Many people today, spend some of their spare time doing volunteer work in the belief that it will be looked upon favorably by employers and lead to better-paying jobs.
A recent analysis of longitudinal data from the United Kingdom published in Social Science Research confirms that they are correct, but only for those with jobs in the “salariat” – professionals, managers, administrators and the like – while working class volunteers pay a penalty for their altruism.
This topic is of considerable interest today because recent developments in the economies of advanced industrial societies have changed the social contract between employers and employees. As employment has become more precarious, workers find they can no longer rely on a system where opportunities are defined internally by tenure or rank; instead, they must market themselves. Under constant pressure to prepare for the next job, they are advised to network assiduously, learn new skills by returning to school, and even take classes on writing persuasive job applications and performing well in interviews. In some cases they are advised to take unpaid or marginally paid positions such as internships or to perform volunteer work.
Every school year, a
new cohort of parents faces the challenge of finding the right school for their
child – each year with a disheartening result: ethnic minority children tend to
end up at schools of lower prestige and quality. Intriguingly, this ethnic
stratification across schools affects not only their further school careers,
but it profoundly shapes minority students’ identities and their social
relationships with their classmates.
the uneven distribution of majority and minority children across schools of
different prestige, is widespread: in various countries, at various school
transitions, and in various school systems. A substantial share of the ethnic
and racial inequalities we observe in modern societies originates from ethnic
stratification in the school system.
But schools provide more than grades and certificates. It is here where youth form lasting friendships, where they develop their views, attitudes, and identities. Does unequal school sorting not only create unequal life chances but also produce stronger ethnic boundaries in the minds and relations of youth?
six month period before she lost her job had been painful for Doris Richards
(all names are pseudonyms). A lawyer who worked at a family-run firm, Doris was
convinced that the owners were trying to elbow her out of their firm by making
her working life miserable. When they finally did, Doris felt a sense of
relief. She says, “One of the things I felt was, ‘Oh good, I can go to [events
my kids are involved in]…I have more time now. I don’t feel pulled. I don’t
feel as though I’m being tortured at work anymore. And I felt I could give more
to my kids.”
may seem like an unusual response to unemployment, especially given that Doris
earned considerably more than her husband who is in the public sector.
In my recent article, I show how unemployment – whether they were fired, made redundant, or laid off – was a different experience for college-educated, professional, married heterosexual mothers than what prior theories of unemployment, often drawing largely from men’s experiences, would indicate.
At the beginning of
October, Melinda Gates announced she would commit $1 billion in the fight for
gender equality in the United States, and that one of her key priorities is to “mobilize
shareholders” to put pressure on companies to improve diversity practices.
But do shareholders
really value gender diversity? Research on the relationship between firm value
and the appointment of women CEOs or directors has yielded mixed findings. At best, efforts to increase female
representation have no impact on the firm’s market performance.
In some cases, however,
shareholders will actually penalize
firms for appointing
women to senior leadership positions.
counter-intuitive, given how much attention there has been in the press on
stakeholders insisting that companies diversify their boards. Surely
shareholders should be rewarding the companies that meet the challenge, not
When we think about the power of business in our society, we
tend to think about corporations. With rising income inequality in America and
with record breaking levels of campaign contributions in each election cycle,
it’s no surprise that
large majorities of Americans feel corporations have
too much power.
Strange as it may sound, corporate power is less
concentrated in America than in the past: the number of corporations has
actually fallen in the United States since the 1980s and they are no longer as
large and integrated as they were in the Mad
Men era (think of General Motors in its heyday).
In a recent paper, we highlight how the business elite are increasingly tied to non-corporate organizations like limited liability companies (LLCs) and limited partnerships (LPs). We find that families in the top 1% of the income distribution – especially white families and men in this elite stratum – disproportionately benefit from these organizations.
In many – if not most – communities across the United States, large health systems have increasingly become centers of job growth and economic development. Many cities and towns have watched manufacturers leave their communities, often taking with them “good jobs” that used to be available to their working-class residents.
Health systems have now replaced manufacturers as leading employers in town, but what kinds of jobs does the health sector provide for the working-class? We know that the health sector provides high quality jobs for workers with advanced degrees, such as physicians, pharmacists, and administrators. But does the health care sector provide “good jobs” for men and women without a college degree?