Sociological Science: Recent Research

Income Inequality and Education

Richard Breen, Inkwan Chung

Sociological Science, August 26, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a22

Abstract

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Many commentators have seen the growing gap in earnings and income between those with a college education and those without as a major cause of increasing inequality in the United States and elsewhere. In this article we investigate the extent to which increasing the educational attainment of the US population might ameliorate inequality. We use data from NLSY79 and carry out a three-level decomposition of total inequality into within-person, between-person and between-education parts. We find that the between-education contribution to inequality is small, even when we consider only adjusted inequality that omits the within-person component. We carry out a number of simulations to gauge the likely impact on inequality of changes in the distribution of education and of a narrowing of the differences in average incomes between those with different levels of education. We find that any feasible educational policy is likely to have only a minor impact on income inequality.
Richard Breen:  Nuffield College and Department of Sociology, University of Oxford.   Email: richard.breen@nuffield.ox.ac.uk

Inkwan Chung: Department of Sociology, Yale University.  Email: inkwan.chung@yale.edu

  • Citation: Breen, Richard, and Inkwan Chung. 2015. “Income Inequality and Education.” Sociological Science 2: 454-477.
  • Received: April 3, 2015.
  • Accepted: April 19, 2015.
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a22

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Periodic Discordance Between Vote Equality and Representational Equality in the United States

Sarah K. Cowan

Sociological Science, August 19, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a21

Abstract

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American democracy has two central values that are often in tension: vote equality, that each vote has equal influence, and representational equality, that each elected official represents equal numbers of people. The electoral standard of “one person, one vote” ensures representational equality, and that often ensures vote equality. This relationship fails, however, under certain demographic conditions, namely, when a large, non-enfranchised population resides unevenly across jurisdictions. Then, representational equality is preserved and vote equality is violated. Prior to women’s suffrage, for example, western states had relatively fewer women than the remainder of the country, contributing to gross vote inequality, though rectified through extension of the franchise. Given recent high rates of immigration to some states, I ask whether the two values are in tension. I find that they are, and quantify the electoral consequences of this disjuncture at 13 House seats in 2010.
Sarah K. Cowan: Department of Sociology, New York University.   Email: sarahkcowan@nyu.edu .

Acknowledgements: Andy Katzman provided support and critically important feedback, as usual.

  • Citation: Cowan, Sarah K. 2015. “Periodic Discordance Between Vote Equality and Representational Equality in the United States.” Sociological Science 2:442-453.
  • Received: July 25, 2015.
  • Accepted: August 8, 2015.
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a21

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The Missing Main Effect of Welfare State Regimes: A Replication of ‘Social Policy Responsiveness in Developed Democracies’ by Brooks and Manza

Nate Breznau

Sociological Science, August 17, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a20

Abstract

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This article reports the results of a replication of Brooks and Manza’s “Social Policy Responsiveness in Developed Democracies” published in 2006 in the American Sociological Review. The article finds that Brooks and Manza utilized an interaction term but excluded the main effect of one of the interacted variables. This model specification has specific implications: statistically, that the omitted main effect variable has no correlation with the residual error term from their regression; theoretically speaking, this means that all unobserved historical, cultural, and other characteristics that distinguish liberal democratic welfare regimes from others can be accounted for with a handful of quantitative measures. Using replicated data, this article finds that the Brooks and Manza models fail these assumptions. A sensitivity analysis using more than 800 regressions with different configurations of variables confirms this. In 99.5 percent of the cases, addition of the main effect removes Brooks and Manza’s empirical findings completely. A theoretical discussion illuminates why these findings are not surprising. This article provides a reminder that models and theories are coterminous, each implied by the other.
Nate Breznau: Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany. Email: breznau.nate@gmail.com

Acknowledgements: This research took place during my doctoral studies at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences at the University of Bremen. I thank Olaf Groh-Samberg, Steffen Mau, Jonathan Kelley, Judith Offerhaus, Nadine Schöneck- Voß, M.D.R. Evans, Philip Lersch, Olli Kangas, and Timm Fulge for their helpful comments.

