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OUR PHD CANDIDATES ON THE JOB MARKET
FALL 2013 (C.V.'S ARE .PDF FORMAT)
MARY LASKE BELL
Dissertation Title: Risk-Orientation and Risk-Taking Behavior: The Impact of Race, Class, and Gender on Well-being in the Transitions to Adolescence and Young Adulthood
Dissertation Advisor: Andre Christie'Mizell
Research Interests: Racial and Ethnic Inequality; Crime/Deviance; Mental Health; Social Psychology
In the dissertation, I explore the development of risk-orientation (i.e. the propensity to approve of and seek out risk) as youth transition into young adulthood. I investigate whether and how risk-taking behaviors and risk orientation are related to mental health, the quality of social relationships, and engaging in deviant behavior in the transition to adulthood. Furthermore, I test whether these associations are conditioned by race-ethnicity and gender. As a theoretical backdrop, I utilize parts of the Stress Process Model (Pearlin 1999) as well as Hollister-Wagner, Foshee, and Jackson’s (2001) risk-resilience framework. Utilizing data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth – Child and Young Adult samples and structural equation modeling, I examine outcomes for African Americans, Latinos, and whites. Results indicate that in the transition from adolescence to young adulthood, risk orientation is positively related to risk-taking behavior (e.g., unprotected sex and heavy drinking); the size of the effect is larger for males compared to females, but does not differ across race-ethnicity. Furthermore, as they transition through adolescence, white youth experience heightened risk orientation, but as they approach young adulthood, they tend to “age out” of a higher propensity toward risk. Conversely, I find that while age and risk orientation also have a curvilinear relationship among Latino youth, this group tends to “age into” risk orientation as they approach young adulthood. Age is not a significant predictor of risk orientation among the African American youth in my sample. I also find that the relationship between risk orientation and mental health (e.g., depressive symptoms) is reciprocal among all three groups. While increased risk orientation increases depressive symptoms among African Americans and whites, it is a protective factor against depressive symptoms among Latinos. Clearly, these processes work differently across race-ethnic status and gender. My dissertation furthers our understanding of racial/ethnic and gender inequality in mental health and psychosocial outcomes as youth transition into young adulthood.
Dissertation Title: The Color of Change? Race and Charter School Access in the United States
Dissertation Advisor: Katharine M. Donato
Research Interests: Race; Education Policy; International Migration; Sociology of Health
This dissertation examines the extent to which charter schools redress longstanding racial inequalities in education. I use institutional perspectives to theorize how social contexts influence charter school organizational behaviors and access. I also integrate theories of racialization to overcome limitations of institutional theory, and to examine how race shapes charter school spatial practices and parent agency. Using data from the Common Core of Data (2009-2010) and the Education Longitudinal Study (2002), I examine charter school location and parent-school relationships to understand racial variation in charter school access. Drawing on the spatial mismatch perspective and Epstein’s family-school-community framework, I hypothesize that charter school access will vary substantially by racial and socioeconomic context. I also predict that charter schools, and other alternatives to education, will moderate family-school relationships—net of race and socioeconomic status. Findings reveal that charter school location is consistently associated with predominately black areas, and to a lesser degree, with places that have high levels of socioeconomic deprivation. Results also reveal robust effects of parent race and school type (i.e., public, choice, and private) on parent involvement and school contact, after controlling for parent attitudes, family background, and school contexts. Findings suggest it is important to consider how racialization mediates the spatial practices and family-charter school relationships to understand the extent to which these institutions facilitate access to educational resources for families disadvantaged in their public school assignments.
Dissertation Title: Playing Catch-Up: Legalization and the Labor Market Trajectories of Unauthorized Latin American Immigrants
Dissertation Chair: Katharine Donato
Research Interests: International migration; Social Demography; Social Stratification
What happens to the labor market outcomes of unauthorized immigrants when they transition to legal immigrant status? The 8 million immigrants in the U.S. labor market that lack legal status are significantly disadvantaged relative to legal immigrants. However, it is unclear if legalization will close the gap between unauthorized and legal immigrants: while the earnings of immigrants legalized through the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act did increase, research using more recent data suggests that the benefits of legalization may have deteriorated.
