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  1. Teaching for Social Justice: Motivations of Community College Faculty in Sociology

    This article evaluates the reasons for career choice and job satisfaction among community college faculty who teach sociology, in relation to a social justice motivation for teaching. Using closed- and open-ended response data from a 2014 national survey of community college sociology faculty, this study finds that a preponderance of faculty do not see themselves as pushed into their careers through external factors but, rather, describe being pulled into community college instruction through a set of personally meaningful internal motivations.

  2. How Do We Integrate Students Vocational Goals into Introduction to Sociology Curricula, and What Are the Effects of Doing So?

    President Obama’s America’s College Promise proposal has brought renewed attention to community colleges’ capacity to connect the college and career aspirations of today’s undergraduates. Despite this capacity, however, community colleges have historically offered students two distinct educational pathways: a liberal education transfer-oriented program or a terminal vocational program.

  3. Instrumental and Expressive Education: College Planning in the Face of Poverty

    Nearly all young people in the United States aspire to a college degree, but many fail to complete college in a timely manner. Does this lack of attainment reflect abandoned college plans? I analyze mixed-methods data from a five-year study of 700 low-income mothers at two Louisiana community colleges. Hurricane Katrina displaced respondents and interrupted their college educations; respondents had to decide whether, how, and why to return to school. Few women earned degrees during the study, but survey data indicate that the rate of reenrollment and intentions to complete were high.

  4. Study Explores What Draws Sociology Faculty to Teach in Community Colleges

    Community college faculty who teach sociology are drawn to their positions for reasons that are personal and meaningful to them, including serving a diverse and underserved population and advancing social justice principles. This is despite the oftentimes challenging work conditions faced at community colleges, according to a new study by members of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Task Force on Community College Faculty in Sociology.

  5. “How Far Is Too Far?”: Gender, Emotional Capital, and Children’s Public School Assignments

    The authors analyze how gender and other individual and family characteristics shape attitudes toward children’s school assignments. Using a mixed-methods approach, the authors analyze preferences for (1) diversity- and (2) neighborhood-based schools and three new dimensions of negative emotional capital: (3) parental challenge from student reassignments, (4) perceived dangers to children from reassignments, and (5) the uncertainty reassignment entails.

  6. Review Essays: Mapping the Causes of Unequal Schooling and the Transformative Possibilities of Sociology

    Long-standing debates about the sources of inequality shed light on the possibilities and limitations of sociology. At a presentation for teachers recently, I was asked what percentage of inequality in schools is the fault of students, parents, and teachers. Having just presented on my book, Academic Profiling, and the interlocking macro-meso-micro processes reproducing educational injustices, this question caught me off guard.

  7. Review Essays: Living, Learning, and the New Higher Education

    In the most recent edition of the Digest of Education Statistics (2015), the National Center for Education Statistics reported, with maybe a bit more precision than is warranted, that in 2011–12 there were 7,234 postsecondary Title IV institutions in the United States. About two-thirds of these institutions granted degrees, and a bit less than two-thirds of those were four-year colleges.

  8. Conundrums of Integration: Desegregation in the Context of Racialized Hierarchy

    Recent scholarly and public conversations have given renewed attention to integration as a goal, an aspiration, and/or an “imperative.” These calls for integration are infused with the conviction that segregation is a linchpin, if not the linchpin, of persistent racialized hierarchies. While the costs of persistent segregation remain clear, the call for integration as the unequivocal answer is more contested. In this article we grapple with some of these conundrums of integration, asking whether, in fact, integration furthers equity and if not, why not?

  9. Sizing up Peers Adolescent Girls’ Weight Control and Social Comparison in the School Context

    Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and multi-level modeling, we examine the role of social comparison with schoolmates in adolescent girls’ weight control. Specifically, we focus on how girls’ own weight control is influenced by the body sizes and weight-control behaviors of their schoolmates. Our findings suggest that comparisons with similar others (in this case, girls of a similar body size) appear to have the strongest association with individual girls’ reports of trying to lose weight.

  10. Status Characteristics and Ability Attributions in Hungarian School Classes: An Exponential Random Graph Approach

    We study how the status characteristics gender and ethnicity affect the abilities that adolescents attribute to each other in the Hungarian school context. For this, we derive predictions from status characteristics theory that we test by applying exponential random graph models to data collected among students in 27 school classes. By that, we contribute to the few existing studies of status characteristics in a school context, and we propose a novel approach to handle structural dependencies between individual ability attributions.