Main

December 4, 2006 - NOTE: This is a Monday

Race and Track Assignment in U.S. Public Schools

Presented by Samuel R. Lucas, University of California, Berkeley

Scholars continue to debate whether persistent racial inequality flows primarily from differences in measured achievement (e.g., Cancio, Evans, and Maume, Jr 1996; Farkas and Vicknair 1996), a debate pointing scholars toward the school. Yet, a look inside schools reveals conflicting evidence concerning students' opportunities. Notably, analyses of race and track location have found whites and Asians advantaged when compared to blacks and Latino/as (e.g., Mickelson 2001), black-white-Latino/a equality (e.g., Lucas and Gamoran 2002), and whites disadvantaged when compared to blacks and Asians (e.g., Garet and DeLany 1988). Upon investigating whether schools actually vary in their racial/ethnic gaps in track location, we find important school-level differences. We explore this variation and in so doing seek to reconcile the discrepant findings in existing research.

November 28, 2006

Law and Collective Memory of Atrocities: Theory, past research, and new lessons from the former Yugoslavia

Presented by Joachim Savelsberg, Courtney Faue, and Ryan King

After our recent work addressed effects of collective memories on the formation of law, this presentation explores the contribution of law to the construction of collective memories. Collective memories of historical events are partly shaped by the social sector in which they were constructed, as taboos, prescriptions and proscriptions and evidentiary criteria differ between political, scientific, religious or legal institutions. The ritual character of trials as well as the binary logic of criminal law, its ideas about guilt and innocence and individual accountability, and specific legal criteria for the admission of evidence should thus affect collective memories of those epochs and actors that are judged in court. The relevance of the theme, while broadly applying to legal proceedings, is especially evidenced by cases such as the Nuremberg tribunal against high ranking Nazi offenders or trials against members of the Argentinean Junta. The empirical component of the presentation examines the case of the former Yugoslav and Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. Content analysis of a sample of New York Times articles (1989-2006) compares reporting about Milosevic in different time periods: before the outbreak of the Yugoslav wars, during the period of atrocities, after the beginning of the investigation against Milosevic in 1996, his indictment in 1999, his delivery to the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2001 and the beginning of his trial in 2002. Reporting on Milosevic in these different time periods and based on legal vs. non-legal informants sheds light on the impact of law on the construction of collective memory.

November 7, 2006

The Social Organization of Evaluation in Selective College Admissions

Presented by Mitchell Stevens (New York University)

In its influential 2003 decisions regarding affirmative action at the University of Michigan, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed the "individualized consideration" of applicants to selective schools. We know very little about what individualized consideration looks like in practice. Drawing on eighteen months of participant observation in the admissions office of a highly selective private college, I portray the organizational mechanics of individualized consideration. I show how individualized consideration systematically privileges affluent applicants. The inequalities inherent in individualized consideration, heretofore unrecognized by sociologists, pose significant ethical dilemmas for gatekeepers in a wide range of organizations with selective admissions.

October 31, 2006

Immigrant Employment and Wage Attainment: Differentiating between the Primary, Secondary and Ethnic Sectors

Presented by Jennifer C. Lee

Since the Immigration Act of 1965, the flow of immigrants to the United States has shifted away from European countries and is now primarily from Asian and Latin American countries. In terms of the human capital and work skills they bring to the United States, recent immigrants are more diverse than ever. While many immigrant workers are employed in low-wage jobs with poor working conditions and little job security within the secondary sector of the labor market, many others work in professional occupations within the primary sector. Others participate in ethnic economies, which may provide job opportunities that are not available to them in the mainstream economy. Some researchers have suggested that ethnic economy employment can provide benefits to immigrants, while others have found that it may actually worsen their economic situation. This paper investigates the impact of ethnic economy employment on the probability of full-time employment and hourly wages.

October 24, 2006

Experiencing Difference in American Neighborhoods

Presented by Joe Gerteis and Trina Smith

Americans say that they appreciate difference and in general they do. But in most contexts they can “appreciate? it from a distance, without much real contact. Neighborhoods are different — people have to live with it. This paper explores the way that people experience the benefits and drawbacks of diversity in neighborhoods across the country. We compare high and low diversity neighborhoods to see where people agree and diverge.

October 17, 2006

The Consequences of Incarceration for Parents and Children

Presented by Sara Wakefield

Research on the consequences of incarceration has emerged as an important field of study as a result of historically high incarceration rates in the United States. Analysts are just beginning to asses the impact of incarceration on children and the field is currently characterized by more questions than answers. This paper examines the impact of parental incarceration on the well-being of their children. Though much research has examined the impact of parental criminality on children, few analyses exist that link parental incarceration to outcomes for children. The paper first develops a conceptual framework for analyzing the effect of parental punishment on children and test these proposition on a sample of children and adolescents. Then, using data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods and qualitative interviews, this paper addresses two questions: (1) How and for whom is parental incarceration most consequential? (2) What are the major mechanisms through which incarceration influences parent-child relationships?

October 10, 2006

Under(Developing) Democracy: Mechanisms of Association in Tanzania

Presented by Brian Dill

While theorists have highlighted the different ways in which associations contribute to democracy in the West, research has not explored whether and to what extent associations exhibit similar democratic effects in non-Western contexts. This study identifies the recurrent causal mechanisms involved in the formation of associations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and investigates their effects on the democratic potential of associations. Fieldwork data reveal two causal mechanisms – certification and devolution – that have been central to the proliferation of voluntary associations. As a consequence of these mechanisms, associations in Dar es Salaam exhibit elite rather than popular characteristics, extend rather than limit state power, and reinforce rather than address the shortcomings of representative government. These findings suggest that the context-specific process through which associations emerge profoundly affects their democratic potential.

