August 12th, 2013

Plenary Session. How is Inequality in the United States Changing?


The last few decades have witnessed increasing income inequality in the U.S. and substantial changes in the nature and patterns of gender, race, and class inequalities. What are the main features of these changes and what is driving them? What are the implications of such changes for the future? Major scholars in their fields address these questions separately for economic and class inequality, gender inequality, and racial inequality. The final distinguished speaker in the session asks whether a new narrative of change and stability should be developed. Are there common patterns or themes in the changes across these different types of contemporary inequality? If so, what is the best way to understand these patterns of change?


CECILIA L. RIDGEWAY: Well, everybody, welcome to our third and last plenary of these meetings. One that I've been looking forward to throughout the meetings, one that I hope that will be exceptionally
exciting. My name is Cecilia Ridgeway. I'm the President of this year's ASA. And this plenary is on how inequality in the US is changing. We all know it's changing but exactly what are the patterns,
how does it work out and not only how are these patterns -- I mean what are the patterns but also, remember one of the themes is for us to think about multi-dimensional inequality and how it works
together. So we have speakers that will look at how and give us ideas about how patterns are changing and not changing with regard to class and we're going to have David Grusky from Stanford
University who's going to talk to us about how class is changing then we're going to have Paula England from New York University who's going to talk to us about how patterns of gender inequality are
changing or not changing. And then our third speaker, Tomas Jimenez, also from Stanford University -- sorry folks -- hitting my colleagues, but they're so great. Tomas Jimenez who's going to talk to
us about racial inequality and how patterns of racial inequality are changing and not changing in this contemporary turbulence that we've experienced recently. And then finally, with the hardest job
of all, we have Robert Mare of UCLA who's going to take on the hideous task of trying to see whether there are any common themes as if -- in the way these different types of inequalities are
changing. Are they telling us some -- can we see some bigger and more general mechanisms and maybe yes, maybe no. I mean we don't want to just make them up, right? We want to see whether these things
in fact are quite different or in some -- or in some ways have some things in common. So he's going to take on that task. Well, let's get right to it. Let's have our first speaker who will be David
Grusky. He's going to talk to us about class inequality.
DAVID B. GRUSKY: Well, thanks very much for that -- for that introduction. It's a -- it's a pleasure to be here. I want to cast back to the early 1980s, just to get you into that mindset, think Ronald
Reagan, think the beginning of the end of the Cold War and most important for our purposes, the liberal theory of inequality was reigning supreme. For those of you who aren't familiar with that
theory, let me -- let me layout its main tenets as I see it. First off the claim is that intrinsic to the modern condition was quite considerable equality of condition with the argument there being
that various types of equalizing institutions most notably unions had the effect of bringing about some amount of equality of condition. Secondly, it's not just that there is increasing equality of
condition but secondarily, an increasing equality of opportunity. And here, the main institutional reform of interest was the rise of mass education. Thirdly, the claim was that part and partial of
the modern condition was a reduction in descriptive inequalities particularly those of gender and race. And here the prime institutional innovation was the rise of bureaucratic forms of organization.
They were seen as doing away with at least the more overt forms of discrimination. And then finally, by virtue of this rising equality of condition, the claim was that some of those interclass
conflicts that were so prevalent in the early part of the 20th century would start to wither away and likewise, there would be growing class of modernization with respect to class behaviors,
attitudes, and interests. So what to make of this narrative? Well, first off, it's really benign, right? It relies on the happy coincidence between what many of us would want to happen and what we
thought was actually happening. It's a Pollyannaish narrative, if you will. And secondarily, it was a dominant narrative of that time. For those of us who are involved in monitoring trends and
inequality, we would refer back time and again to this narrative. It was the touch-stone narrative. It was the narrative to which we would refer our results and try to make sense of them. What I want
to do is take on today's situation in which there's all manner of disconfirming evidence, evidence that simply is not in line with the predictions of the liberal theory of inequality. And yet,
despite a lot of disconfirming evidence, despite a lot of anomalies, we don't have, I would contend, a substitute narrative in play. And I want to claim here that the theory of marketization which
I'll try to develop in very primitive form today, that that theory might well play the role of a substitute narrative. Before I get to that narrative, let me first move quickly through some of the
disconfirming evidence to which I alluded. Let's start off with income inequality. And here we have a very famous graph, one of the most famous perhaps in social science, from Emmanuel Saez, that
examines the share of total income that goes to the top 10%. And we see that in the early 20th century at the very end of the first Gilded Age, almost 50% of total income went to that top 10%. But
then we had a market crash, we had a depression and we had all sorts of equalizing institutions most notably the rise of unions, and we had this great equality of condition. That was then. This is
now. We see now an extraordinary takeoff in income inequality of the sort that really no social scientist predicted, one of our great failures. What about social mobility? The liberal theory says
that it should increase principally with the rise of mass education and indeed, there's lots of evidence to suggest that's just the case. Here's a paper by Pablo Mitnik, Esra Cumberworth, and myself,
which shows that that holds at least for daughters, there's a decline in the association between class origins and class destinations. And that's just what the liberal theory would predict. That was
then. This is now. Although the evidence is just tentative, there's -- there are some hints to the effect that professional managerial reproduction is increasing and that's not consistent with the
liberal theory. It suggests that we have a second grade U-turn. There's a U-turn with respect to inequality of condition and now, there's reason to believe that there might be a great U-turn with
respect to inequalities of opportunity. What about various types of description, in particular, gender description? Paula will talk about this much more but I just want to hint at it here. The claim
with respect to the liberal theory is that it should decline, that overt discrimination against women should recede as bureaucracies take hold. And indeed, up until the early 2000s, everything seemed
just swell. That was then. This is now. We see a stalling out of that historic decline. What about black and white description? Again, this is the domain of Tomas. I want to talk about it only
briefly. But if you look at work by James Heckman and in particular the high school completion rate, you see that for whites, the top line, things are slowly improving, that completion rate is moving
from about 82 to 85. And for blacks, there seems to be a convergence, all is going well, the liberally theory holds. But now, we see a stalled convergence. So, that gives you a taste. It's a
whirlwind tour but it gives you a taste of some of the anomalies that we want to try to make sense of. Now, what went wrong with the liberal theory? Well, a lot did, but let me just give you one key
problem as I see it with that theory and it has to be rectified. According to Parsons and others, why we should be so optimistic about the future? Is that those sorts of activities that were once
ascriptively fused with the family, differentiated out and that raised the possibility that those activities would no longer be so deeply tied to social origins? The problem is that it matters how
those activities were differentiated in the conditions under which that differentiation takes place and that's where the marketization narrative, I think, offers a useful corrective. There are two
key forces at work. First, that of commodification and second that of marketization. By commodification, I mean that there's a cultural commitment to allocate scarce goods or services by selling
them. That's a pretty big commitment and it's very important and consequential. Secondarily, how do we set the prices for those scarce goods or services? Well, we set them by what we think is a
competitive market process. We're committed to attaching prices to those goods or services as they're revealed by a putatively competitive market process. Now, there are two caveats here. First off,
our commitment to the marketization project holds very deeply and firmly when it comes to markertizing the bottom of the class structure. When it comes to the top, that commitment recedes.