Adopting a cumulative advantage perspective, I hypothesize that legalized immigrants either undergo subsequent disadvantage because of their previous unauthorized status or experience social mobility as a result of their transition to legal immigrant status. I use panel data from the 2003 New Immigrant Survey and the 2001 Survey of Income and Program Participation to analyze the hourly wages and occupational characteristics of one treatment group (unauthorized immigrants that transition to legal status) and three control groups (continuously unauthorized immigrants, continuously legal immigrants, and US-born Latinos).
In contrast to those arguing that legalization’s benefits have weakened, I find that the hourly wages of legalized immigrant women and men are 25 percent higher than they would be without gaining legal status. Further, legalization increases the occupational standing of immigrants: legalized immigrants work in occupations with higher median wages, more employer-provided health insurance, a lower percentage of individuals that classify as working poor, and a smaller share of workers with less than a high school diploma. Thus, the results from my dissertation indicate that legalization persists as a robust mechanism of labor market mobility for unauthorized immigrants.E-MAIL:firstname.lastname@example.org
JARRETT THIBODEAUX Dissertation Abstract: I first look at how industry dynamics affect the relationship between economic neighborhood characteristics and the number of supermarkets in a zip code. Using self-collected historical data in nine urban areas I find that the relationship between the number of supermarkets in a zip code and the economics of a zip code changed over time: whereas in 1970 the relationship between poverty and supermarkets was positive, from 1970 to 1990 this relationship gradually became negative. Conducting a content analysis of grocery trade journals I hypothesize that a change from an 'everyday shopping' to a 'one stop shopping' institutional logic from 1970 to 1990 explains this change in the relationship between the poverty of a zip code and supermarket placement.
Dissertation Title: The Market Inscribed Landscape: Industry and City Causes of Food Deserts
Dissertation Chair: Richard Lloyd
Research Interests: Crime, Law and Deviance; Economic Sociology; Food Deserts/Food Environment; Historical Methods; Quantitative Methods; Social Problems; Theory; Urban Sociology.
My dissertation contributes to the urban sociology and ‘food desert’ literatures by showing that the ‘neighborhood effects’ of concentrated poverty (popularized by Robert Sampson and William J. Wilson) and concentrated %black (e.g. Massey and Denton) depend on city and industry dynamics. I do this by investigating how city and industry factors affect the relationship between demographics and supermarket placement (and thus the correlates of the ‘neighborhood effect’ of living in an area with limited access to fresh produce).
I first look at how industry dynamics affect the relationship between economic neighborhood characteristics and the number of supermarkets in a zip code. Using self-collected historical data in nine urban areas I find that the relationship between the number of supermarkets in a zip code and the economics of a zip code changed over time: whereas in 1970 the relationship between poverty and supermarkets was positive, from 1970 to 1990 this relationship gradually became negative. Conducting a content analysis of grocery trade journals I hypothesize that a change from an 'everyday shopping' to a 'one stop shopping' institutional logic from 1970 to 1990 explains this change in the relationship between the poverty of a zip code and supermarket placement.Finally, I look at how the relationship between neighborhood characteristics (especially %black) and the number of supermarkets depends on city dynamics. I argue that racial threat theory explains the negative relationship between a higher proportion of African Americans in a zip code and a lower number of supermarkets in the zip code. I extend both the understanding of the correlates of food deserts and racial threat theory by arguing that (racial) majority perceptions of the threat of (racial) minorities leads to the ‘hoarding’ of neighborhood resources such as supermarkets by the (racial) majority. Using a ‘geocoded’ 2010 census and zip code business patterns dataset I conduct a negative binomial HLM showing that the city level racial composition (non-linearly) predicts the variation in the zip code level association between %black and the number of supermarkets.