Including Mechanisms in Our Models of Ascriptive Inequality: 2002 Presidential Address. Reskin, B. American Sociological Review, 68(1):1, 2003.
Including Mechanisms in Our Models of Ascriptive Inequality: 2002 Presidential Address [link]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
Sociologists' principal contribution to our understanding of ascriptive inequality has been to document race and sex disparities. We have made little headway, however, in explaining these disparities because most research has sought to explain variation across ascriptive groups in more or less desirable outcomes in terms of allocators' motives. This approach has been inconclusive because motive-based theories cannot be empirically tested. Our reliance on individual-level data and the balkanization of research on ascriptive inequality into separate specialties for groups defined by different ascriptive characteristics have contributed to our explanatory stalemate. Explanation requires including mechanisms in our models-the specific processes that link groups' ascribed characteristics to variable outcomes such as earnings. I discuss mechanisms that contribute to variation in ascriptive inequality at four levels of analysis-intrapsychic, interpersonal, societal, and organizational. Redirecting our attention from motives to mechanisms is essential for understanding inequality and-equally important-for contributing meaningfully to social policies that will promote social equality.
@article{reskin_including_2003,
	title = {Including {Mechanisms} in {Our} {Models} of {Ascriptive} {Inequality}: 2002 {Presidential} {Address}},
	volume = {68},
	issn = {00031224},
	shorttitle = {Including {Mechanisms} in {Our} {Models} of {Ascriptive} {Inequality}},
	url = {https://proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.3088900&site=eds-live&scope=site},
	abstract = {Sociologists' principal contribution to our understanding of ascriptive inequality has been to document race and sex disparities. We have made little headway, however, in explaining these disparities because most research has sought to explain variation across ascriptive groups in more or less desirable outcomes in terms of allocators' motives. This approach has been inconclusive because motive-based theories cannot be empirically tested. Our reliance on individual-level data and the balkanization of research on ascriptive inequality into separate specialties for groups defined by different ascriptive characteristics have contributed to our explanatory stalemate. Explanation requires including mechanisms in our models-the specific processes that link groups' ascribed characteristics to variable outcomes such as earnings. I discuss mechanisms that contribute to variation in ascriptive inequality at four levels of analysis-intrapsychic, interpersonal, societal, and organizational. Redirecting our attention from motives to mechanisms is essential for understanding inequality and-equally important-for contributing meaningfully to social policies that will promote social equality.},
	number = {1},
	urldate = {2019-07-29},
	journal = {American Sociological Review},
	author = {Reskin, Barbara},
	year = {2003},
	keywords = {Criminal motive, Employment, Employment discrimination, Gender discrimination, Income inequality, Motivation, Observational research, Social discrimination, Social inequality, Social psychology},
	pages = {1}
}

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