Secondarily, we have a presumptively competitive price. Despite perhaps all evidence that from the point of view of sociologists as disconfirming, we insist that the price that's observed on the
market is a competitive market price speaks then to the marginal product of labor and hence is very legitimate and consequently difficult to overturn with equality reducing reforms -- equality
increasing reforms. I'll pat all that out as we move forward but that's, in a kernel, what I'll be arguing. I want now to use that narrative to explain some of the anomalies that emerged relative to
the liberal theory. I should say that I'm standing on the shoulders of giants. I'm not going to try to acknowledge all the work upon which I'll be resting, not enough time. But it will be clear as we
move forward that there's nothing creative or original to be added here. Let me talk first about rising inequality. As I said, the commitment to marketization at the bottom is profound and reveals
itself for example in deunionization. And that of course drives down wages at the bottom. No one would argue with that. What's of interest is what's happening at the top. And is there any commitment
to marketization at the top and I think the answer is very little indeed. Let me give you just one example. If you're so unlucky as to be born into a poor family or a poor neighborhood, your access
to quality primary and secondary schooling is very compromised and you're not, as a result, likely to be in a good position for a college education or at least for a quality college education. What
does that mean? That means that those of us who are very lucky to have had a college education are protected from competition. Our wages are higher than they would be in a competitive market because
all those folks who would love to have their college degree are locked out and we're operating in a quasi-monopoly situation as a result. And that raises our wages. What happens at the bottom? Well,
there's a reserve army of labor. There's crowding at the bottom. Lots of folks who would love to have a college degree can't get one. They're locked out of that. And hence, there are too many folks
competing for too few unskilled jobs and that drives down wages. Why does it matter? It matters because when we think about what de-unionization does, we often think -- think it pushes us closer to
the competitive market price. We're getting rid of an anti-competitive institution after all, right? Well, that might be true if we're the only anti-competitive institution. But in fact, we have all
manner of other such institutions that principally protect wages at the top and drive down wages at the bottom. And so it may well be that what unions did was actually drive us closer to the
competitive price because it compensated for the lack of access to college education among the working class. That compensating force is now virtually gone and hence we, perhaps, drive wages below
the competitive price. But we don't hesitate to justify the prices that obtained at the bottom as nothing but the competitive market prices. And thereby, it makes it difficult to institute equalizing
reforms. So what do we have so far? Marketization is asymmetrically applied. It's applied at the bottom, not at the top. It doesn't deliver actual competitive prices because all manner of residual
non-competitive institutions remain in place. The lower prices to labor are still justified as if they were competitive prices and that then undermines efforts to rectify inequality because what we
see in terms of absurd wage differentials are legitimated. Let me turn now to declining mobility. There's first off a mechanical effect of rising inequality that I have to dismiss, if you will,
because the professional managerial class is disproportionably benefiting from the takeoff in income inequality. They have a lot more money at their disposal and they can use that money for the
purposes of assisting their children. That's a mechanical effect of rising inequality that should lead to rising reproduction within the professional managerial class, the beneficiaries of the
takeoff. But that's not all. I want to talk about how commodification plays in at this point. What that means is that the professional managerial class has more reproduction, relevant goods and
services that it can buy in the market. If you want to assist your children in reproduction, you've got to buy that assistance. You have to buy the expensive neighborhood, you have to buy the high
quality childcare, you have to buy after-school assistance, you have to buy educational summer camps, you have to buy finishing school vacations, it's a costly job. And that's all because we
commodify the means of reproduction. So when Parsons says all is swell because the training function has differentiated out of the family, he forgot to realize that under the forces of marketization,
you have to pay for that reproduction. And if the professional managerial class now has more money, they're in a position to do just that, and assist the reproductive exercise. What about class
effects? The liberal theory of inequality, again, is undermined in part by a mechanical effect namely the upper classes now have more money and if you have more money, your consumption can be very
different from that of the working class and you'll start to see a divergence in class consumption practices. You'll start to see a corresponding divergence in behaviors, attitudes, and interests.
And that undermines in part the liberal -- the liberal story. But again, there's more to it than that and I want to stress here the commodification effect and then particularly rely on, I think,
profoundly important work by Michael Howe. What did Michael Howe do? He looked at the general social survey and divided the respondents in that survey into seven income classes ranging as you see
here from those who make less than 20,000, those who make more than 115, 000. And then he charted trends in happiness within those seven income groups. As you see at the top, there's rough stability.
If you're making a lot of money, you're pretty much as happy now as you were in the past. But then, look at the bottom, there's a rather profound deterioration and happiness. How does Mike Howe
interpret that? Basically through a commodification argument that I think is completely on the mark, namely, in the past you could do okay if you didn't make much money because you had some public
goods that could--that could make it possible to forge a decent life even without having too much money. But as those public goods recede and everything is commodified, you have to buy happiness. It
cost money to be happy now. Happiness is commodified just like reproduction is commodified and that then leads to growing class difference. Let me just speak briefly about ascription. The liberal
theory says that ascriptive effects should wither away as bureaucratic forms of organization become ever more prominent. What does the marketization theory say? Those remaining residual ascriptive
effects are legitimated as reflecting marginal product and it becomes very difficult to do away with them. Let me give you the example of the -- of the trends in women's earnings relative to men's
earnings. There's been some stalling out as -- and I think Paula will talk about in that trend. Although one might say that the early gains were achieved by virtue of reducing overt discrimination
against women. What we have now is discrimination against mothers, and Shelley Correll and others have laid out. That motherhood penalty can be legitimated as simply reflecting the differential
marginal product of mothers as compared to non-mothers. That is the claim is they're all worried about domestic duties and they can't deliver further organizations to the extent that non-mothers can.
There's a marginal product story that can be delivered about that gap and that story makes it very difficult to do away with that gap. So, it's legitimated on marginal product terms. I think what
Cecilia argued yesterday is consistent with that type of account. So the stalling out then reflects the persistence of discriminatory effects, they're justified in marginal product terms that's very
pernicious. So, if you've slept until now, let me give you the key take home point. There'll be no harm done. Under the liberal theory, the story is that bureaucracies set up rational hiring and
firing protocols that undermine ascription and discrimination. There's a criticism of that story. It goes like this. It says that bureaucracies are fraught with the discriminatory processes like
unconscious discrimination, old boy networks and so forth that allow ascription to persist even though you have formerly rational rules and protocols. And moreover, discrimination is concealed and
justified by virtue of being relabeled as merit. So it's very pernicious, right? This unconscious discrimination becomes seen as simply the expression of merit because after all we have formal
bureaucratic rules that only reward merit, so if we slap the label of merit on the outcomes then it becomes more difficult to understand them for what they are, namely concealed discrimination,
standard story. But that's the story that prevails before the forces of marketization operate and undermine the role of those internal labor markets. Marketization is all about converting internal
labor markets to external labor markets. And hence, we need to have a new type of concealment in play to bring about this stalling out. So, what is that new type of concealment? It's the claim that
the observed differences on the putative competitive market reflects just marginal product. So if you see a gender gap between women and men, you say "Well, it's just because mothers are less
productive." And so that's a pernicious from of concealment. That is the analogous from of concealment that obtains within the -- within the bureaucracy in which you say "Well, it's just the
operation of bureaucratic rules that accounts for any differences that are observed." So, under the bureaucratic justification, we invoke formal rationality, we abided by the rules and the rules are
perfect and rational and hence, anything that obtains under bureaucracy must reflect merit. That's the old bureaucratic from of justification. We're moving now as we externalize and marketize to a
market justification that invokes the invisible hand. The market spoke, the market is perfectly competitive. Hence, anything that we observe has to reflect nothing but marginal product. That's
pernicious. So the liberal theory I've claimed has lived on only for lack of a good alternative and claim the theory of marketization captures some of our key cultural commitments that drives social
action in the US. It's a two-step dance. First, we commodify and marketize and then we legitimate the resulting inequality. If there are any assets to this theory, is that they are very simple
mechanisms underlying it and it has very testable implications. We should have asymmetric marketization. We should have declining social mobility. We should have a plateauing of ascriptive effects
and we should have growing income effects on behavior. Thank you very much.
CECILIA L. RIDGEWAY: The next speaker -- our next speaker is Paula England.
PAULA ENGLAND: That's not what you need to see. There we go. Hello. I want to talk about changes in gender inequality overtime. And I'm going to argue that the gender revolution in the last 40 years
or so was uneven in some ways and has stalled in some ways. So, I'm going to examine trends with an eye to -- the unevenness I want to talk about is whether women change more than men and also
whether change is continuous or stalling. And then I'll try to, at the end, talk about what all these means. And sometimes my answer will be I don't know. So let me talk about asymmetric gender
change. So what I really mean by this is simply that if you look at the big change that's going on there is more change by women than men and women enter what have traditionally been men's domains
much more than men enter what have traditionally been women's domains. And I'll give you some examples of these. But let me first say why I think this happens. You know things that men do like
employment versus homemaking or male occupations versus female-dominated occupations. Those men's domains are rewarded more heavily. So for men both monetary rewards and cultural disapproval will
discourage them from changing. That is, you know, if a man decides to be a homemaker or he decides to enter a female occupation, a., he'll lose money and then b., he'll often get social disapproval.