October 4, 2006

Kids Equality Talk: Rhetoric around Race and Gender

Presented by Barbara Risman (University of Illinois - Chicago)

This presentation is based on an interview study with 44 middle-school children between 10 and 13 years of age in a small city in the southeastern United States. The project is a collaborative project designed for graduate student research training as part off a Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) initiative. Our research questions had to do with how the children made sense of their own experiences as they developed gender strategies and sexual identities. How do these 21st Century pre-teens, who attend integrated schools, make sense of what race and gender mean in their lives. How does their interaction with each other help shape identities and self-evaluations. We are only now beginning analyses of these data. Perhaps our major finding is about the new dilemmas facing young people as they struggle to reconcile the colorblind and post-feminist ideologies they are taught with the gender and racial inequality they experience in the world around them. Many white children are afraid to even admit that they see race or racial patterns at all for fear of being seen as racist. Both boys and girls adopt post-feminist ideology about girl's freedom to be whatever they want, while at the same time they talk about how gender is policed by peer groups, with little boundary crossing allowed to boys. We had to formulate very creative techniques to get beyond equality rhetoric about gender and race, but there was no equality rhetoric obscuring attitudes around sexual identity categories. Gender was policed primarily by conflating gender non-conformity with homosexuality. The children report that boys who do non-traditional gendered activities are quickly charged with being 'gay.' Girls were not so charged, and indeed competitive sports have become quite normative, as long as masculine pursuits are balanced with some overt femininity displays as well. One interesting, and perhaps new social trend is that tweens that adopt an openly gay identity seem to pass through the hazing stage of teasing and are then allowed the freedom to be gender non-conformists.

September 26, 2006

Envisioning Adult Lives: Adolescent Aspirations & Expectations of Work and Family

Presented by Ronda Copher

Adolescence is a crucial period within the life course; the experiences youth have, and the plans they make for their futures resonate throughout their lives. In particular, adolescent aspirations and expectations toward their adult lives have implications for attainment and pathways through institutions. Further, the process of life course formation is gendered. My dissertation research looks at stability and change in adolescent aspirations and expectations of work, family and educational attainments for women and men. I argue that adolescent's plans comprise cognitive pathways, that is how adolescents see themselves and their lives, which has implications for the constellation of roles incurred as adults. Research typically investigates these domains one-dimensionally and at single points in time, in contrast, using a variation on growth mixture models (latent class models adapted for long processes) I estimate 5 different cognitive pathways in how young men and women think about their futures in multi-dimensional ways. Specifically, I model adolescent aspirations and expectations during the four years of high school using data from the Youth Development Study (YDS). Within the cognitive pathways, I find evidence for both stability and change, with uncertainty increasing for young men and women across the three domains.

September 19, 2006

Flexible Work and Well-Being: A Multi-Method Study of Organizational Change

Presented by Erin Kelly and Phyllis Moen

The Flexible Work and Well-being Study is designed to investigate workplace policies and practices that may enhance employees' control over where and when they work and the number of hours they spend on the job. Previous research suggests that greater schedule control may improve the health and well-being of workers and their families, and also affect employees' experiences on the job and the organizational culture. Our project analyzes the effects of a "natural experiment" to increase schedule control, occurring in a local Fortune 500 company, and also traces the process of organizational change. We will describe our on-going research and discuss the challenges and rewards of conducting collaborative research in work organizations.

September 12, 2006

The Long-term Civic Impact of Youth Service: The Case of Teach for America

Presented by Doug McAdam (Stanford University)

Between 2002-03 we conducted a follow-up study of all applicants to the Teach for America program from 1992-99. The analyses we've done to date focus on the enduring "civic effect" of the experience on 3 groups of subjects: "graduates" (those who were offered and completed a 2 year teaching assignment); "drop-outs" (those who accepted but did not complete their assignment); and "non-matriculants" (those who were offered but turned down a teaching assignment). The preliminary results of these analyses are quite surprising and provide a stark contrast to previous work on the long-term effects of social movement participation. Besides discussing the findings, I would offer in the talk some provisional thoughts on the factors or processes that account for the stark differences between the TFA study and the earlier research.

 

Fall 2006 Workshop Schedule

September 12, 2006
Doug McAdam (Stanford University)
The Long-term Civic Impact of Youth Service: The Case of Teach for America

September 19, 2006
Erin Kelly and Phyllis Moen
Flexible Work and Well-Being: A Multi-Method Study of Organizational Change

September 26, 2006
Ronda Copher
Envisioning Adult Lives: Adolescent Aspirations & Expectations of Work and Family

October 4, 2006 - Note: this is a Wednesday
Barbara Risman (University of Illinois - Chicago)
Kids Equality Talk: Rhetoric around Race and Gender

October 10, 2006
Brian Dill
Under(Developing) Democracy: Mechanisms of Association in Tanzania

October 17, 2006
Sara Wakefield
The Consequences of Incarceration for Parents and Children

October 24, 2006
Joe Gerteis and Trina Smith
Experiencing Difference in American Neighborhoods

October 31, 2006
Jennifer C. Lee
Immigrant Employment and Wage Attainment: Differentiating between the Primary, Secondary and Ethnic Sectors

November 7, 2006
Mitchell Stevens (New York University)
The Social Organization of Evaluation in Selective College Admissions

November 14, 2006
(Date Intentionally Left Open to Accommodate Search-Related Rescheduling)

November 21, 2005
(Date Intentionally Left Open to Accommodate Search-Related Rescheduling)

November 28, 2006
Joachim Savelsberg, Courtney Faue, and Ryan King
Law and Collective Memory of Atrocities: Theory, Past Research, and New Lessons from the Former Yugoslavia

December 4, 2006 - Note: this is a Monday
Samuel R. Lucas (University of California - Berkeley
Race and Track Assignment in U.S. Public Schools