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  1. Innovative Education? A Test of Specialist Mimicry or Generalist Assimilation in Trends in Charter School Specialization Over Time

    By most media accounts, charter schools are innovative schools. But little empirical work interrogates this idea. We examine the growth and decline of specialist charter school mission statements as one indicator of innovation. In line with theories of resource partitioning, we find that specialist charter school missions—those asserting innovation with regards to populations served, curricula utilized, and/or educational focus—have become increasingly diverse over time.

  2. Student Neighborhoods, Schools, and Test Score Growth: Evidence from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Schools and neighborhoods are thought to be two of the most important contextual influences on student academic outcomes. Drawing on a unique data set that permits simultaneous estimation of neighborhood and school contributions to student test score gains, we analyze the distributions of these contributions to consider the relative importance of schools and neighborhoods in shaping student achievement outcomes.

  3. Community Disorder, Victimization Exposure, and Mental Health in a National Sample of Youth

    This study considers whether elevated distress among youth living in more disordered neighborhoods can be explained by personal exposure to violence and victimization, level of non-victimization adversity, and family support. Analyses were based on a sample of 2,039 youth ages 10 to 17 who participated in the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence, a national telephone survey conducted in 2008.

  4. 2012 Presidential Address: Transforming Capitalism through Real Utopias

    This address explores a broad framework for thinking sociologically about emancipatory alternatives to dominant institutions and social structures, especially capitalism. The framework is grounded in two foundational propositions: (1) Many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing are the result of existing institutions and social structures. (2) Transforming existing institutions and social structures in the right way has the potential to substantially reduce human suffering and expand the possibilities for human flourishing.

  5. The Contradictory Logics of Public-Private Place-making and Spatial Justice: The Case of Atlanta's Beltline

    The concept of spatial justice connects social justice to space (Harvey 1973; Lefebvre 1992 and Soja 2010). As Soja (2010) argues, justice has a geography. Spatial justice seeks more equitable distribution of resources in a world where societies are inherently unjust. In theory, many urban design and place-making projects aim to create a more spatially—just city.  That is, until such projects collide against the profit logic and ambitions of the private market.

  6. Men in Caring Occupations: Doing Gender Differently

    As there is less written about men in occupations where the majority of workers are women than the reverse, I was looking forward to reading Men in Caring Occupations, especially regarding the four occupations covered—airplane cabin crew, nurses, primary school teachers, and librarians. The focus of the book is how men “negotiate the potential mismatch between the (feminine) nature of the job and a gendered (masculine) identity” (p. 4-5). As the minority group in these occupations, men need to practice their caring skills, but need not feminize as workers.