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  1. Educational Disparities in Adult Health: U.S. States as Institutional Actors on the Association

    Despite numerous studies on educational disparities in U.S. adult health, explanations for the disparities and their growth over time remain incomplete. The authors argue that this knowledge gap partly reflects an individualist paradigm in U.S. studies of educational disparities in health. These studies have focused largely on proximal explanations (e.g., individual behaviors) to the neglect of contextual explanations (e.g., economic policies). The authors draw on contextual theories of health disparities to illustrate how U.S.

  2. “Keeping Us in Our Place”: Low-Income Moms Barred From College Success

    Mothers, trying to graduate their way out of poverty, describe controlling state policies and university cultures of exclusion that seem aligned in barring them from social mobility.
  3. Black Debt, White Debt

    Racial discrimination shapes who feels debt as a crushing burden and who experiences debt as an opportunity. U.S. financial products and rules, and the ways they’re implemented, amplify this inequality along racial lines.
  4. Disrupting the Racial Wealth Gap

    African-American families possess a dime for every dollar of White families’ wealth. Among policy ideas to remedy this stark racial wealth divide, baby bonds, basic income, reducing student loan debt, and federal job guarantees hold transformative potential.
  5. Basic Income and the Pitfalls of Randomization

    This essay evaluates the state of the debate around basic income, a controversial and much-discussed policy proposal. I explore its contested meaning and consider its potential impact. I provide a summary of the randomized guaranteed income experiments from the 1970s, emphasizing how experimental methods using scattered sets of isolated participants cannot capture the crucial social factors that help to explain changes in people’s patterns of work.
  6. The Origins of International Economic Disorder: A Study of United States International Monetary Policy from World War II to the Present

    Fred Block has written an outstanding book, a major contribution to modern sociological inquiry. Leapfrogging over contemporary excursions into number crunching and concept mongering, Block has planted his roots firmly in the tradition of thinkers like Joseph Schumpeter and Karl Polanyi. The result is an investigation into the effects that the international order, particularly the international monetary system, can have on domestic social organization.
  7. Scientific Elite: Nobel Laureates in the United States

    Zuckerman’s well-written book provides a comprehensive study of Nobel Laureates in the United States. The process by which the Nobel Prize is awarded is examined as a case study of the reward and evaluation system in science. Analysis is based on an impressive array of data.
  8. Review Essay: Public Engagement and the Influence Imperative

    These three books—Going Public: A Guide for Social Scientists, by Arlene Stein and Jessie Daniels; The Social Scientist’s Soapbox: Adventures in Writing Public Sociology, by Karen Sternheimer; and The Public Professor: How to Use Your Research to Change the World, by M. V. Lee Badgett—by three sociologists (Stein, Daniels, and Sternheimer) and an economist (Badgett) address the demand for guidance and support as academic sociologists respond to the disciplinary imperative to make our work more influential.
  9. The Contributions of Parental, Academic, School, and Peer Factors to Differences by Socioeconomic Status in Adolescents’ Locus of Control

    An internal locus of control may be particularly valuable for youth with low socioeconomic status (SES), yet the mechanisms that externalize their control remain unclear. This study uses data on 16,450 U.S. eighth graders surveyed for the National Education Longitudinal Study in 1988 and 1990. Results indicate family income is more closely associated with adolescents’ locus of control than parents’ occupations and educational attainment and that race does not independently affect adolescents’ locus of control net of these other components of SES.
  10. Adolescent Socioeconomic Status and Parent-Child Emotional Bonds: Reexamining Gender Differences in Mental Well-being during Young Adulthood

    Links between elevated mental well-being in adulthood and higher social and economic resources growing up are well established. However, the role of gender remains unclear, especially whether gender influences how social and economic resources interact to produce disparities in mental well-being across young adulthood. Drawing on nationally representative longitudinal data, we illuminate gender differences in mental well-being, finding that young adult mental health advantages based in adolescent socioeconomic status pivot on parent-child emotional bonds for young men only.