  • Citation: Breznau, Nate. 2015. “The Missing Main Effect of Welfare State Regimes: A Replication of ’Social Policy Responsiveness in Developed Democracies’ by Brooks and Manza.” Sociological Science 2: 420-441.
  • Received: March 20, 2015.
  • Accepted: March 24, 2015.
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a20

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The Population Level Impacts of Differential Fertility Behavior of Parents of Children with Autism

Kinga Makovi, Alix Winter, Ka-Yuet Liu, Peter Bearman

Sociological Science, August 10, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a19

Abstract

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Drawing on population level data of exceptional quality (including detailed diagnostic information on the autism status of sibling pairs of over 3 million different mothers), this study confirms that stoppage is the average fertility response to a child born with autism, thereby reducing observed concordance in sibling pairs and leading to potentially biased estimation of genetic contributions to autism etiology. Using a counterfactual framework and applying matching techniques we show, however, that this average effect is composed of very different responses to suspicion of autism depending on birth cohort, the character of the disorder (severe versus less severe), the gender of the child, poverty status, and parental education. This study also sheds light on when parents suspect autism. We find that parents’ fertility behavior changes relative to matched controls very early after the birth of a child who will later be diagnosed with autism.
Kinga Makovi: Department of Sociology, Columbia University. Email: kinga.makovi@gmail.com.

Alix Winter: Department of Sociology, Harvard University. E-mail: alixsw@gmail.com.

Ka-Yuet Liu: Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles. E-mail:ka@soc.ucla.edu.

Peter Bearman: INCITE, Columbia University. E-mail: psb17@columbia.edu.

Acknowledgements: We thank Keely Cheslack-Postava, Alexandra Brewer, Christine Fountain, and Soumya Mazumdar and the members of the Bearman-Minkoff group for helpful comments on previous drafts. This research is supported by the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award program, part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, through grant number 1 DP1 OD003635-01.

  • Citation: Makovi, Kinga, Alix Winter, Ka-Yuet Liu and Peter Bearman. 2015. “The Population Level Impacts of Differential Fertility Behavior of Parents of Children with Autism.” Sociological Science 2: 398-419.
  • Received: January 24, 2014.
  • Accepted: March 13, 2015.
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen L. Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a19

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Dissecting the Spirit of Gezi: Influence vs. Selection in the Occupy Gezi Movement

Ceren Budak, Duncan J. Watts

Sociological Science, July 22, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a18

Abstract

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Do social movements actively shape the opinions and attitudes of participants by bringing together diverse groups that subsequently influence one another? Ethnographic studies of the 2013 Gezi uprising seem to answer “yes,” pointing to solidarity among groups that were traditionally indifferent, or even hostile, to one another. We argue that two mechanisms with differing implications may generate this observed outcome: “influence” (change in attitude caused by interacting with other participants); and “selection” (individuals who participated in the movement were generally more supportive of other groups beforehand). We tease out the relative importance of these mechanisms by constructing a panel of over 30,000 Twitter users and analyzing their support for the main Turkish opposition parties before, during, and after the movement. We find that although individuals changed in significant ways, becoming in general more supportive of the other opposition parties, those who participated in the movement were also significantly more supportive of the other parties all along. These findings suggest that both mechanisms were important, but that selection dominated. In addition to our substantive findings, our paper also makes a methodological contribution that we believe could be useful to studies of social movements and mass opinion change more generally. In contrast with traditional panel studies, which must be designed and implemented prior to the event of interest, our method relies on ex post panel construction, and hence can be used to study unanticipated or otherwise inaccessible events. We conclude that despite the well known limitations of social media, their “always on” nature and their widespread availability offer an important source of public opinion data.
Ceren Budak: Microsoft Research. Email: cbudak@microsoft.com

Duncan J. Watts: Microsoft Research Email: duncan@microsoft.com

Acknowledgements: The authors are grateful to Sandra Gonzales-Bailon, David Rothschild, and Mathew Salganik for several helpful conversations as well as their extensive comments on an earlier version of this article.