So it's kind of a double whammy. So maybe it's no wonder that there isn't a lot of change in the men entering female domain's direction. In the case of women, the pecuniary rewards encourage them to
change. There's some cultural backlash against it but the very fact that we tend to culturally think everything men do is more important makes us often think that well if a woman does that, actually,
we kind of think more of her, you know. The tomboy is more respected than the sissy, for example. So, when we give you a few examples of this asymmetry of gender change. So the simplest example is
just rates of being employed among men and women. So here you see from 1960 'til some time pretty close to -- let's see, 2007. And men's employment has decreased a little bit overtime, the proportion
of men who are employed. Women's of course has increased dramatically. So, here is an example that, you know, it's not the case that for every woman who entered the labor market some men became a
homemaker and moved out. It's more of kind of a one-way street of change. I want to look at a few college majors and you see with the same thing. So you might think, oh, of course I'll start talking
about the STEM fields because we're always really interested in them but the dirty little secret is even if you look at men, it's a tiny, tiny, tiny little fraction that major in the STEM fields, you
know, science, technology, engineering. But the big gorilla of a traditionally male-dominated major, you might think it's a slummy major but -- is business, as an undergraduate major. Now, in 1971
more than 20% of all men getting a baccalaureate degree were getting in in business. So what this graph shows you is what percent of men in each year that got a bachelor's degree gotten in this field
and what percent of women that got a bachelor's degree got in this field. So what you see is this massive increase in the popularity of a business major among women. At least up through the middle
80s where men stay about the same. So -- but, you know, on that, this served to integrate college majors because women were taking up this historically male major. Well then let's take by contrast
majoring in English which historically was a disproportionately female major. I mean you can see in 1971 that, you know, there were like three times as many women as men majoring in it. So if we look
at the change overtime, you know, if men were integrating things by starting to choose traditionally female things more, we'd see and uptake in men majoring in English. That didn't happen. It's
pretty flat. In fact, men went down too but what happened is this massive exodus of women. I don't mean a bunch of women who had signed up for the English major went out. I mean successive cohorts of
women graduating in different years, made different choices and the more recent cohorts graduating in the '70s and '80s chose it much less, part of them were going to business, I guess. You'll notice
here thought that that all had sort of stalled out by about the middle '80s. Then the 70,000-pound gorilla in the room with respect to women-dominated majors is elementary education. In 1971, about
the same proportion of women who were majoring in that that I showed you men were majoring in business. And here again, men haven't changed at all and moved into this more female field, they're
sitting down there, you know kind of hugging the zero line all the way through. But women dramatically successive cohorts didn't choose it. It's amazing we actually have K through six teachers given
to speak exodus out. So those are just some examples of the asymmetry of gender change. Now, you could think of other examples like, you know, many more girls, parents started giving their kids LEGOs
and traditionally male toys than parents started giving their boys dolls to care for. My next -- moving on, my next topic is, is the change stalling and my answer will be yes on many indicators. So
now, I'm going to show you the same graph you saw before but we're going to attend to it with respect to a different point which is the stalling out of the increase in women's employment. Now, if you
can see the number 2000 on the graph, go out there in the women's line at about 2000. Do you see that little downturn? That is what the press called the Opt-Out Revolution. Now, I do not think that's
a revolution. It's a small downturn. It was real, it happened. And so a lot of us who do gender stuff have been all about refuting this gross exaggeration in the press about all these women opting
out. However, what everybody failed to realize because we're arguing about this little downturn, is it big, is it huge or small is that really women's employment has stalled about since 1990. Okay.
You know it was flat and went up and then went down and then went a little. But look at it. It's about the same as it was in 1990 where as you had this dramatic upsurge. So, there is a stalling of
the change in women's employment. Now, actually the one thing that keeps equalizing unabated is women getting more education. I don't know. Women just love education, I guess. So, this is what
proportion of degrees in these different years went to women and the different lines are bachelors, masters, first professional, and doctorate. And of course we -- most of us know that bachelor's
degrees now are above 50% female so, you know, more women than men are finishing -- going through and finishing college. But PhDs and masters are getting -- and professional degrees and master --
masters are up there too, above 50% and PhDs have just about converged. Even here though, if you sort of look at the shape of those lines, the convergence is not as dramatic as it once was. Now, what
about what people are majoring and when they do get this education? So if we look at bachelor's degrees and you just use the standard index of dissimilarity that many of us use to describe
segregation, you can see that -- and that's kind of consistent with those little examples I showed you on the specific majors that segregation of college majors dropped substantially in the '70s and
in the early '80s and since then there's been no future -- further desegregation. So literally desegregation of college majors pretty much had played out by the mid '80s. And, I mean, I've looked at
dates farther ahead than this. It stays pretty flat. Now, what about segregation of fields of doctoral degrees? Now, you know, it's important to us because most of us in this room have them or aspire
to have them. Of course, it's a tiny percent of the population that get doctoral degrees. But an interesting fact is that if you kind of forget about little up and down, the sex segregation of
doctoral degrees is pretty flat since the '70s. It never really has changed. Now, you might think, wait a minute, like every field I know of is massively more female than it was. But remember the
index of dissimilarity adjusts for the overall proportion of men and women in the system, and then it's saying relative to that is the segregation changing. So, here is a graph of some of the biggest
fields of doctoral degree recede and just what percent female, the people getting doctorates were in different years. And sociology is that green line three down from the bottom, you know, electrical
engineering and physics are the most male, then math, then econ, then poli science, then history which is kind of the bellwether. It's about the same as all fields combined. Then biology, then
sociology, then education psych. Now, the point here is there's a lot of zigzagging there, but you can see that the rank order of percent female in these fields remains about the same. They have all
become massively more female, more women relative to men are getting doctorates. But this rank order remaining the same is sort of consistent with this prior graph showing that segregation among
doctoral fields didn't change much. So, that's really not a stalled revolution. It's kind of like there never was a revolution in what men versus women were getting doctoral degrees in. Now, how
about occupational segregation, so now we're getting, you know, to the whole society or at least the whole labor force of employed people. I think, actually, I am using the same graph that David did,
it's IWPR. And so you can see that segregation was falling substantially. Especially in the 70s, it sort of -- and on into the '80s, it slowed down quite a bit in the '90s, and it's been, you know,
pretty flat since, and in fact, even there is a little increase there at some point. So, I would say there's really a slow down of desegregation as well. The sex gap in pay, if we use the ratio of
women's to men's median annual earnings, and restrict ourselves to fulltime year-round workers, actually here, you know, there is continuous progress. In the last few years it's pretty flat but
notice that if you look the -- between the two red lines is 1980 to 1990, that's when things really moved. So, just putting it in simple percentage point change, women went from earning 60% of what
men do to 70% of what men do. A 10 percentage point change in 10 years, but you see that since 1990 we've not yet had another 10 percentage point change. So, you know, there is a slow down of the
convergence to be sure. Now, we can also be interested in attitudes and there are these questions that keep getting, you know, some seem out of date, you know, can a woman have a close relationship
with her child if she's employed? The question seems a bit laughable these days but, you know, there are some questions that had been asked on the GSS for a long time. So, here's a graph from Cutter
et al that up is more egalitarian as they've scaled this, and it just gives you a simple descriptive of how the opinions on these different things were moving. The point is things were equalizing a
lot until about 1990 or something, then they kind of flattened, then things -- attitudes got more inegalitarian. Now, they've actually come back up more egalitarian. So let's just call that the wax
and wane, but certainly the strong equalizing shifts between -- in the early '70s and '80s have not been continued. So, what does all this mean? I wish I knew, you know. You know, one thing about
getting old is that it's sort of humbling in a way. I mean, I don't think Alzheimer's has set in yet, but there are things on which, you know, I guess I'm supposed to be an expert. I guess, that's
why Cecilia asked me to talk about this, but like the older I get the more I scratch my head and say," I don't know." So, I'm not -- I don't have the -- all the answers here, but I will give you my
reflections. I mean, one point is -- never mind there are things continuous or stalling, but there's a lot more change in some things than others. Now, what I emphasized was this business that women
moved into a lot of traditionally male activities, employment, and then within employment more went into what had been men's jobs. Many fewer men moved into women's activities -- historically,
women's activities. So that's this gender asymmetry and social change. Then, I didn't talk about this at all in the graphs, but any of you who know my work which may be the tiniest fraction of the
room, but I sort of did this one thing for 25 years, and finally got bored with it, but I was always trying to show that the relatively low pay of predominantly female jobs is a kind of form of
discrimination. There's a kind of devaluation of a job, if it's mostly female and they set the whole wage levels lower for men and women in the job. Anyhow, that devaluation as best I can tell from
some analyses over time has not changed at all. So that's one of the things that was never particularly changing. I did show you that the sex gap in pay change, and of course, the thing I spent 25
years working on was not the only component of the sex gap in pay as I knew all along, and why the sex gap in pay changed, I mean the really short version is I think two things. One, they don't -- we
really don't have good ways to asses this, but probably overt hiring discrimination against women trying to get into more male jobs declined somewhat with the laws, et cetera, and cultural change.
