compose “the public sphere” in the contemporary United States. First, we review recent developments in theorizing the public sphere, arguing they benefit from renewed attention to institutional changes in how that sphere operates.
  4. 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.
  5. Does Climate Protest Work? Partisanship, Protest, and Sentiment Pools

    This study demonstrates whether and how climate protest increases or decreases the “sentiment pools” available to the climate movement. Using an experimental vignette survey design (n = 1,421), the author finds that compared with a control condition, peaceful marches are effective for both independents and Democrats, while civil disobedience has a positive effect among Democrats. These effects are isolated to those who are most certain of anthropogenic climate change. No effect is observed among Republicans.
  6. Racial Ideology or Racial Ignorance? An Alternative Theory of Racial Cognition

    Directing attention to racial ignorance as a core dimension of racialized social systems, this article advances a process-focused Theory of Racial Ignorance (TRI), grounded in Critical Race Theory and the philosophical construct white ignorance. TRI embodies five tenets—epistemology of ignorance, ignorance as ends-based technology, corporate white agency, centrality of praxis, and interest convergence.
  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. How Marriage Matters for the Intergenerational Mobility of Family Income: Heterogeneity by Gender, Life Course, and Birth Cohort

    Adult children’s labor market status and their type of marriage are major channels through which family advantages are passed from one generation to the next. However, these two routes are seldom studied together. We develop a theoretical approach to incorporate marriage entry and marital sorting into the intergenerational transmission of family income, accounting for differences between sons and daughters and considering education as a central explanatory factor.
  10. Sociology’s Next Steps? Fiftieth Anniversary of Gouldner’s Vision and Sixtieth Anniversary of Mills’s Vision

    My essay in the July 2019 issue of Contemporary Sociology leaned heavily on Habermas’s focus on “personal emancipation” and Giddens’s concept of “structuration.”