  • Citation: Budak, Ceren, and Duncan J. Watts. 2015. “Dissecting the Spirit of Gezi: Influence vs. Selection in the Occupy Gezi Movement.” Sociological Science 2: 370-397.
  • Received: December 20, 2014.
  • Accepted: February 4, 2015.
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a18

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Heterogeneous Causal Effects and Sample Selection Bias

Richard Breen, Seongsoo Choi, Anders Holm

Sociological Science, July 8, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a17

Abstract

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The role of education in the process of socioeconomic attainment is a topic of long standing interest to sociologists and economists. Recently there has been growing interest not only in estimating the average causal effect of education on outcomes such as earnings, but also in estimating how causal effects might vary over individuals or groups. In this paper we point out one of the under-appreciated hazards of seeking to estimate heterogeneous causal effects: conventional selection bias (that is, selection on baseline differences) can easily be mistaken for heterogeneity of causal effects. This might lead us to find heterogeneous effects when the true effect is homogenous, or to wrongly estimate not only the magnitude but also the sign of heterogeneous effects. We apply a test for the robustness of heterogeneous causal effects in the face of varying degrees and patterns of selection bias, and we illustrate our arguments and our method using National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) data.
 
Richard Breen: Department of Sociology, Yale University.  Email: richard.breen@yale.edu

Seongsoo Choi: Department of Sociology, Yale University. Email: seongsoo.choi@yale.edu

Anders Holm: Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen. Email: ah@soc.ku.dk

  • Citation: Breen, Richard, Seongsoo Choi and Anders Holm. 2015. “Heterogeneous Causal Effects and Sample Selection Bias.” Sociological Science 2: 351-369.
  • Received: November 4, 2014.
  • Accepted: January 15, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen L. Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a17

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Neighborhood and Network Disadvantage among Urban Renters

Mathew Desmond, Weihua An

Sociological Science, June 24, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a16

Abstract

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Drawing on novel survey data, this study maps the distribution of neighborhood and network disadvantage in a population of Milwaukee renters and evaluates the relationship between each disadvantage and multiple social and health outcomes. We find that many families live in neighborhoods with above average disadvantage but are embedded in networks with below average disadvantage, and vice versa. Neighborhood (but not network) disadvantage is associated with lower levels of neighborly trust but also with higher levels of community support (e.g., providing neighbors with food). Network (but not neighborhood) disadvantage is associated with lower levels of civic engagement. Asthma and diabetes are associated exclusively with neighborhood disadvantage, but depression is associated exclusively with network disadvantage. These findings imply that some social problems may be better addressed by neighborhood interventions and others by network interventions.
 
Mathew Desmond: Department of Sociology and Social Studies, Harvard University.  Email: mdesmond@fas.harvard.edu

Weihua An: Department of Sociology and Statistics, Indiana University.

Acknowledgements: Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, through its “How Housing Matters” initiative, and the Harvard Society of Fellows. Deborah De Laurell, Carl Gershenson, Barbara Kiviat, Kristin Perkins, Tracey Shollenberger, Adam Slez, Van Tran, and the Sociological Science editors provided helpful comments on earlier drafts.

  • Citation: Desmond, Matthew, and Weihua An. 2015. “Neighborhood and Network Disadvantage among Urban Renters.” Sociological Science 2: 329-350
  • Received: January 15, 2015
  • Accepted: March 6, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a16

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Niche Overlap and Discrediting Acts: An Empirical Analysis of Informing in Hollywood

Giacomo Negro, Sasha Goodman

Sociological Science, June 9, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a15

Abstract

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This article examines informing on others as a discrediting act between individual agents in a labor market. We conduct an empirical analysis of artists called to testify during the 1950s Congressional hearings into Communism in Hollywood, and multi-level regression models reveal that the odds of an artist informing on another increase when their career histories are more similar. The similarity reflects levels of niche overlap in the labor market. The finding that similarity contributes to discredit in the context of resource competition is compatible with a social comparison process, whereby uncertainty about performance leads more similar people to attend to and exclude one another to a greater extent.
 