And two, as women's employment became more continuous, their experience and seniority relative to men went up, that's the supply sight side and that contributed a lot to the change in the pay gap.
So, both of those things change, but the devaluation of jobs because they're filled with women didn't really change much. Then, I haven't talked about this at all, because I've been using these sort
of quantitative indicators, but I believe that in sort of heterosexual relational matters like, you know, husbands and wives and people that are dating, et cetera, that there's been less change in
those things than in, you know, can women be employed? Can they enter male jobs? Can they get these degrees? Think about for example the norms about who should propose marriage when the marriage is
going to be heterosexual. Now, we've had some changes, not all marriages are heterosexual. When it is heterosexual, there's still this very strong norm men are supposed to propose. In fact, in some
work that I've been doing on college sexuality, it seems like there's kind of this norm that men initiate stuff in general. Who's changing their name when they get married? Well, some women aren't,
but if somebody does, it's almost always the women. And those things strike me as actually changing much less than, you know, who's asking whom out on dates, if there are any dates. Those things seem
to me to be changing much less than the gendering of college and, you know, the economy and things like that. So that leads me to the conclusion that the gender system is perhaps more loosely coupled
than we use to think. You know, when I started, you know, back in the '70s, and there were very few people studying gender. And we're all kind of talking about how the system interlocks and, you
know, the inequality here creates inequality there and, you know, that's all true to some extent. But on the other hand, when you have a lot of change and time to look at you start seeing, well some
things change a lot, and then other things don't, and, you know, it's all not that tightly interlocked. So that's one general conclusion I make. And then the other thing is you saw the stalling in
all these graphs. There was nothing inexorable about change. And I guess, we always should have known that, but I have to confess maybe when I came of age, there was this idea that, you know, some
things that are equalizing are just going to always keep equalizing, you know, racial inequality reduces gender inequality reduces, housing prices go up, but that turns out not to be true. We saw
women's employment has kind of plateaued since 1990. The integration of college majors stopped about 1985, slowing of desegregation of occupations, and the sex gap in pay, egalitarian attitudes go up
and down. Now, you know, I can't tell you some simple stories so like, well, why the stall and, you know, it happens different times. I mean, what's perfectly clear is it's not some people story
about, you know, things get more equal when the Liberals are in power, and a more unequal when the Republicans, the Conservatives are in power, and you look at those trends, they don't really follow
who's in political power. One thought I have is that there are certain kinds -- there are certain things that could change more easily. Let's call them low hanging fruit without fundamentally
changing who's the main caretaker for children? Who's the main breadwinner? We get women doing a lot of breadwinning but -- and without fundamentally restructuring how -- what employers expect of
workers without changing those things still a lot could change and did, and maybe that's the low hanging fruit, and we may need some kinds of mobilization, or other kinds of change to get other
things to change. Thank you very much.
CECILIA L. RIDGEWAY: Our next speaker -- our next speaker is Tomas Jimenez.
TOMAS JIMENEZ: Good afternoon. I want to thank Cecilia for inviting me to share some remarks with you, and more generally for putting together such a wonderful program. So, it's my job to talk to you
about racial inequality, and I'm going to focus primarily on the United States. And unlike the previous two speakers, my remarks will be a little bit more aspirational. And that I hope to lay out
what I think that we as sociologists need to be paying attention to if we are to understand racial inequality in the 21st Century, and some are going to be less reflective than the other two. In
doing so, I'm going to draw on some work that I have been doing, ethnographic work that I've been going in Silicon Valley after the -- and that work is forthcoming in an American Sociological review
article that I have co-authored with Adam Horowitz. But let me be reflective for a moment as a way to make two points. The first point is that we need to be looking up the socioeconomic scale when we
think about racial inequality. Here is a graph that shows the median households income by group in 2010, and the graph tells a story that most of us are probably well familiar with. Whites are doing
substantially better than Hispanics, and Blacks and substantially better than the American population as a whole. But if we change the benchmark for household income a little bit, we see inequality
emerging even at the top when we introduce Asian households. They're doing substantially better than virtually everyone including Whites. The picture is much the same if we look at the proportion of
the population that has a Bachelor's degree or more in 2010. In fact, the inequalities are even starker here between Whites and Hispanics, and Whites and Blacks. But again, if we change the benchmark
you see that the gap between Asians and Whites is even greater or equal to the gap between Whites and Hispanics, or White and Blacks. So, the first major point I want to make is that we need to
continue to pay attention to the durable racial inequalities that exist among the poor. But we also need to pay attention to more fine-grained inequalities that exist at the top of the socio-economic
distribution. Of course, these graphs hide some of the inequalities that exist within groups which is the second point I want to make. This graph shows median household income by Asian subgroup, and
we see that Asians are far from a monolith. Southeast Asians don't fair nearly as well as Indians, Filipinos, and Chinese and that picture is even truer if we focus on the proportion of the
population with a Bachelor's degree or more. And so the second point I want to make, and the point that I want to emphasize -- emphasize even more than the first is that to understand racial
inequality in the 21st Century, we need to focus on within group heterogeneity and not just between group heterogeneity. So let me say that a little bit more formally or perhaps just place more
emphasis on those three points. That the broad structure of racial inequality is still very much in place and we need to pay lots of empirical and theoretical attention to that broad structure. But
there are cracks in that structure, and I think those cracks become visible when we pay attention to what's going on within groups, and when we look up the socioeconomic scale to pay attention to
fine-grained inequalities that are emerging at the top, but that also exist at the bottom which has been traditionally the focus of sociologists who study racial inequality. And I want to illustrate
the payoff to looking up and within groups by drawing on some research that I've been doing in Silicon Valley on the third plus generation population, and in particular, on the way in which
educational achievement becomes racially encoded. The more general project looks at how third plus generation individuals. These are individuals who are US born of US born parents adjust to contexts
define by immigration. In essence I'm flipping the assimilation equation around a little bit to ask not how immigrants and their children are adjusting to what some people called a whole society but
rather -- how people who are identified with the whole society and it's various segments are adjusting to contacts that are dramatically shaped by immigration. My interest in this topic comes impart
from a couple of observations that other sociologists have made about immigration today. The first is that among today's immigrants are the most educated and wealthiest US residence, and that's
particularly true among Asian origin immigrants. And the second is that immigrants are settling in large numbers in suburbs beside Whites. The old model of immigration where people settled in a lower
east side of Manhattan, and then move down to the suburbs and the burrows in New Jersey might still be somewhat true, but there's a lot action in the suburbs. And these trends have led some of us to
ask our particular groups becoming White. In particular, are Asian becoming White? And that's a perfectly reasonable question, but I think there is a related question and that is what is what is
becoming of Whiteness given all of the immigration, and the tremendous achievement among some of those immigrant groups. Now, when Adam Horowitz and I looked at the literature to guide our research,
we identified two broad theoretical platforms that guided studies of racial identity, and educational achievement, and those are racialization and assimilation. And pretty much across the board the
benchmark, the standard population that end -- that scholars use to decide for whether certain groups are doing well or not, whether it's an ethnographic work, or demographic work is the White
population. But I read in -- literature also show that there's really no White monolith, that White racial identity can be class-inflected particularly at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale.
