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  1. Great Recession’s Other Legacy: Inconsistent Work Hours

    It can be hard to plan for basic needs, like paying rent or taking care of your kids, if you don’t know when you’ll be working next week or just how many hours you will be needed. 

    A new study by researchers at the University of California-Davis, finds that an unpredictable work week is the norm for growing numbers of low-wage workers — nearly 40 percent of whom worked variable hours for at least one four-month period after the start of the 2007-09 Great Recession. 

  2. Ramen Noodles Supplanting Cigarettes as Currency Among Prisoners

    Ramen noodles are supplanting the once popular cigarettes as a form of currency among state prisoners, but not in response to bans on tobacco products within prison systems, finds a new study. 

    Instead, study author Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona School of Sociology, found that inmates are trying to figure out ways to better feed themselves as certain prison services are being defunded. 

  3. Study Finds Changes to Retirement Savings System May Exacerbate Economic Inequality

    A shift to defined-contribution retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, has led to an income and education gap in pension savings that could exacerbate future economic inequality, according to a study that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  4. Lousy Jobs Hurt Your Health by the Time You’re in Your 40s

    Job satisfaction in your late 20s and 30s has a link to overall health in your early 40s, according to a new nationwide study. 

    While job satisfaction had some impact on physical health, its effect was particularly strong for mental health, researchers found. 

    Those less than happy with their work early in their careers said they were more depressed and worried and had more trouble sleeping. 

    And the direction of your job satisfaction — whether it is getting better or worse in your early career — has an influence on your later health, the study showed. 

  5. Educational Authority in the ''Open Door Marketplace: Labor Market Consequences of For-profit, Nonprofit, and Fictional Educational Credentials

    In recent years, private for-profit education has been the fastest growing segment of the U.S. postsecondary system. Traditional hiring models suggest that employers clearly and efficiently evaluate college credentials, but this changing institutional landscape raises an important question: How do employers assess credentials from emerging institutions? Building on theories of educational authority, we hypothesize that employers respond to an associate’s degree itself over the institution from which it came.

  6. Sociology Faculty Members Employed Part-time in Community Colleges: Structural Disadvantage, Cultural Devaluation, and Faculty-Student Relationships

    The large majority of faculty members teaching in community colleges are employed on a part-time basis, yet little is known about their working conditions and professional engagement. This article uses data from a recent national survey of faculty members teaching sociology in community colleges to provide this information, with particular attention to the different situations of those teaching full-time, part-time by choice, and part-time involuntarily.

  7. Bisexual Men and Women Face Pay Gap

    Bisexual men and women are paid less for doing the same jobs than similarly qualified heterosexual men and women, according to Indiana University research that breaks new ground by treating bisexual individuals as distinct from gay men and lesbians in the workplace.

    The study, "Sexual Orientation in the Labor Market," was published online today (Nov. 15) by the American Sociological Review, the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association. The author is Trenton D. Mize, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

  8. Dignity and Dreams: What the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Means to Low-Income Families

    Money has meaning that shapes its uses and social significance, including the monies low-income families draw on for survival: wages, welfare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This study, based on in-depth interviews with 115 low-wage EITC recipients, reveals the EITC is an unusual type of government transfer. Recipients of the EITC say they value the debt relief this government benefit brings. However, they also perceive it as a just reward for work, which legitimizes a temporary increase in consumption.

  9. Study Finds Couples’ Division of Paid and Unpaid Labor Linked to Risk of Divorce

    A new study suggests that financial factors, including couples’ overall resources and wives’ ability to support themselves in the event of a divorce, are not predictive of whether marriages last. Rather, it is couples’ division of labor — paid and unpaid — that is associated with the risk of divorce.     

  10. Taking Time-Off Work to Raise Children is Damaging to the Careers of Highly Skilled, High Earning Women

    Mothers who leave work to raise children often sacrifice more than the pay for their time off; when they come back their wages reflect lost raises, according to a new study by Paula England, Professor of Sociology at New York University.