Giacomo Negro: Emory University.  Email: giacomo.negro@emory.edu

Sasha Goodman: Northeastern University and Harvard University. Email: s.goodman@neu.edu

Acknowledgements: Emily Bianchi, Michael Hannan, Balázs Kovács, Wes Longhofer, John Levi Martin, James Moody, Jill Perry-Smith, Elizabeth Pontikes, Chris Rider, Peter Roberts, Gabriel Rossman, Jesper Sørensen, Olav Sorenson, Anand Swaminathan, Jim Wade, Dave Waguespack, and seminar participants at Stanford University, Oxford University, and Yale University offered helpful critiques on the current or previous versions of the manuscript. We thank Hayagreeva Rao for his contributions to earlier stages of the study. Olgert Denas provided research assistance.

  • Citation: Negro, Giacomo and Sasha Goodman. 2015. “Niche Overlap and Discrediting Acts: An Empirical Analysis of Informing in Hollywood” Sociological Science 2: 308-328
  • Received: January 16, 2015
  • Accepted: March 5, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a15

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Extending the INGO Network Country Score 1950-2008

Pamela Paxton, Melanie M. Hughes, Nicholas E. Reith

Sociological Science, May 20, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a14

Abstract

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Hughes et al. (2009) introduced the INGO Network Country Score (INCS), a measure of country-level connectedness to the world polity, for three years: 1978, 1988, and 1998. The measure scores countries by centrality in the world country-INGO network, rather than on raw counts of INGO ties that do not acknowledge networks or power. In this article, we extend the measure by time, space, organization, and calculation. First, we extend the measure to the period 1950âAS2008, allowing closer correspondence to the years typically assessed by researchers. Second, we extend the country samples upon which the scores are based, allowing researchers greater flexibility in choosing samples. Third, we extend the number of INGOs from which the scores are created. The Hughes et al. (2009) INCS were based on a single-year maximum of 476 INGOs; ours are based on a single-year maximum of 1,604 INGOs (5,291 INGOs across all years). Finally, we provide both raw and scaled scores, which we use to discuss the observed increasing density in the world polity from 1950 to 2008, comparing scores across regions. Results reveal higher average INCS with less variability among Western countries, and significant inequality between the West and the rest of the world.
 
Pamela Paxton: Department of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin.  Email: ppaxton@prc.utexas.edu

Melanie M. Hughes: Department of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh. Email: hughesm@pitt.edu

Nicholas E. Reith: Department of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin.  Email:nreith@utexas.edu

Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation SES-1067218 and SES-1323130.

  • Citation: Paxton, Pamela, Melanie M. Hughes, and Nicholas E. Reith. 2015. “Extending the INGO Network Country Score, 1950–2008” Sociological Science 2: 287-307.
  • Received: July 15, 2014
  • Accepted: November 26, 2014
  • Editors: Jesper Sorensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a14

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Conceptual Spaces and the Consequences of Category Spanning

Balázs Kovács, Michael T. Hannan

Sociological Science, May 13, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a13

Abstract

2

A general finding in economic and organizational sociology shows that objects that span categories lose appeal to audiences. This paper argues that the negative consequences of crossing boundaries are more severe when the categories spanned are distant and have high contrast. Available empirical strategies do not incorporate information on the distances among categories. Here we introduce novel measures of distance in conceptual space and derive measures for typicality, category contrast, and categorical niche width. Using the proposed measurement approach, we test our theory using data on online reviews of books and restaurants.
 
Balázs Kovács: Universita della Svizzerá italiana.  Email: kovacsb@usi.ch

Micheal T. Hannan: Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. Email: hannan@stanford.edu

  • Citation: Kovács, Balázs, and Michael T. Hannan. 2015. “Conceptual Spaces and the Consequences of Category Spanning.” Sociological Science 2: 252-286.
  • Received: July 21, 2014
  • Accepted: September 24, 2014
  • Editors: Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a13

2

Making Up for an Unlucky Month of Birth in School: Causal Evidence on the Compensatory Advantage of Family Background in England

Fabrizio Bernardi, Michael Grätz

Sociological Science, May 6, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a12