Scholars like Monica McDermott have shown how whiteness is not necessarily an advantage in all contacts, particularly among poor Whites. And recent research in immigration, and in particular on the
second generation, shows that whites are not the north star that guides ideas about what it means to achieve, what it means to belong, and what it means to be a true American. And so with those
patterns of immigration that I mentioned in mine, and with our reading of the literature, we asked in this paper, how is achievement racially inflected in middle and upper middle class context, where
socio-economic status of immigrants matches or even exceeds that of native born Whites? And to answer that question, we draw on ethnographic work that we've been doing in Cupertino, California.
Cupertino is not just the default setting for your Apple products. It is an upper middle class city. So, in many ways we are looking up. It is a place where we're looking at Whites and so, we're
looking within the White population, at the high-end of the socioeconomic distribution. Let me tell you just very briefly about Cupertino's. You get why this is an important context, and why it
represents the context where we're looking up and looking within at racial inequality. And it'll guide you here on where to look at this busy table. So, Cupertino is a place where whites are in
numerical minority -- a numerical minority. It constitutes about 30% of the population. Asians constitute about 63% of the population, and this is a massive immigrant gateway about 48% of the -- 49%
of the population is foreign born. It's also a very high socioeconomic -- rather a gateway that sets at the high-end of the socioeconomic scale. The median household income is a hundred and twenty
thousand dollars a year, three quarters of the population has a bachelor's degree or more. Three quarters of the population works in managerial or professional positions. And if you want to buy a
house in Cupertino, you need to have about a million dollars which by Silicon Valley standards is expensive although not as expensive as it can get. And so, we interviewed lots of third plus
generation Whites and we also interviewed third plus generation Japanese and Chinese Americans. These are individuals whose ancestors came to the United States a long time ago in addition to several
key informants. And what do we find? We found that all students are doing quite well by most standards in Cupertino. They are upper or middle class. They can expect to go to college and will in all
likelihood replicate the class status of their parents. But most standards don't apply in Cupertino. This a context in which the immigrant origin Asian population defines the achievement norm. And
these achievement norms have become explicitly racial. Such that Asian stands for hard work, intelligence and focused, and whiteness by contrast stands for lower achievement, a lackadaisical attitude
about school and a casual approach to parenting. Whiteness in many ways particularly in the domain of educational achievement has been turned on its head in this context. And to get a sense of the
degree to which it's been turned on its head, it's helpful to hear from some of the individuals whom we interviewed. And so, I'm going to read you a few quotes to illustrate how we drew these
conclusions. This is a white 22-year-old male, recent college graduate, talking in fairly general terms about how whiteness has been turned on its head. He said, "I would almost say, Asian
immigration kind of brought about the stereotype at least in high school. The Asian kids and the Indian kids were really smart and they were really good at math, and they were always going to do
really well in the AP class, as whereas the white kids were less academically oriented and they did okay, but they didn't put in as much effort. Some of that in some cases which true, but it did
almost become a stereotype kind of thing." The degree to which educational achievement has become racially inflected in this -- in this context, that comes clear when respondents report how they use
racial categories as shorthand for educational achievement. That is an individual can describe themselves as Asian or their behavior as Asian or white, and not as enough from which to understand what
it means to be high achieving or low achieving, or enough to communicate whether an individual is high achieving or low achieving. As one high school students told us, "If you're really studious and
you're white, you're called Asian at heart, just like there's the white people who act Asian, there's the Asians who act White. They're the Asians who party. It's definitely a smaller percentage.
There's not as big of a population, but you can find it." When Adam and I started to find this turning -- this reorientation of Whiteness, we turned to key informants, particularly teachers because
we wanted to see if they share the conclusions that we're merging from our interviews with later generation individuals. And to our surprise, teachers not only shared that evaluation, they in some
ways endorsed it in spite of their best efforts. One teacher told us, "You look at someone who is White, and you kind of assume that they're probably not the best student." And then, "Okay. A group
of students who's just walked in and as a teacher, I try not to stereotype of course, but after a while, I guess I just assumed even I'm beginning to assume right now, that when kids walk into the
classroom, the white kids probably aren't going to be my very, very best students. They may do great work, but they won't turn it all in on time or something. And if I were to go back and look at the
grades I've given, I'm sure that the GPA for the White kids I've had, would be lower than the GPA for the Asian kids I've had, I'm sure of it. This particular encoding of educational achievement is
consequential for the individuals we interviewed. It's consequential both for the later generation Japanese and Chinese students we interviewed who feel a tremendous degree of pressure to live up to
what they think are unreasonable expectations about their ability to achieve, because of their racial status, but it also plays a tremendous amount of pressure on whites to feel like they have to
fight against stereotypes about them as less achieving. As one respondent told us, "I've gotten a lot of feeling like I'm not taken seriously because I'm a preppy white girl. I don't know what they
would call me, but I know that after Chemistry test last year, we were all comparing answers that we got on the test afterwards and they were like, "Oh, what did you get for this one? What did you
get for that one to each other?" And I said, "Oh, I know how to do that one." And they were like, "Okay." And then they ask their other friend anyway, it was two Indian guys and I was like, "Do you
think that I know -- I don't know the --do you think that I know the answer?" And he's like, "Well, I just want to see what he had to say," and I was like "It's because I'm white that you think I
don't know." And he's like, "Well, I don't know if you know or not. Can I just give it a shot?" I said, "I guess, I constantly feel like I have to prove people wrong." Now, the conclusion I don't
want you to draw from this is that, we need to suddenly be concerned with upper or middle White kids. But the study holds some lessons for how we think about racial inequality more generally. The
lessons in some ways have to do with the particularities of Whiteness, that there is contextual variation in the meaning and status of whiteness that runs up and down the socio-economic scale. And
it's not just for core Whites, that whiteness can become a deficit in some context. And I think we need to do more looking up and looking within in terms of racial inequality. And I want to spend the
last few slides suggesting how we might do that. I'm going to give a list that I don't -- it's not -- this is not meant to be exhaustive, but it's meant to kind of what your appetite and hope that in
addition to paying attention to the durable inequalities that exist more generally that we pay attention to the fine-grained inequalities that exist at the top and the bottom as well as looking
within groups to identify inequality. So --and it's the last time I'll make this point that we need to look up. We need to look up at racial inequality, and identify the fine-grained inequalities
that are emerging even at the top as we study the bottom as well. I'm going to spend the rest of my time talking about the need to look within. As a sociologist who studies racial inequality, I'm
accustomed to looking at differences and averages between groups, but I think we need to add to our repertoire and focus on distributions within groups, we need both. And when we look at the
distributions within groups, I think we maybe lead to conclude that is in many ways the best of times and it is the worst of times for racial inequality in the United States. Anecdotally, we have a
two term African-American President, a fact that many people rightly celebrate. On the other hand, we live in an American society where one in nine black males between the age of 20 and 34 is in
jail. It's an incarceration crisis particularly for young Black males and Hispanic males. The same could be true of Mexicans in terms of the best of times and worst of times. There's significant
evidence of assimilation among the later generation, Mexican-American population. Although that assimilation does not equal the assimilation witnessed among European origin groups. There's
nonetheless significant assimilation in emerging middle class. However, one in five people of Mexican descent -- all people of Mexican descent, US, and foreign born are unauthorized. Twenty-one
percent of the Mexican origin population is an unauthorized immigrant. So, we need to measure it. And then we -- they do identify the sources of within group heterogeneity, and I'd like to suggest
what are some potential fruitful areas for identifying those sources. One is immigration. I spend a few minutes telling you about Cupertino, and the way in which immigrants introduced heterogeneity
within, and then within a racial category not by becoming White, not by becoming Black, not by becoming Hispanic, or not by becoming Asian, but by serving as a foil against which the meaning in
status of a particular racial group is recast in some contacts. Immigrants maybe changing the composition of particular racial groups particularly, racial groups who have a long history of
immigration to the United States like Mexicans, Filipinos, Chinese, Polish, and Chicago, and that diversity may exist along linguistic lines, along socioeconomic lines, geographic lines, legal status
lines. The Mexican origin population is a perfect example where you have a virtually 100-year constant influx of Mexican immigrants and the new immigrants who are contributing significantly to the
