American Sociological Association

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  1. 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.

  2. Innovative Education? A Test of Specialist Mimicry or Generalist Assimilation in Trends in Charter School Specialization Over Time

    By most media accounts, charter schools are innovative schools. But little empirical work interrogates this idea. We examine the growth and decline of specialist charter school mission statements as one indicator of innovation. In line with theories of resource partitioning, we find that specialist charter school missions—those asserting innovation with regards to populations served, curricula utilized, and/or educational focus—have become increasingly diverse over time.

  3. The Bourgeoisie Dream Factory

    Effectively teaching sociological theories to undergraduate students is challenging. Students often enroll in theory courses due to major requirements, not personal interest. Consequently, many students approach the study of theory with anxiety. This study examined the effectiveness of an experiential learning activity designed to teach Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Based on pretest/posttest surveys, responses to open-ended questions, and observational data, students reported that the activity helped them gain a clearer understanding of Marx.

  4. Recursive Exercises to Help Students Engage and Recognize Sociological Shifts

    Introductory sociology courses encourage students to shift from understanding social relations and inequalities through an individualistic lens toward a more sociological one. It is difficult for students to know how far they have advanced toward a sociological perspective if they do not have a good sense of where they began.

  5. Into the Red and Back to the Nest? Student Debt, College Completion, and Returning to the Parental Home among Young Adults

    Rising student debt has sparked concerns about its impact on the transition to adulthood. In this paper, we examine the claim that student debt is leading to a rise in ‘‘boomeranging,’’ or returning home, using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 Cohort and discrete time-event history models. We have four findings. First, student loan debt is not associated with boomeranging in the complete sample. However, we find that the association differs by race, such that the link between student debt and returning home is stronger for black than for white youth.

  6. What Are Dual Process Models? Implications for Cultural Analysis in Sociology

    In this paper we introduce the idea of the dual process framework (DPF), an interdisciplinary approach to the study of learning, memory, thinking, and action. Departing from the successful reception of Vaisey (2009), we suggest that intradisciplinary debates in sociology regarding the merits of “dual process” formulations can benefit from a better understanding of the theoretical foundations of these models in cognitive and social psychology.

  7. An Immigrant Paradox? Contextual Attainment and Intergenerational Educational Mobility

    Numerous studies have revealed a seemingly paradoxical pattern in which, despite cultural differences, unfamiliarity with the educational system, and possible language difficulties, children of immigrants outperform their peers with native-born parents in the U.S. educational system. We problematize the notion of an immigrant paradox in education by broadening our conceptualization of social class background, and introducing the concept of contextual attainment to capture the geographic and historical contexts in which education is completed.

  8. Does College Enrollment and Bachelor’s Completion by Mothers Impact Children’s Educational Outcomes?

    Today, many undergraduates are themselves raising children. But does college-going by parents improve their offspring’s educational attainment? I address this question using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth–1979 and linked Children and Young Adults Survey. I first model postnatal college enrollment and bachelor’s completion by mothers and use predicted probabilities to minimize selection bias through inverse probability of treatment weighting.

  9. (How) Does Obesity Harm Academic Performance? Stratification at the Intersection of Race, Sex, and Body Size in Elementary and High School

    In this study I hypothesize a larger penalty of obesity on teacher-assessed academic performance for white girls in English, where femininity is privileged, than in math, where stereotypical femininity is perceived to be a detriment. This pattern of associations would be expected if obesity largely influences academic performance through social pathways, such as discrimination and stigma.

  10. Cohorts, ‘‘Siblings,’’ and Mentors: Organizational Structures and the Creation of Social Capital

    How can an organization help participants increase their social capital? Using data from an ethnographic study of Launch, an organization that prepares low-income students of color to attend elite boarding schools, I analyze how the organization’s structures not only generate social ties among students but also stratify those ties horizontally and vertically, thereby connecting students to a set of social contacts who occupy a range of hierarchical positions and who are able to provide access to resources that are beneficial in different contexts and at different times.