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  1. Inequality in Reading and Math Skills Forms Mainly before Kindergarten: A Replication, and Partial Correction, of “Are Schools the Great Equalizer?”

    When do children become unequal in reading and math skills? Some research claims that inequality grows mainly before school begins. Some research claims that schools cause inequality to grow. And some research—including the 2004 study ‘‘Are Schools the Great Equalizer?’’—claims that inequality grows mainly during summer vacations. Unfortunately, the test scores used in the Great Equalizer study suffered from a measurement artifact that exaggerated estimates of inequality growth. In addition, the Great Equalizer study is dated and its participants are no longer school-aged.
  2. How School Socioeconomic Status Affects Achievement Growth across School Transitions in Early Educational Careers

    Our study investigates how changing socioeconomic status (SES) composition, measured as percentage free and reduced priced lunch (FRL), affects students’ math achievement growth after the transition to middle school. Using the life course framework of cumulative advantage, we investigate how timing, individual FRL status, and legacy effects of a student’s elementary school SES composition each affect a student’s math achievement growth. We advance research on school transitions by considering how changing contexts affect achievement growth across school transitions.
  3. What’s Taking You So Long? Examining the Effects of Social Class on Completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Four Years

    Despite improved access in expanded postsecondary systems, the great majority of bachelor’s degree graduates are taking considerably longer than the allotted four years to complete their four-year degrees. Taking longer to finish one’s BA has become so pervasive in the United States that it has become the norm for official statistics released by the Department of Education to report graduation rates across a six-year window.
  4. “Personal Preference” as the New Racism: Gay Desire and Racial Cleansing in Cyberspace

    In this article, I examine how race impacts online interactions on one of the most popular online gay personal websites in the United States. Based on 15 in-depth interviews and an analysis of 100 profiles, I show that the filtering system on this website allows users to cleanse particular racial bodies from their viewing practices.

  5. Social Networks and Educational Attainment among Adolescents Experiencing Pregnancy

    Pregnant adolescents are a population at risk for dropout and have been found to complete fewer years of education than peers. Pregnant girls’ social experience in school may be a factor in their likelihood to persist, as social integration is thought to buffer dropout risk. Pregnant teens have been found to have fewer friends than their peers, but the academic ramifications of these social differences have yet to be studied. In this study the author examines whether friendship networks are associated with the relationship between adolescent pregnancy and educational attainment.

  6. Biases of Online Political Polls: Who Participates?

    With a large portion of the population online and the high cost of phone-based surveys, querying people about their voter preference online can offer an affordable and timely alternative. However, given that there are biases in who adopts various sites and services that are often used as sampling frames (e.g., various social media), online political polls may not represent the views of the overall population. How are such polls biased? Who is most likely to participate in them?
  7. Can Online Courses Deliver In-class Results? A Comparison of Student Performance and Satisfaction in an Online versus a Face-to-face Introductory Sociology Course

    This study uses a quasi-experimental design to assess differences in student performance and satisfaction across online and face-to-face (F2F) classroom settings. Data were collected from 368 students enrolled in three online and three F2F sections of an introductory-level sociology course. The instructor, course materials, and assessments were consistent between the two delivery formats. The investigators compare student satisfaction and student performance on midterm exams and an integrating data analysis assignment.

  8. Place-based Inequality in “Energetic” Pain: The Price of Residence in Rural America

    Despite the tendency for some to view rural life or living close to nature with nostalgia, the unpalatable truth is that rural America is beset with many problems, including lower incomes, higher poverty rates, limited access to well-paying jobs, higher morbidity and mortality rates, inadequate access to health care, and lower educational attainment. In this study, we question whether this palpable rural disadvantage extends to residential energy costs, a subject with serious implications for the well-being of households.
  9. Text Analysis with JSTOR Archives

    I provide a visual representation of keyword trends and authorship for two flagship sociology journals using data from JSTOR’s Data for Research repository. While text data have accompanied the digital spread of information, it remains inaccessible to researchers unfamiliar with the required preprocessing. The visualization and accompanying code encourage widespread use of this source of data in the social sciences.

  10. Featured Essay: Lost and Saved . . . Again: The Moral Panic about the Loss of Community Takes Hold of Social Media

    Why does every generation believe that relationships were stronger and community better in the recent past? Lamenting about the loss of community, based on a selective perception of the present and an idealization of ‘‘traditional community,’’ dims awareness of powerful inequalities and cleavages that have always pervaded human society and favors deterministic models over a nuanced understanding of how network affordances contribute to different outcomes. Taylor Dotson’s (2017) recent book proposes a broader timeline for the demise of community.