heterogeneity among people of Mexican descent. Mobility, some individuals even within the racial groups that are historically been the targets of racism and racial discrimination are doing well, and
some are not doing -- many are not doing so well. And that's as a result of mobility both up and down, and not mobility down as particularly prevalent during the great recession as people like David
Grusky show. Identification is another source of within group heterogeneity. We as social scientist rely on individuals to identify themselves as members of a particular racial group. That process is
becoming evermore complicated, it was never simple, but it's becoming evermore complicated when we had a growth -- when we have tremendous growth in the population who would call themselves
multi-racial or multi-ethnic, and these individuals have choices about whether to opt in or opt out. And their opting in or opting out has significant implications for the composition of particular
populations. Laws in the criminal justice system is another source of heterogeneity. Some individuals particularly the Black males as Becky Pettit shows are entirely absent from how we evaluate the
progress of some groups. And if we factor them in, the picture would look a lot less rosy, and we know that individuals who have a criminal record particularly Black males are marked long after they
leave -- long after they serve their sentence as Devah Pager shows where immigration is concerned, there is a substantial portion of the immigrant population that is marked as illegal. A status that
shapes not only their outcomes, but as folks like Frank Bean and he's co-authors have shown marks individuals who are US born children, and perhaps even the US born grandchildren of the unauthorized
population. Finally, I think we need to explain the implications of these within group heterogeneity. There are tremendous implications for identity. We might ask, what is the effect of the status of
the entire group on individuals who's own, for example socioeconomic status maybe discordant with the stereotype of belief held about the larger group. Jennifer Lee and Min Zhou have done research
showing that second generation low achieving Vietnamese students benefit from what they call a stereotype threat that exist because of assumptions about their achievement based on their status as
Asians. We need to ask is there even a coherent identity within groups to what its degree to the individuals within this group recognized other individuals as in the group to be co-members of 2007
Pew research poll show that 38% of African-Americans believe that Blacks are not a single race because there are so many differences among them. Their implications for politics and political
mobilization, if there's class diversity in groups, within groups do individuals within those groups vote, mobilized based on their class interest or on the interest of their co-racials or co-ethnics
who may not occupy the same socioeconomic standing of those individuals. What about variation political identification? Does it strengthen or weaken the ability of a group to make political claims?
Cory Field is doing spectacular research on Black republicans. And one of the arguments the Black republicans make is that it would be much better if Blacks were more politically diverse in their
orientations, and that might make Republicans and Democrats pay attention to them more. What about social capitals? Social capital are the resources that flow through social networks when some
individuals within a group are doing well, and some aren't doing so well. We presume that those who are doing better have the resources to pass on to those who maybe less well off. Now, that maybe a
benefit for those who are less well off, but as Jody Agius Vallejo shows in her work on the middle class Mexican-American population in Southern California, middle class Mexican-Americans give to
their less well off ethnic kin at a great expense to their own advancement. Policy, if we pay attention to within group heterogeneity it begs the question, how do we remedy racial inequality which is
very real more generally. Should we aim at policies that remedy racial -- it remedy racial inequality in general, or do we need policies that focused on both class and race. This is a debate that is
not new. And finally, and this is kind of ending on a more normative note, I think it has implications for how we talk about, how we debate racial inequality. When President Obama was elected in
2008, there were some commentators who were quick to proclaim that we now lived in a race blind, a color blind society that the color line that W.E.B. Du bois had identified had effectively
disappeared. And there were those of us who knew better and we were quick to say that those folks had it wrong, that racial inequality is alive and well and that it is durable. But if we pay
attention to within group heterogeneity, a within group heterogeneity that exists in part because there has been some progress. Then I think we're less inclined to proclaim that the proverbial glass
is entirely full or that it's entirely empty. We can appreciate and even celebrate the achievements of some while not letting the light that emanates from their achievement blind us to the durable
racial inequalities that continue to define American society. Thanks.
CECILIA L. RIDGEWAY: the last speaker is Rob Mare.
ROBERT MARE: Thank you very much, Cecilia, for inviting me to participate in this -- in this plenary session. These three presentations that you've heard have been wonderful and I -- to mix metaphors,
I don't think that I'm all that comfortable batting clean up here. I think they -- these presentations stand by -- stand by themselves and I'm not sure that I'm needed. I was thinking that -- I was
looking back at the invitation I received to participate in this session, and it came from David Grusky, but he talks about "we" so, I assumed that this is Cecilia and David. He said they need
someone who can step back and make sense of the changes in each of these domains asking whether there are some larger dynamic at work that cuts across and explains them. It's striking in this regard
that we once had a narrative Modernization Theory that laid out a story that putatively express itself in each of these domains. Although that narrative seems spectacularly off the mark, we arguably
don't have a new narrative that replaces it. Is this because each domain operates autonomously or is it because no one else has been able to uncover the larger dynamic at work? We were hoping that
you might take on this question. Of course, now, for the final sense this is my out, is of course, if you think that's the wrong question, then by all means, you'd be free to post another one that's
more appropriate. This talk shares something with Tomas' in that it is aspirational and it also shares something with Paula's in that there are many, many questions here that I know the answer to.
And I don't think it's just because I'm aging. I think it's because these are very, very difficult -- very, very difficult issues. If we take them really seriously, I think we want to pull back from
glib narratives and deal with some of the complexity, not treat it as just a welter of details but as a pretty -- a pretty complex sort of things to consider. I take -- I start roughly where David
Grusky starts, with a massive trend towards -- massive trend in economic inequality in the United States. My figure here is an extension of one of the time series that David had showed you, taken
from Piketty and Saez and some of their colleague's work updated right to the year 2011. This is -- this is the income share of the top one percent and so it is by no means the entire picture of the
growth of -- the growth of inequality or both of inequalities that we've experienced over the past -- the past generation, but it is perhaps the most powerful trend and it's certainly the one that
gave life to the Occupy -- the Occupy movement. It is the one that I think is perhaps most politically compelling. It is perhaps also the one that has the most implications for what kind of social
science those of us who were interested in inequality should do going forward. I think -- I think one of the things we should be thinking about is what are the consequences of this kind of inequality
not just for the individuals who happened to be benefiting from it or not, but for the kind of society -- the kind of society that we have. Before I -- before I get into this further though, I want
-- I want to do a little bit of a kind of brush clearing. And I just -- I just can't resist. I just have to -- I just have to talk about the concept of a narrative which David worked over pretty
well. It was part of the -- of my invitation. It's in the description of this session. And it's just very important that I make an obvious distinction, but one that can trip us up and that is to say
-- that is -- just what are we saying when we talk about a narrative? One version of a narrative is that it is just a catchy word for a social science theory or model or paradigm or hypothesis or
maybe argument. And I must say I'm a kind of stodgy academic guy and I'm much more comfortable with all of those things rather than narratives which gets --which gets a little woolly for me, but it
can be -- we can translate it in those terms. On the other hand, a narrative is also a set of beliefs, rationalizations, ideologies, legitimations, performance standards that are used not by social
scientists as social scientists, but are used by actual people in the real world whether as professional ideologues or just people of their living -- living their day to day lives as they try to make
sense of how unequal the world is. Now, it's not a hard and fast distinction because as students of inequality, we have to pay attention to those ideologies, rationalizations, legitimations, and
beliefs and so, on, because they feed back into the phenomena that we're studying. But when somebody says, well, what's the narrative, we want -- we got --we got to keep straight what it is that
we're talking about here. And I think that in talking about some of these -- some of these narratives, we sometimes get it a little mixed up or we're at risk of our audience getting a bit -- a bit
confused. And so, I'm going to be trying to talk about number one most of the time in the balance of my time here, but from time to time, I will -- I will try, in a clear way, to move into -- to move
into number two. Let's see. Secondly, at the risk of taking you back to when you took Sociology 100, I have to make a distinction between inequality and social stratification. It is inequality that
we're interrogating here in New York this week, but the section on social stratification is the largest section in the ASA last time -- last time I looked. And I hope that we -- one doesn't get the