Abstract

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Previous research has shown that being born in the months immediately preceding the school entry cut-off date leads to lower educational outcomes in countries with a strict admission policy. In this article we use the effect of age at school entry in England as an identification device to provide a causal estimate of the compensatory advantage enjoyed by children from high social origin families. We find that the negative effects of a young school entry age are stronger for children from low social origin families. We also investigate when social origin differences in school entry age effects emerge, and test possible mechanisms. We find that before starting school, a younger school entry age leads to lower test scores for children of both low and highly educated families. For children from highly educated families the negative effect, however, progressively declines over the school career and almost vanishes by age 16. With respect to the mechanisms underlying this compensatory effect, we find no strong mediating role for parental involvement in homework and private lessons or for school choice.
Fabrizio Bernardi: European University Institute Department of Political and Social Sciences.  Email: fabrizio.bernardi@eui.eu

Michael Grätz: European University Institute Department of Political and Social Sciences.   Email: michael.gratz@eui.eu

  • Citation: Bernardi, Fabrizio and Michael Grätz. 2015. “Making Up for an Unlucky Month of Birth in School: Causal Evidence on the Compensatory Advantage of Family Background in England.” Sociological Science 2:235-251
  • Received: November 13, 2014
  • Accepted: January 21, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a12

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Class Inequality and Adult Attainment Projects among Middle-Aged Men in the United States, 1980—2010

Jeremy Pais, D. Matthew Ray

Sociological Science, April 29, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a11

Abstract

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Adult attainment projects (AAP) consist of a series of traditional adult statuses: labor force participation, residential independence, marriage, parenthood, and homeownership. This article examines these status indicators as integral parts of an individualized attainment project that is best assessed later in adulthood. Close examination of AAP gives novel insights into the changing U.S. opportunity structure that go beyond what can be achieved through studying temporal patterns of adult status indicators independently. From 1980 to 2010, rates of completed AAP declined by double digits, and the difference in the odds of completing AAP between men on different ends of the income distribution doubled. There are structural and cultural explanations for these trends. Divergence hypotheses favor structural explanations involving social stratification processes. Convergence hypotheses favor cultural explanations based on the loosening of norms regarding traditional adult statuses. This article uses factor analytic models on data from the Current Population Survey, in conjunction with formal measurement invariance testing, to evaluate these hypotheses. The adaptive differentiation hypothesis, a blended explanation positing analytically distinct AAP profiles for different socioeconomic groups, receives the most empirical support. The results affirm a structurally prevailing change in the lives of poor, working class, and lower-middle class Americans.
Jeremy Pais: Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut.  Email: j.pais@uconn.edu

D. Matthew Ray: Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut.   Email: matt.ray@uconn.edu

  • Citation: Pais, Jeremy, and D. Matthew Ray. 2015. “Class Inequality and Adult Attainment Projects among Middle-Aged Men in the United States, 1980—2010.” Sociological Science 2:211-234.
  • Received: October 10, 2014
  • Accepted: January 17, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a11

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Bringing Anomie Back In: Exceptional Events and Excess Suicide

Mark Anthony Hoffman, Peter S. Bearman

Sociological Science, April 20, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a10

Abstract

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In this article we show that imitation is not the mechanism behind the observed increase in suicides subsequent to highly publicized celebrity suicides. Instead, we show that most celebrity suicides are exceptional events and because of that have similar effects on the daily suicide rate as other exciting events. This finding suggests that Durkheim was right in rejecting the Tardean hypothesis that imitation is an operative mechanism and provides substantial support for the competing hypothesis that disruptive and/or exciting events (whether favorable or unfavorable) induce anomie and with it suicide.
Mark Anthony Hoffman: Department of Sociology, Columbia University.  Email: mh3279@columbia.edu

Peter S. Bearman: Department of Sociology, Columbia University.   Email: psb17@columbia.edu.

  • Citation: Hoffman, Mark A., and Peter S. Bearman. 2015. “Bringing Anomie Back In: Exceptional Events and Excess Suicide.” Sociological Science 2: 186-210.
  • Received: November 12, 2014
  • Accepted: November 27, 2014
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a10

0

Robust Science: Passive Smoking and Scientific Collaboration with the Tobacco Industry in the 1970s

Uri Shwed

Sociological Science, April 1, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a9

