Penn Sociology

As one of the oldest departments of sociology in the country, Penn Sociology continues its tradition of excellence with twenty-plus award-winning, distinguished faculty recognized for their scholarly achievements and leadership in the field. With University support, our top-ranked Department has been able to recruit some of the best graduate students in the country, and to do our part in maintaining the University of Pennsylvania's highly-regarded undergraduate program.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 73
  • Publication
    Daddies and Fathers: Men Who Do for Their Children and Men Who Don't
    (1992) Furstenberg, Frank F
    This investigation builds on a longstanding interest in the patterns of family formation of young parents, particularly on a 20-year longitudinal study of teenage mothers and their children in Baltimore and a national survey of families, which followed children from early childhood to young adulthood.1 In both studies, how fathers establish and maintain bonds with their children was a central concern. This background of quantitative research grounds the insights and observations provided here from a select and not necessarily representative set of case studies of young black women and some of their male partners; these women and men all participated in a continuing follow-up study of families in the Baltimore research.2
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    American Bishops and Religious Freedom: Legacy and Limits
    (2016-11-01) Wilde, Melissa J
    This paper explores continuity and change in the American Catholic hierarchy’s promotion of and later reliance on religious freedom. With an analysis spanning more than 50 years, it first traces the pressures for reform that created the Declaration more than 50 years ago, demonstrating that American bishops were crucial actors in the Declaration’s existence and passage, and that this was the case because of the strong legitimacy pressures they were under as Roman Catholic leaders in a predominantly Protestant country. The paper then turns to a summary of how the Birth Control Mandate of the Affordable Care Act once again created pressures for legitimacy for the American Catholic hierarchy, pressures which were again articulated in terms of critiques of hypocrisy. It demonstrates that although the specific critique changed, accusations of hypocrisy remain central in discussions of the Catholic Church’s stance on the Birth Control Mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
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    What Happened When the Census was Redone: An Analysis of the Recount of 1870 in Philadelphia
    (1979) Furstenberg, Frank F; Strong, Douglas; Crawford, Albert G
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    Time to Pull the Plug on Urban Fossil Consumption: Review of Andreas Malm, Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming
    (2016-05-17) Cohen, Daniel Aldana
    Andreas Malm's wonderful book, Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming, is about power. Since I'm a scholar who researches urban climate politics, I'm especially excited that Malm's analysis of power is so centered on urban politics. I'll explain what I mean by that, then suggest some interesting lessons from Malm's account that his arguments around contemporary climate politics have underplayed.
  • Publication
    Estimating the Effects of Educational System Consolidation: The Case of China’s Rural School Closure Initiative
    (2021-10-01) Hannum, Emily; Liu, Xiaoying; Wang, Fan
    Global trends of fertility decline, population aging, and rural outmigration are creating pressures to consolidate school systems, with the rationale that economies of scale will enable higher quality education to be delivered in an efficient manner, despite longer travel distances for students. Yet, few studies have considered the implications of system consolidation for educational access and inequality, outside of the context of developed countries. We estimate the impact of educational infrastructure consolidation on educational attainment using the case of China’s rural primary school closure policies in the early 2000s. We use data from a large household survey covering 728 villages in 7 provinces, and exploit variation in villages’ year of school closure and children’s ages at closure to identify the causal impact of school closure. For girls exposed to closure during their primary school ages, we find an average decrease of 0.60 years of schooling by 2011, when children’s mean age was 17 years old. Negative effects strengthen with time since closure. For boys, there is no corresponding significant effect. Different effects by gender may be related to greater sensitivity of girls’ enrollment to distance and greater responsiveness of boys’ enrollment to quality.
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  • Publication
    Cause for Alarm? Understanding Recent Trends in Teenage Childbearing
    (2008-01-01) Furstenberg, Frank F
    Teen pregnancy is back in the news. After 15 years of decline, the trend in teen birth rates ticked upward in 2006. Coupled with the ongoing media spotlight on the popular film Juno and the pregnancy of Britney Spears’ younger sister, we’re once again wringing our collective hands over kids having kids. But are these concerns really warranted? To what extent does teen pregnancy lead to mothers’ and children’s long-term poverty? Have policies adopted to deter early childbearing been effective in discouraging teens from having children before they are ready to shoulder the responsibilities of parenthood? To answer these questions, it’s necessary to put the issue in proper historical context, and to cast a sober eye on existing policies that were employed to keep rates of teenage childbearing low.
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    The Urban Green Wars: Struggling for Working-Class Control of Cities is Crucial to Bringing Down Carbon Emissions
    (2015-12-01) Cohen, Daniel Aldana
    About half the planet's carbon dioxide emissions originate in urban areas: the cities and suburbs where a growing majority of humanity lives. To survive this century, we'll have to live together in new ways. Few issues are as fundamental to climate politics as this one. And few are as visceral: the urban is rapidly becoming one of the chief terrains of twenty-first century struggle.
  • Publication
    Will Marriage Disappear?
    (2015-09-01) Furstenberg, Frank F
  • Publication
    Generation-Blindness and the COVID-19 Websites of Highly Selective Universities
    (2021-03-02) Wright, Marcus T.
    This study analyzes how highly selective universities used their COVID-19 websites to publicly address first-generation students and the challenges these students faced at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Specifically, the study investigates whether universities were generation-blind in their responses. The universities’ responses are defined as generation-blind if their COVID-19 websites did not a) reference or acknowledge generational identity; and/or did not b) address the issues that first-generation students faced at the onset of the pandemic and transition to remote learning. Findings show that highly selective universities almost never mentioned the term “first-generation students” on these websites and rarely addressed several critical issues that concerned first-generation students. These issues include: the challenge of navigating the complexities of the first-generation identity during the pandemic; the struggles that family members of these students faced (i.e. job loss); the students’ imperative to support their families (i.e. helping to watch younger siblings); and the difficulties students faced by having to use their homes as learning environments.