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  1. Families With Kids Increasingly Live Near Families Just Like Them

    Neighborhoods are becoming less diverse and more segregated by income — but only among families with children, a new study has found.

    Study author Ann Owens, an assistant professor of sociology at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, examined census data from 100 major U.S. metropolitan areas, from Los Angeles to Boston. She found that, among families with children, neighborhood income segregation is driven by increased income inequality in combination with a previously overlooked factor: school district options.

  2. 2013 Presidential Address: Why Status Matters for Inequality

    To understand the mechanisms behind social inequality, this address argues that we need to more thoroughly incorporate the effects of status—inequality based on differences in esteem and respect—alongside those based on resources and power. As a micro motive for behavior, status is as significant as money and power. At a macro level, status stabilizes resource and power inequality by transforming it into cultural status beliefs about group differences regarding who is “better” (esteemed and competent).

  3. Alexander, Olson, and Entwisle Win Top Education Award for The Long Shadow

    Three Johns Hopkins University researchers whose 2014 book traced the lives of nearly 800 Baltimore City public school students for a quarter of a century have won the prestigious $100,000 Grawemeyer Award in Education. Their research challenges the idea that access to public education means equal opportunity

  4. Symbolic Politics of the State: The Case of In-state Tuition Bills for Undocumented Students

    A symbolic politics approach contends that the meanings policy proposals convey, and the audiences they attract, may matter more than whether they become law. Yet, we know little about the sociopolitical conditions prompting lawmakers to engage in symbolic politics.

  5. Kindergarten Black–White Test Score Gaps: Re-examining the Roles of Socioeconomic Status and School Quality with New Data

    Black–white test score gaps form in early childhood and widen over elementary school. Sociologists have debated the roles that socioeconomic status (SES) and school quality play in explaining these patterns. In this study, I replicate and extend past research using new nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011. I find black–white test score gaps at kindergarten entry in 2010 in reading (SD = .32), math (SD = .54), and working memory (SD = .52 among children with valid scores).

  6. When Change Doesn’t Matter: Racial Identity (In)consistency and Adolescent Well-being

    Law enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border region has significantly changed since the 1970s. Currently, Latinas/os make up more than half of the agents who patrol the southern border region. The Texas Lower Rio Grande Valley, in particular, has transformed from a predominantly Anglo police establishment to one with a heavy presence of Mexican American agents within local and federal agencies.

  7. Settler Colonialism as Structure: A Framework for Comparative Studies of U.S. Race and Gender Formation

    Understanding settler colonialism as an ongoing structure rather than a past historical event serves as the basis for an historically grounded and inclusive analysis of U.S. race and gender formation. The settler goal of seizing and establishing property rights over land and resources required the removal of indigenes, which was accomplished by various forms of direct and indirect violence, including militarized genocide.

  8. Deconcentration without Integration: Examining the Social Outcomes of Housing Choice Voucher Movement in Los Angeles County

    This article reports on the social experiences of tenants moving from low-income neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles to a racially mixed, lower poverty suburb—the Antelope Valley—using Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. Voucher tenants experience significant social exclusion and aggressive oversight. Local residents use racial shorthand to label their black neighbors as voucher holders and apply additional scrutiny to their activity. They aggressively report voucher tenants to the housing authority and police, instigating inspections that threaten tenants’ voucher status.

  9. Toward a New Macro-Segregation? Decomposing Segregation within and between Metropolitan Cities and Suburbs

    This article documents a new macro-segregation, where the locus of racial differentiation resides increasingly in socio-spatial processes at the community or place level. The goal is to broaden the spatial lens for studying segregation, using decennial Census data on 222 metropolitan areas. Unlike previous neighborhood studies of racial change, we decompose metropolitan segregation into its within- and between-place components from 1990 to 2010. This is accomplished with the Theil index (H). Our decomposition of H reveals large post-1990 declines in metropolitan segregation.

  10. 2014 Presidential Address: Cultural Knowledge and Social Inequality

    Using both qualitative longitudinal data collected 20 years after the original Unequal Childhoodsstudy and interview data from a study of upwardly mobile adults, this address demonstrates how cultural knowledge matters when white and African American young adults of differing class backgrounds navigate key institutions. I find that middle-class young adults had more knowledge than their working-class or poor counterparts of the “rules of the game” regarding how institutions worked. They also displayed more of a sense of entitlement to ask for help.