Abstract

0

The first lesson from the history of research on smoking hazards is that scientists should be wary of collaboration with interested industries. This lesson, which is influential in the literature on science–industry relationships, comes from a historiography focused on the carcinogenicity debate of the 1950s and 1960s and the passive smoking debate of the 1980s and 1990s. Few studies have examined research in the 1970s. This article fills this lacuna using novel bibliometrical methods augmented with a qualitative analysis of the associations between periods and literary camps, as expressed in scientific texts. The mixed-methods approach identifies the temporal dynamics of the literature on smoking hazards to reveal that the well-documented attempts of the tobacco industry to stall and hamper science had unanticipated consequences. Specifically, an industry–science collaboration to develop a less hazardous cigarette put scholars on the path to discovering the hazards of passive smoking. The analyses supply a narrative that has room for actors’ complex interests and actions and demonstrates that such complexity may only be revealed in research whose outcomes are never known in advance.
Uri Shwed: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben Gurion University of the Negev.  Email: shwed@bgu.ac.il

  • Citation: Shwed, Uri. 2015. “Robust Science: Passive Smoking and Scientific Collaboration with the Tobacco Industry in the 1970s.” Sociological Science 2:158-185.
  • Received: August 17, 2014
  • Accepted: November 2, 2014
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Delia Baldassarri
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a9

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The Buffering Hypothesis: Growing Diversity and Declining Black-White Segregation in America’s Cities, Suburbs, and Small Towns?

Domenico Parisi, Daniel T. Lichter, Michael C. Taquino

Sociological Science, March 25, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a8

Abstract

0

The conventional wisdom is that racial diversity promotes positive race relations and reduces racial residential segregation between blacks and whites. We use data from the 1990–2010 decennial censuses and 2007–2011 ACS to test this so-called “buffering hypothesis.” We identify cities, suburbs, and small towns that are virtually all white, all black, all Asian, all Hispanic, and everything in between. The results show that the most racially diverse places—those with all four racial groups (white, black, Hispanic, and Asian) present—had the lowest black-white levels of segregation in 2010. Black-white segregation also declined most rapidly in the most racially diverse places and in places that experienced the largest recent increases in diversity. Support for the buffering hypothesis, however, is counterbalanced by continuing high segregation across cities and communities and by rapid white depopulation in the most rapidly diversifying communities. We argue for a new, spatially inclusive perspective on racial residential segregation.
Domenico Parisi: Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University.  Email: mimmo.parisi@nsparc.msstate.edu

Daniel T. Lichter: Policy Analysis & Management and Sociology, Cornell University.  Email: dtl28@cornell.edu

Michael C. Taquino: National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center, Mississippi State University. Email: mtaquino@nsparc.msstate.edu

  • Citation: Parisi, Domenico, Daniel T. Lichter and Michael C. Taquino. 2015. “The Buffering Hypothesis: Growing Diversity and Declining Black-White Segregation in America’s Cities, Suburbs, and Small Towns?” Sociological Science 2:125-157.
  • Received: December 2, 2014
  • Accepted: December 22, 2014
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Stephen L. Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a8

0

Individual Religiosity and Orientation towards Science: Reformulating Relationships

David R. Johnson, Christopher P. Scheitle, Elaine Howard Ecklund

Sociological Science, March 11, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a7

Abstract

0

The religion-science relationship has been the focus of a growing body of research. Such analyses have often suffered from poorly specified concepts related to religion and to science. At the individual level, scholars often assume that an individual’s religiosity will affect her orientation towards science. But an orientation towards science consists of several sub-concepts, each of which may have a unique relationship, or lack thereof, with religiosity. We use observed measures from the 2008 General Social Survey to build latent variables representing science orientation sub-concepts and assess their relationships using structural equation modeling. We find that religiosity has no significant association with interest in or knowledge of science. Religiosity does, however, have a significant negative association with confidence in science. This suggests that the lack of faith in science held by religious individuals is not a product of interest or ignorance, but is instead based on theological or institutional reservations.
David  R. Johnson: Department of Sociology, Rice University. E-mail: drj4@rice.edu

Christopher P. Scheitle: Department of Sociology, St john’s University.  Email: cscheitle@csbsju.edu

Elaine Howard Ecklund: Department of Sociology, Rice University. Email: ehe@rice.edu

  • Citation: Johnson, David R., Christopher P. Scheitle and Elaine Howard Ecklund. 2015. “Individual Religiosity and Orientation towards Science: Reformulating Relationships.” Sociological Science 2: 106-124.
  • Received: November 18, 2014
  • Accepted: December 1, 2014
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a7

0

Is the Effect of Parental Education on Offspring Biased or Moderated by Genotype?

