Why do the children of highly educated parents so often turn
out highly educated themselves? Is this inheritance largely a social affair,
that the welfare state can compensate for by levelling the playing field? Or is
educational attainment “mostly in the genes” and thereby beyond the
influence of policy levers?
Historically, sociologists have tended to favor social explanations.
At the same time we have often shied
away from competing perspectives (with
important exceptions). Recently, that has begun to change. Understanding the
links between genetics and the social environment in generating social
inequalities is increasingly a concern for social scientists.
The way housework is organized has changed significantly over time. We have witnessed a proliferation of platforms and private agencies that provide consumers with occasional cleaners or live-in domestic workers. But what are the experiences of these diverse workers and do they share common interests and struggles?
In the context of globalizing neoliberal policies, documenting experiences of labor organizing and autonomous initiatives is more important than ever for emancipatory politics. In global care chains, the logistics around the mobility, placement and regulation of domestic workers are increasingly mediated through private-sector brokers.
In a recently published article, we compare emerging infrastructures for the regulation of domestic work in Belgium and Lebanon and analyze subversive attempts to organize within these infrastructures. Our case studies illustrate how the commodification and logistification of domestic labor pose new challenges for organizing.
Since the mid-twentieth century, women have entered the labor market in droves and now make up over half of the paid workforce. Still, women do a disproportionate amount of housework and childcare, despite their increasing hours spent in the labor force. Both academic research and public sentiment suggest that most people support gender equality and we just need workplace policies to catch up. But what if workplace policies are not the only barrier to progress?
new study in Sociological Science finds that fewer
young people desire gender egalitarian arrangements—equal earning and caring
roles for men and women—than conventional wisdom presumes. We analyzed almost 40 years of Monitoring the Future data to examine trends
in young peoples’ division of labor preferences, an indicator of beliefs about appropriate
roles for men and women in both work and family contexts.
study differs from prior research by evaluating perceptions of both women and men’s behavior in work and family
year, high school seniors were instructed to imagine they were married and have
one or more pre-school children. They then evaluated six distinct division of
labor arrangements as not at all
acceptable, somewhat acceptable, acceptable, or desirable for their future
selves. This data enabled us to evaluate whose employment was prioritized, not
On Tuesday, October 8th 2019, the Supreme Court heard arguments for the first time regarding whether the federal laws that have banned employment discrimination on the basis of sex can also be applied to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) workers.
Essentially, the question that is now before the court is whether it is legal for LGBTQ workers to be fired or denied jobs on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender expression. Given recent social science scholarship documenting persistent patterns of discrimination against sexual and gender minority workers, it is hard to over-estimate the importance of a favorable ruling for current and future generations of LGBTQ-identifying working Americans.
A common goal in the existing literature on LGBTQ workers is to uncover mechanisms, such as hiring discrimination, that prevent LGBTQ workers from accessing or entering into certain jobs and occupations. Thus, much attention has been paid to the factors impeding LGBTQ workers’ access to certain jobs and occupations. A Supreme Court ruling making such discrimination illegal, many advocates say, would go a long way to addressing these disadvantages.
Our research suggests that banning discrimination for the hiring and promotion of LGBTQ workers may not act as the great equalizer many have hoped for. In a study of LGBTQ workers who already enjoy anti-discrimination protections, we find that those workers still face a myriad of biases in their workplaces on a day-to-day basis.
Most readers of this blog probably live in countries where a pharmaceutical regulatory agency decides what medical treatments are made available. Following the paradigm of the US Food and Drug Administration, for the last fifty years these agencies have been testing new treatments for safety and efficacy with a standardized experimental design called randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Historians of medical experimentation (like the late Harry Marks) claim that RCTs were adopted because they implemented controls that warranted the impartiality of the experiment.
There is an open debate over how the experiments bear relevance to the world in which regulatory decisions play out. But regulatory agencies have trusted evidence from well-designed RCTs as the most impartial ground to decide on the safety and efficacy of a new treatment.
A clinical trial often generates major conflicts of interest because the sponsoring pharmaceutical company wants its treatment to succeed in the trial and patients often have preferences on treatments even before enrolling in the trial. Blinding all participating stakeholders is a device to control the experiment and prevent interferences. If neither physicians nor patients know whether they are receiving the experimental treatment or a placebo, their preferences will not influence the outcome of the trial.