impression that these are the same thing or that one is an old fashion word for the other. They do, in fact -- they are in fact analytically distinguishable ideas and this will -- and keeping this
distinction in mind as I go forward, I think will help you in following what I'm trying -- in what I'm trying to say. And so, inequality refers to social hierarchies and the positions and rewards
that accompany them. Stratification and the special case of stratification, social mobility, are the processes of placing individuals and other units, not just individuals but other units, into these
hierarchies. To use the distinction that was -- or to use to the terminology that was put forward by the Berkeley Group when they wrote Inequality by Design, it's a distinction between the rewards of
the game, and the rule -- and the rules of the game. I'm going to talk disproportionately here about social stratification not because I think that we shouldn't be interrogating inequality, but maybe
just because I have more to say about it. And maybe because social stratification is a process and it gets us thinking a little more about at least some of the mechanisms, not all the mechanisms, but
some of the mechanisms that may be at wok here. And of course inequality is in the background, inequality is my inspiration like it is for everybody else in this -- in this session and others. But
I'm going to work -- I'm going to -- I'm going to work from socials -- on social stratification in part because stratification reproduces inequality and in part because I think it really helps us
with the modernization or liberal theory and marketization types of narratives. I also view gender and racial disparities as not entirely but substantially an issue of stratification. And how the
genders and the races fit in to hierarchies that we would think of as separate from them, not to deny that there aren't things such as patriarchy and rigid racial hierarchies, but I do think it's in
this part of stratification. And then I think we need to wrestle with the empirical, analytical and ideological interdependence of stratification and inequality. Having said that they're separate,
they're very much in bed with each other and we need to -- and we need to -- we need to interrogate that. Now, I have to just -- I work from a -- from a very preliminary version of a paper that David
and his colleagues had prepared that formed the basis of David's talk today and I had to react to this a little bit, not just on the point about the narratives and principle, but the specific
narratives he's talking about. And I hear -- I talk about modernization here because that was emphasized in an earlier version of the paper. Today, he talked about the liberal theory, which I think
is a better -- a better characterization of it. But I just want -- I to ask some questions and I'm not going to answer them but there are things that concern -- that concern me, one is just, what is
it, and David did a much better job, I think, of laying it out in his work today and I don't want to -- I don't want to dwell upon that. But I think we do -- we should ask whether it's a hypothesis
about stratification or a hypothesis about inequality. I always thought that liberal theory was pretty lousy when it came to inequality. There was some vague ideas about macroeconomic forces and
maybe demography and technology and so on, but actually, it -- I think it really -- it really never floated my boat. It was always a pretty powerful tool for studying social stratification however,
and many of the people whom David listed as being the proponents of the liberal theory really were -- would really would kind of fall back on something like the functional theory of stratification.
Davis and Moore were in fact in David's list today. And the functional theory of stratification does not say that inequalities will gradually ebb away, rather, it says that inequality is always with
us. And it is always a -- it is always there as a solution to a functional problem that a society has. It's very old fashioned terminology, but that I think is where the modernization or the liberal
theory left us. The liberal theory was actually very benign when it was about processes of stratification. This is not to dispute anything very, very centrally that David was trying to say, but I
think we do need to think about it in terms of processes rather than structures. Also in marketization, I think if we're going to use marketization as a scientific -- as a scientific proposition, or
as a scientific theory, we have to be a lot more precise about it. What kind of markets are we talking about? Are we talking about the markets we learned about in Econ 1 or maybe in Econ 2 or maybe
the fancier ones like winner-take-all markets and tournament markets or what about all the markets that the economics of anthropology or the anthropology of economics teaches are out there? Are they
markets too or are all -- are we only interested in one specific type of very stylized -- a very stylized market? And that's an also a question about whether marketization is a state or a process
pushing us towards a greater -- a greater reliance on market phenomena for resolving issues. But the key thing I think here, and this is where we get back to my point about narratives, is that if in
fact the radical growth of wages and earnings and capital gains at the top of the distribution is not because of productivity, it's not because of relaxation of regulations, but is in fact the result
of rent extraction on the part of the most powerful, why do we want to call that marketization at all? It seems to me that that's disconfirming evidence for marketization. Yes, it is rationalized by
that, but as scientists who want to use marketization as a tool for summarizing what's going on, we want to say that it's a failure of marketization. It seems to me that we should be -- we should be
-- we should recognize the asymmetry in what's happened in the markets, that's a fact, but what's happened -- marketization has been good for the masses, not so good for the -- not so good for the
top. Within economics -- of course in economics, things are different, but there is a --there is a serious debate with a lot of empirical -- a lot of empirical work over whether what's happening at
the top one percent is the result of the greater productivity of people at the top. Virtually, almost everybody in this room I think is very uneasy with hat kind of claim, but there is another group
of economists who think more the way most of us do that those things are in fact rent. But they are arguing over whether in fact marketization is true or not. And I think -- I think that may be a bit
more coherent way to talk about it. There are -- we have other sociological terms for what might be happening at the top. One that comes to mind is Chuck Tilly's concept of opportunity hoarding, for
example, which is not marketization, it's opportunity hoarding. I think we should -- we should use our concepts where perhaps they fit. Okay. Let me -- let me move to what I think is -- what I think
-- what I think has changed and what we should be looking at going forward. And here, I'm going to talk about changes in the world, but I'm also going to be talking about changes in our social
scientific understanding of the world. And I'm going to kind of go back and forth between those because I too am -- have aspirations for doing this better than we've been able to do it so far. Within
the field of sociology, the people who study social stratification are a very vigorous group who have largely separated themselves from the people who study inequality. And for the most part,
inequality studies, don't get too deeply into the -- into processes of social mobility and social stratification except when they have to. I think we're now entering a circumstance where
stratification and inequality are inseparable and I offer as a piece of evidence for that the so called Great Gatsby curve named by the -- by the prominent economist Alan Krueger for describing the
relationship between economic and equality and economic mobility. And this is a scatter plot of a Western industrialized countries and Japan, showing that the -- the intergenerational elasticity,
think of it as almost the intergenerational co-relation of earnings is a positively co-related with the GD index, the extent of economic inequality within societies. More unequal societies have more
immobility, less mobility. That's a very tight -- it's a very tight relationship, a very provocative -- a very provocative counterweight to what ideologues at least and some social scientists
believed was the case. They believe that the -- societies like the United States could get away with having so much inequality because they had so much mobility. Mobility takes the sting out of
inequality. On the other hand, if societies that are extremely unequal also have relatively little mobility, then we're in trouble. And this is what the Gatsby curve appears to show. Now, I think the
evidence for this is not as -- is not as clear cut as this picture shows. I think we need to do more work on education mobility, occupation mobility, different measures of inequality and so on. But
this says that going forward we have to be thinking about mobility and inequality as a --- as a -- as part in parcel of a common set of phenomena. The interpretation -- the interpretation of the
Gatsby curve, I think -- I think is -- the primary interpretation of it is that inequality produces a bigger gaps between the rungs of the ladder making it hard for people to climb the ladder, hard
for people to fall down the ladder, keeping them, relatively speaking, closer to where they are. There's a lot more to it than that but that's the interpretation. The second thing and I think if we
were talking about dominant narratives, I would be less likely to focus first on modernization or to focus first on the liberal theory. Although those are more general ideas and I understand why
David -- why David has done so, but I would just start with the venerable Blau-Duncan model. Now, before I say that it should be broken down and before I kick it under the bus, I want to say what's
it's good for. And we should ignore -- this is taken from the 1967 American Occupational Structure volume, and of course it's characteristic of the time, it's only about men, not even mothers who are
in the picture. It's just occupational status, this fairly abstract way of measuring hierarchy that was very popular in stratification research for a long time and many, many other -- many, many
other limitations. But the logic of it still bears discussion. And the key finding in this paradigm is indicated by that number that's right in the middle at the center underneath the word
stratification, that .859 there. Now, that's a find -- that's a number that indicates all of the things that contribute to education that are not -- that are not father's education or father's