Dalton Conley, Benjamin W. Domingue, David Cesarini, Christopher Dawes, Cornelius A. Rietveld, Jason D. Boardman

Sociological Science, February 25, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a6

Abstract

0

Parental education is the strongest measured predictor of offspring education, and thus many scholars see the parent–child correlation in educational attainment as an important measure of social mobility. But if social changes or policy interventions are going to have dynastic effects, we need to know what accounts for this intergenerational association, that is, whether it is primarily environmental or genetic in origin. Thus, to understand whether the estimated social influence of parental education on offspring education is biased owing to genetic inheritance (or moderated by it), we exploit the findings from a recent large genome-wide association study of educational attainment to construct a genetic score designed to predict educational attainment. Using data from two independent samples, we find that our genetic score significantly predicts years of schooling in both between-family and within-family analyses. We report three findings that should be of interest to scholars in the stratification and education fields. First, raw parent–child correlations in education may reflect one-sixth genetic transmission and five-sixths social inheritance. Second, conditional on a child’s genetic score, a parental genetic score has no statistically significant relationship to the child’s educational attainment. Third, the effects of offspring genotype do not seem to be moderated by measured sociodemographic variables at the parental level (but parent–child genetic interaction effects are significant). These results are consistent with the existence of two separate systems of ascription: genetic inheritance (a random lottery within families) and social inheritance (across-family ascription). We caution, however, that at the presently attainable levels of explanatory power, these results are preliminary and may change when better-powered genetic risk scores are developed.
Dalton Conley: Department of Sociology, New York University. E-mail: conley@nyu.edu.

Benjamin W. Domingue: Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado Boulder

David Cesarini: Center for Experimental Social Science, Department of Economics, New York University

Christopher Dawes: Wilff Family Department of Politics, New York University

Cornelius A. Rietveld: Erasmus School of Economics and Erasmus University Rotterdam Institute for Behavior and Biology, Erasmus University.

Jason D. Boardman: Institute of Behavioral Science and Department of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder.

 

  • Citation: Conley, Dalton, Benjamin W. Domingue, David Cesarini, Christopher Dawes, Cornelius A. Rietveld and Jason D. Boardman. 2015. “Is the Effect of Parental Education on Offspring Biased or Moderated by Genotype?” Sociological Science 2: 82-105.
  • Received: November 25, 2014
  • Accepted: December 26, 2014
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a6

0

Gender Differences in the Formation of a Field of Study Choice Set

Sigal Alon, Thomas A. DiPrete

Sociological Science, February 18, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a5

Abstract

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Women now surpass men in overall rates of college graduation in many industrialized countries, but sex segregation in fields of study persists. In a world where gender norms have changed but gender stereotypes remain strong, we argue that men’s and women’s attitudes and orientations toward fields of study in college are less constrained by gendered institutions than is the ranking of these fields. Accordingly, the sex segregation in the broader choice set of majors considered by college applicants may be lower than the sex segregation in their first preference field of study selection. With unique data on the broader set of fields considered by applicants to elite Israeli universities, we find support for this theory. The factors that drive the gender gap in the choice of field of study, in particular labor market earnings, risk aversion, and the sex composition of fields, are weaker in the broad set of choices than in the first choice. The result is less segregation in considered majors than in the first choice and, more broadly, different gender patterns in the decision process for the set of considered majors and for the first choice. We consider the theoretical implications of these results.
Sigal Alon: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tel Aviv University.  Email: salon1@post.tau.ac.il

Thomas A. DiPrete: Department of Sociology, Columbia University.    Email: tad61@columbia.edu

  • Citation: Alon, Sigal, and Thomas A. Diprete. 2015. “Gender Differences in the Formation of a Field Study Choice Set.” Sociological Science 2: 50-81.
  • Received: July 9, 2014
  • Accepted: September 16, 2014
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a5

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