Intersectional Inequality: Race, Class, Test Scores, and Poverty

University of Chicago Press
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For over twenty-five years, Charles C. Ragin has developed Qualitative Comparative Analysis and related set-analytic techniques as a means of bridging qualitative and quantitative methods of research. Now, with Peer C. Fiss, Ragin uses these impressive new tools to unravel the varied conditions affecting life chances.

Ragin and Fiss begin by taking up the controversy regarding the relative importance of test scores versus socioeconomic background on life chances, a debate that has raged since the 1994 publication of Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s TheBell Curve. In contrast to prior work, Ragin and Fiss bring an intersectional approach to the evidence, analyzing the different ways that advantages and disadvantages combine in their impact on life chances. Moving beyond controversy and fixed policy positions, the authors propose sophisticated new methods of analysis to underscore the importance of attending to configurations of race, gender, family background, educational achievement, and related conditions when addressing social inequality in America today.
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About the author

Charles C. Ragin is Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of many books, including Redesigning Social Inquiry, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Peer C. Fiss is associate professor of management and organization at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He is coeditor of Configurational Theory and Methods in Organizational Research.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Dec 20, 2016
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Pages
192
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ISBN
9780226414546
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Testing & Measurement
Political Science / Public Policy / General
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
Social Science / General
Social Science / Poverty & Homelessness
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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J. D. Vance
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

Deborah Downing Wilson
The Stone Soup Experiment is a remarkable story of cultural difference, of in-groups, out-groups, and how quickly and strongly the lines between them are drawn. It is also a story about simulation and reality, and how quickly the lines between them can be dismantled. In a compulsively readable account, Deborah Downing Wilson details a ten-week project in which forty university students were split into two different simulated cultures: the carefree Stoners, and the market-driven Traders. Through their eyes we are granted intimate access to the very foundations of human society: how group identities are formed and what happens when opposing ones come into contact.

The experience of the Stoners and Traders is a profound testament to human sociality. Even in the form of simulation, even as a game, the participants found themselves quickly—and with real conviction—bound to the ideologies and practices of their in-group. The Stoners enjoyed their days lounging, chatting, and making crafts, while the Traders—through a complex market of playing cards—competed for the highest bankrolls. When they came into contact, misunderstanding, competition, and even manipulation prevailed, to the point that each group became so convinced of its own superiority that even after the simulation’s end the students could not reconcile.

Throughout her riveting narrative, Downing Wilson interweaves fascinating discussions on the importance of play, emotions, and intergroup interaction in the formation and maintenance of group identities, as well as on the dynamic social processes at work when different cultural groups interact. A fascinating account of social experimentation, the book paints a vivid portrait of our deepest social tendencies and the powers they have over how we make friends and enemies alike.
Matthew Desmond
WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE GENERAL NON-FICTION 

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America
 
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION | FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times Book Review • The Boston Globe •  The Washington Post • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • The New Yorker • Bloomberg •  Esquire • Buzzfeed • Fortune • San Francisco Chronicle • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • St. Louis Post-Dispatch •  Politico •  The Week • Bookpage • Kirkus Reviews •  Amazon •  Barnes and Noble Review •  Apple •  Library Journal • Chicago Public Library • Publishers Weekly • Booklist • Shelf Awareness
Charles C. Ragin
Benoît Rihoux
Configurational Comparative Methods paves the way for an innovative approach to empirical scientific work through a strategy that integrates key strengths of both qualitative (case-oriented) and quantitative (variable-oriented) approaches. This first-of-its-kind text is ideally suited for "small-N" or "intermediate-N" research situations, which both mainstream qualitative and quantitative methods find difficult to address. Benoît Rihoux and Charles C. Ragin, along with their contributing authors, offer both a basic, comparative research design overview and a technical and hands-on review of Crisp-Set QCA (csQCA), Multi-Value QCA (mvQCA), and Fuzzy-Set QCA (fsQCA).

Key Features

Discusses existing applications in many different fields and disciplines along with state-of-the-art coverage of the strengths and limitations of these techniquesDemonstrates further inventive ways of using QCA techniquesProvides advice on how to develop a comparative research design (case and variable selection) as well as a specific technique called MSDO/MDSO (most similar, different outcome/most different, same outcome).Shows how to perform the technical operations linked to three specific QCA techniques: csQCA, mvQCA, and fsQCAIncludes a glossary, an extensive bibliography, and a detailed list of good practices at every stage of the research process

Intended Audience

A must for any student or researcher who wants to engage in systematic cross-case comparison in the social and behavioral sciences, the book is ideal for use in upper-level undergraduate and graduate-level social science research methods courses.

Peer C. Fiss
Some 20 years after the emergence of configurational theory as a key perspective in organization studies in the 1990s, this approach has yet to deliver on its promise. While we know that configurations – the relative arrangement of parts and elements - matters, empirical research on configurations is just beginning to deliver on its promise. The starting point of the edited volume is the revival and evolution of a configurational perspective on organizations, both in terms of the use of configurational set-theoretic methods such as Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and in terms of configurational theorizing that has emerged from the use of such methods. The volume brings together a variety of scholars working with set theoretic configurational methods to apply these methods to a range of prominent fields in organization studies, ranging from organizational design, international business, and human resource practices to networks and the management of information systems. Each author or group of authors pays specific attention to assessing the potential of set-theoretical configurational methods for organization studies. Two extensive introductory chapters discuss the state of the art with regard to different set-theoretic (fuzzy set and crisp set) methods. In three response pieces leading scholars offer a reflection on the potential of set-theoretic methods for organizational analysis. The volume aims to provide both inspiration and practical advice on how to conduct configurational analysis. The chapters illustrate the breadth of organizational fields and the growing range of topics for which the configurational perspective can provides insights. This volume vividly illustrates that the configurational approach is maturing. It aims to inspire organizational scholars to develop theories and methods that truly consider organizations as clusters of interconnected structures and practices that have to be studied as configurations.
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