There has been sizable growth in the population of mixed-race couples and their multiracial children in recent decades. Research indicates that these families tend to prefer living in racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods that are relatively affluent. The neighborhood preferences of mixed-race couples with children appear to be largely driven by a desire for their children to live in an area that accepts their children’s multiracial identity while providing them safety and amenities.
However, there is a problem that these families face in
finding diverse, higher income neighborhoods –there are not many of them. Indeed,
scholars highlight that diverse neighborhoods tend to be lower income. This
implies that some mixed-race couples with children encounter trade-offs between
diversity and affluence when they are searching for a home in a new
Where these diverse families ultimately choose to live has a number of important consequences. If mixed-race couples with children lean more toward moving to diverse neighborhoods, they can bolster already increasing levels of neighborhood diversity.
Like many other Western countries, the US has a substantial gender wage gap, much of which can potentially be attributed to a lack of affordable childcare options which tend to restrict mothers’ work opportunities far more than fathers’. Bethany A. Carter argues that policymakers should look to the former East Germany for potential solutions to this gap. There, she writes, the much smaller gender pay gap can be attributed to the area’s extensive, professional daycare system which has persisted because citizens value it.
During the fourth Democratic debate on October 16th, then presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke confronted Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren on one of her key policy proposals: universal childcare. O’Rourke demanded to know whether American families would see a tax increase. Most of the discussion around this issue has centered on the cost of such a plan. And research has mainly focused on the short- and long-term benefits of childcare spending on children (i.e. a “child safety net”). But parents may benefit as much or more as their children.
Women face a double
bind when they are in leadership positions. They are expected to be competent
and authoritative, but others often see their authoritative behavior as overly dominant,
and a violation of gender stereotypes. In other words, women face a “dominance
penalty” when they act authoritatively, but they face questions about their
competence when they do not act authoritatively. Research has documented this
double bind in a number of settings, but these studies have by and large
focused on white women.
Recent research challenges the universality of the dominance penalty, and suggests that race and gender intersect to shape reactions to authoritative behavior. For example, recent studies have shown that in a professional workplace context, black women who demonstrate high levels of competence face less backlash when they behave authoritatively than do comparable white women or black men.
The U.S. has a number of housing policies, like Housing Choice Vouchers, to help low-income families find and afford housing, but only about 25% of eligible households get assistance. Housing vouchers can also be challenging to use when landlords refuse to accept them. This led us to consider whether a different policy – the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – might help improve families’ housing situations. We wanted to know whether making the EITC more generous for low-income families might be another way to address the housing affordability crisis.
“The question I have is: do we really have a problem? Does [our company] have a problem? From the data I’ve seen, I don’t think so. I think the industry and this country potentially has a problem.”
This is what one high-level executive, Mike (pseudonyms used throughout), told me when I asked him about the causes of gender inequality in the technology industry.
In new research to be published in Gender & Society, I report on a year-long case study of a Silicon Valley technology company implementing a gender equality initiative. I explore how high-level executives’ explanations for inequality impact the change efforts they pursue. I find that executives tend to attribute responsibility to the broader society (as Mike does), or to individuals, rather than the organization.
Height is correlated with cognitive achievement, wages, and even lifespan. This is because height in part reflects a person’s early life health environment: children who receive better nutrition and have fewer childhood diseases grow taller, on average, than children who are less well-nourished and more often ill. The relationship between height and cognitive achievement is especially steep in poorer countries, where child health problems are more severe and varied than in richer countries.
Child height is therefore a useful tool for understanding inequality, both across countries and within countries. Child height in India has received attention from the academics and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) because children in India are shorter than would be predicted by the country’s economic conditions.
Yet, few have investigated disparities in child height within India. In a recent study, my co-authors Ashwini Deshpande, Jeffrey Hammer, Dean Spears, and I set out to fill this gap by asking the question: does average child height in India vary by caste and tribal status? If so, why?
Most disputes in U.S. state courts are minor
infractions, such as traffic violations. Yet for Americans living in
poverty, a traffic ticket is not merely annoying; it could result in a
worst-case scenario of losing a job or being thrown in jail.
A recent study by one of us found that online court software may offer a solution for minor legal disputes by connecting needy defendants to courts, for free, from anywhere with internet access: a public library, a family member’s mobile device, or a shelter. By improving and easing communication, online access can empower poor litigants to seek appropriate forms of relief, facilitate information sharing, and ultimately improve the accuracy of justice system outcomes.
shows that, in general, men have an advantage over women in the labor market: men
tend to have higher wages and reach authority positions to a greater extent
compared to women. It has been suggested that discriminatory behavior by
employers may be one possible reason for the observed gender disparities in
While there is a lot of research on gender discrimination in recruitment, conclusive evidence is still lacking. Moreover, little is known about possible gender discrimination by the employer’s gender. Do male employers favor men over women in recruitment? Do female employers prefer recruiting women rather than men?
To answer these questions, a recent study investigates whether the treatment of male and female job applicants differ by the gender of the recruiter. Fictitious job applications in response to real job openings in the Swedish labor market were sent and the employer callbacks, i.e., employers’ responses to the job applications, were observed. Thus, the first stage of the recruitment process (in which the selection of applicants to be contacted for interviews takes place) was studied.
Arguments against racial reparations in the United States often
lean on the assertions that slavery was “a long time ago,” that no one alive
today suffered as a slave in the United States, and that no one alive today
owned any slaves in the United States (at least not legally; we know human
trafficking remains a major problem). The argument generally proceeds that
therefore no one suffered from slavery and no one benefitted so no one deserves
“The past is the past,” they say.
Sociologists and other social scientists disagree. The past may be the past but it continues to have a measurable influence on contemporary social outcomes, and “legacy of slavery” research shows that chattel slavery is directly related to a wide variety of phenomena in the United States: violent crime rates, black election turnout, executions, educational inequality, economic inequality, school segregation. And internationally, researchers find that the slave trade significantly stunted the economic development of places in Africa where slaves were stolen and places where slavery was more widespread historically, with the exception of the United States.
Each year, firms invest millions of dollars in diversity programs aimed at increasing the representation and advancement of women and racial minorities. Sociologists have found that some of these programs work, and some do more harm than good. One key ingredient in whether diversity programs improve, or worsen, the representation of women and racial minorities is if these initiatives are supported by employees. Programs that are viewed positively by workers are more likely to produce the intended results, while those that are resisted may result in a backlash and actually make conditions worse for underrepresented groups.
In a recent study, we explored how people feel about different types of diversity programs and why they feel the way they do. We used data from a TESS (Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences) survey that asked nearly 2,000 working individuals whether they supported eight different diversity policies. The design of the survey allowed us to see if support differed based on whether policies are aimed at women or racial minorities, as well as if support differed based on if the policies were justified to improve diversity, address discrimination, or if no justification is given.
Work in Progress is a project of the American Sociological Association's Sections on Organizations, Occupations, and Work, Economic Sociology, Labor and Labor Movements, and Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility