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  1. Ramen Noodles Supplanting Cigarettes as Currency Among Prisoners

    Ramen noodles are supplanting the once popular cigarettes as a form of currency among state prisoners, but not in response to bans on tobacco products within prison systems, finds a new study. 

    Instead, study author Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona School of Sociology, found that inmates are trying to figure out ways to better feed themselves as certain prison services are being defunded. 

  2. Study Finds Changes to Retirement Savings System May Exacerbate Economic Inequality

    A shift to defined-contribution retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, has led to an income and education gap in pension savings that could exacerbate future economic inequality, according to a study that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  3. Doing Sociology: Jessica Calarco

    ASA speaks with ethnographer and sociologist Jessica Calarco at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Calarco talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how she uses sociology in her work, highlights of her work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and her advice to students interested in entering the field. 

  4. Doing Sociology: Christopher Dum

    ASA speaks with sociologist Christopher Dum at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Dum talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how he uses sociology in his work, highlights of his work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and his advice to students interested in entering the field. 

  5. Study Shows How a Community’s Culture and Social Connectedness Can Increase Suicide Risk

    Community characteristics play an important role in perpetuating teen suicide clusters and thwarting prevention efforts, according to a new study by sociologists at the University of Chicago (UChicago) and University of Memphis who examined clusters in a single town.

  6. Riding the Stagecoach to Hell: A Qualitative Analysis of Racial Discrimination in Mortgage Lending

    Recent studies have used statistical methods to show that minorities were more likely than equally qualified whites to receive high-cost, high-risk loans during the U.S. housing boom, evidence taken to suggest widespread discrimination in the mortgage lending industry. The evidence, however, was indirect, being inferred from racial differentials that persisted after controlling for other factors known to affect the terms of lending. Here we assemble a qualitative database to generate direct evidence of discrimination.

  7. Money Supply, Class Power, and Inflation: Monetarism Reassessed

    Recent sociological work shows that pro-market neoliberal policies across advanced capitalist countries are due to distributional struggle between classes in the 1970s and 1980s. The orthodox monetarist view, alternatively, sees neoliberal reform as a nonpolitical attempt to end the stagflation crisis of the 1970s. From this perspective, monetary and fiscal expansions brought high inflation, and central bank discipline and government austerity is the solution; but the recent trend of low inflation despite accelerating money growth and government spending contradicts this view.

  8. The Causes of Fraud in the Financial Crisis of 2007 to 2009: Evidence from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Industry

    The financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 was marked by widespread fraud in the mortgage securitization industry. Most of the largest mortgage originators and mortgage-backed securities issuers and underwriters have been implicated in regulatory settlements, and many have paid multibillion-dollar penalties. This article seeks to explain why this behavior became so pervasive. We evaluate predominant theories of white-collar crime, finding that theories emphasizing deregulation or technical opacity identify only necessary, not sufficient, conditions.

  9. Nonmarital First Births, Marriage, and Income Inequality

    Many aggregate-level studies suggest a relationship between economic inequality and sociodemographic outcomes such as family formation, health, and mortality; individual-level evidence, however, is lacking. Nor is there satisfactory evidence on the mechanisms by which inequality may have an effect. We study the determinants of transitions to a nonmarital first birth as a single parent or as a cohabiting parent compared to transitions to marriage prior to a first birth among unmarried, childless young adults in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 cohort, from 1997 to 2011.

  10. What Skills Can Buy: Transmission of Advantage through Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills

    Parental income and wealth contribute to children’s success but are at least partly endogenous to parents’ cognitive and noncognitive skills. We estimate the degree to which mothers’ skills measured in early adulthood confound the relationship between their economic resources and their children’s postsecondary education outcomes.