American Sociological Association

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  1. Symbolically Maintained Inequality: How Harvard and Stanford Students Construct Boundaries among Elite Universities

    The study of elites is enjoying a revival at a time of increasing economic inequality. Sociologists of education have been leaders in this area, researching how affluent families position their children to compete favorably in a highly stratified higher education system. However, scholars have done less research on how students do symbolic work of their own to bolster elite status. In this study, we use qualitative interviews with 56 undergraduates at Harvard and Stanford Universities to explore how students construct a status hierarchy among elite campuses.
  2. Aspiration Squeeze: The Struggle of Children to Positively Selected Immigrants

    Why is it that children of immigrants often outdo their ethnic majority peers in educational aspirations yet struggle to keep pace with their achievements? This article advances the explanation that many immigrant communities, while positively selected on education, still have moderate absolute levels of schooling. Therefore, parents’ education may imbue children with high expectations but not always the means to fulfill them.
  3. The Conscripted Curriculum and the Reproduction of Racial Inequalities in Contemporary U.S. Medical Education

    In their attempt to address racial disparities in the provision of healthcare, the U.S. medical profession has reproduced racial inequalities of their own. In this article, I draw upon interview data with medical educators and students to detail how medical educators routinely offload the instruction on the social underpinnings and consequences of race onto students, particularly students of color. I develop the concept of the conscripted curriculum to capture how students’ social identities are utilized by educators in the professionalization process.
  4. Letter Regarding Proposed Funding Cuts for Higher Education in Alaska

    A letter sent to government officials of Alaska by the ASA, along with 31 other professional societies, states "we express deep concern about Governor Dunleavy’s proposed funding cuts for higher education. While we understand that Alaska is currently facing financial constraints, a $134 million reduction in state support for the University of Alaska will undoubtedly have devastating consequences to the well-being of the state for generations to come....  A healthy local system ensures that many of the economic benefits of higher education remain local.

  5. Improving Student Learning Outcomes through Community-based Research: The Poverty Workshop

    Engaged learning extends education outside of the formal classroom through internships, experiential learning, and community- or service-based learning. To better understand the potential of engaged learning in improving student learning outcomes and encouraging students to pursue STEM-based careers, we describe the development of a community-based research experience related to poverty and report on improvements in students’ self-reported competencies in generalized self-efficacy, research skills, and science motivation.
  6. “Broken Windows,” Lower Grades

    The “Broken Windows” theory of policing, applied in New York and other major American cities since the early ‘90s, has been credited in some quarters with reducing crime.  Stopping, warning and even arresting perpetrators of low-impact crimes like vandalism and disorderly behavior, says the theory, contributes to a more cohesive neighborhood and a setting less likely to attract violent crime.

  7. Honorary Whites? Asian American Women and the Dominance Penalty

    Women face a double bind in positions of leadership; they are expected to display authority in order to appear competent but are judged as socially deficient if they are perceived to be too dominant. This dominance penalty is well documented, but most studies examine reactions only to white women’s leadership displays.
  8. Brilliant or Bad: The Gendered Social Construction of Exceptionalism in Early Adolescence

    From kindergarten through college, students perceive boys as more intelligent than girls, yet few sociological studies have identified how school processes shape students’ gender status beliefs. Drawing on 2.5 years of longitudinal ethnography and 196 interviews conducted at a racially diverse, public middle school in Los Angeles, this article demonstrates how educators’ differential regulation of boys’ rule-breaking by course level contributed to gender-based differences in students’ perceptions of intelligence.

  9. Equalization or Selection? Reassessing the “Meritocratic Power” of a College Degree in Intergenerational Income Mobility

    Intergenerational mobility is higher among college graduates than among people with lower levels of education. In light of this finding, researchers have characterized a college degree as a great equalizer leveling the playing field, and proposed that expanding higher education would promote mobility. This line of reasoning rests on the implicit assumption that the relatively high mobility observed among college graduates reflects a causal effect of college completion on intergenerational mobility, an assumption that has rarely been rigorously evaluated. This article bridges this gap.

  10. Emergence of Third Spaces: Exploring Trans Students’ Campus Climate Perceptions Within Collegiate Environments

    Our study aims to understand trans students’ perceptions of campus climate, with a particular focus on students’ demographics, academic experiences, and cocurricular experiences. We use Bhabha’s concept of third space as an epistemological lens and Rankin and Reason’s transformational tapestry model as a theoretical framework. Using a national sample of 207 trans collegians from the National LGBTQ Alumnx Survey, we utilize regression analysis supplemented by an analysis of open-ended responses to highlight the experiences of trans respondents.