occupation, things that are coming in from outside. And a student of stratification can show you that if you add in all the characteristics of the mothers and a bunch of other family background
stuff, that .859 doesn't go down all that much, at least if you use data in the -- drawn from the period that Blau and Duncan were writing about. This enables us to tell the story that education is
the primary way in which we are stratified. It is the primary thing that affect where we end up in life and it is depending upon where we came from, socio-economically, but that .859 says that there
are a lot of other things independent of our class background. I have -- contribute to us and that's why we get -- that's why we -- what -- that's why the apparent -- the apparent -- we have the
apparent contradiction that education is reproductive but then it -- then it creates mobility. Now, this is a very, very important insight and any introductory discussion of social stratification
should start here. However, however, there's all kinds of things wrong with this picture. For one thing, this picture just doesn't hold for everybody. If we change the -- if we change the population,
we will get different -- we may have to specify the model differently, we certainly we'll different numbers, blacks, whites, immigrants, women, different kinds of groups, but that's not the -- that's
not the main source of my complaint. The main source of my complaint is that this diagram along with an enormous amount of other social science research is entirely wedded to a two-generation
paradigm. It says that social stratification of each generation only starts with the family of origin and that there is no long run continuity of either hardship or affluence. I just don't buy it. It
is a middle class ideology that we can transcend our social origins and it is an ideology that was particularly dominant in the 1950s and 1960s and it was probably close to the truth for a fairly
large part of the population but for the people can find at the very bottom and for the growing -- the increasingly isolated group of people at the very top, I just don't buy it. I believe that there
is much greater -- much greater intergenerational continuity of inequality than a two-generation model would provide. Additionally, even if we are not concerned about whether we want to look at
things multigenerationally or not, it has this very, very narrow conception of what is a family and what the -- and what our primary influences are. Two -- it's a two-parent family even though the
mothers don't show up here. It is a co-residential family. It doesn't deal with the complexity of -- the complexities we face of having our resource -- our resource basis scattered across space and
scattered across time. I think that we have moved into a world where we need to take those things into account all thought I would also argue that we've always been in that world to some degree. The
only issue is how larger the populations for whom the Blau-Duncan model as written here don't work. I think we need to investigate that but I think there's some reasonably strong evidence if one
looks historically and comparatively that the Blau-Duncan model works for some people at some points in time and for a lot of other people we need to have a much more complicated understanding of the
world. Oh.
WOMAN: Push it -- push it again.
ROBERT MARE: Thank you. Okay. I've made my point about family complexity, I'll just make one -- I'll give you one concrete illustration of it. This is -- this is my favorite supply and demand curve
but it's not the usual kind of supply and demand curve that we look at. The red line here are the proportion of 10-year-old children who are living with only one parent taking over synthesis
throughout the 20th century. If you like, that's the supply curve for the need for perhaps additional adult attention then could be provided by one struggling parent. The dark blue curve is the
proportion of 10-year-olds who have all of their grandparents alive. And you can see that as a result of extraordinary gains and longevity by the year 2000, 40% of 10-year-olds have all four of their
grandparents alive, an extraordinary increase over the course of the century. That means that there are many more people potentially available to help out. Now, not all grandparents are equally
capable or willing of helping out and many -- and many if not most instances, they don't live with the children but this is --this provides an illustration of the kinds of massive demographic and
familial changes that I think have all turned the basic units of analysis that we used for studying stratification and I would argue, inequality. I'm going to -- I'm going to skip this in the
interest -- in the interest of time except to say that my message is that we each -- we should not think about what is the model of stratification. We should -- we're thinking about what are the
models and how were they distributed across the populations. And not even across the obvious identifiable groups, major ethnic groups, regions, and so on but how potentially they very smoothly and in
a very complicated way within the population. There are -- there are sub-sectors of the population for which there is a much longer history of past family experience that needs to be taken into
account in order to understand its -- a family's position in society and there are others who live the Blau-Duncan dream of each direction more or less creating itself and creating its own
inequalities. I'm going to have to leave out my favorite topic which is the relationship between all this and demography, there's just in the interest of time. Except -- well, I really am going to
leave it out. All right. If you really want to know, let me -- I just can't resist. If you really want to know what I -- what I think about that, come to the session at 12:30 tomorrow afternoon on
stratification and my co-author Shi Song, we'll present our -- we'll present our paper on marriage markets and multigenerational -- and multigenerational effects, but I can't do it -- I can't do it
-- I can't do it just in the time that I have left. I would -- I do want to say one -- well, a third -- a third major area in which things have changed and we need to study is the inner dependants of
economic factors and association, whom we marry, whom we live with. And I think there's a -- there's a very large industry in social science of studying neighborhood effects in that kind of thing,
studying family effects, but I think we really need to give at least half of our effort to where the neighborhoods come from and where do families come from. And here I think I'm on the same page as
David because I think increasingly these things are economically determined. Our understanding of racial segregation over the years has been -- has emphasized that these things cannot be reduced to
economics and I'm not saying that they now can particularly in the area of segregation of African-Americans but the role -- the role of social class, socio-economic class in where people live has
grown. And also it is growing increasingly in -- where in -- within -- with whom people have intimate relations. And I'll just show you briefly here based on some -- on a -- on a number of studies
that Christine Schwartz and I have done, the trending educational homogony which it's kind of hard to squeeze it out of here but it actually does have a kind of U-turn, kind of like that Piketty and
Saez graph. Basically, it says that homogony -- educational homogony has grown overtime, other forms of homogony based on religion, social background, and so on have declined. Some more recent work
actually extends it much further back into the past and we begin to see much more of this kind of great U-turn that follows the same kind of -- the same kind of pattern that we see for incomes. I
will -- I will jump to my conclusions. First of all, things like marketization and liberal theory and modernization, I think are useful but they're incomplete, they always have been and -- but I
think they will stick around as legitimating ideologies long passed when we continue to talk about them in a scientific meaning. I'm saying there's a lot of America's social life is affected by
economic inequality, especially social mobility and arrangements such as marriages, neighborhoods, and other clusters. I'm saying the role of education has changed and the way it's changed is that it
continues to have a strong effects as it never has but it's in itself as David alluded to, it is increasingly depended upon social economic origins and so it is no longer as strong a vehicle for
social mobility that as it -- as it -- as it once was. And finally I'll say that we really do face what I will call the stratification uncertainty principle which is -- that are units of analyses,
families, individuals, neighborhoods, and so on are created by the very processes that we seek to understand. From a scientific point of view, that's a scary thought. Means that the things that we
study are in fact being created and destroyed by the processes that we want to use them as fix -- for which we want to use them as fixed units. This is an important issue going forward because it
really -- it really has implications for how we study this enormous -- this enormous concentration of incoming wealth at the top is going to be passed on the next -- to the -- to the coming
generations. Thank you very much.
CECILIA L. RIDGEWAY: Oops, hang on. Let's get rid of that for now. We have just a couple of minutes here and I'm going to quickly ask the panel if anybody wants to say something or react briefly. Over
here David Grusky if you could wire his mic.
DAVID GRUSKY: Yeah. I just wanted to say that Rob is very right, I think too insist on an analytic distinction between narratives and scientific theories and narratives as ideologies, that's very
crucial analytically to recognize but what are the key points or advantages if you will in using the term narratives is to recognize that in fact they're often used at once for both purposes. And I
wanted just lay out how they've been used in very different ways when a liberal theory is used as an ideology, as compared to when a marketization narrative is used as an ideology. When the liberal
theory was used as a narrative -- as an ideology, it was used often to point to problems, to say, "Look it's supposed to be that this type of inequality of opportunity is withering away," and it's
not and let's see why that's happening and what we can do about it when it's used as an ideology. When you switch over to marketization narrative, when it's been used as an ideology, it's typically
been deployed for the purposes of justifying inequality. We see a difference between man and woman, how can we understand that in terms of differences in their marginal product, how can we explain
that away in marginal product terms and that's exercise leads then to illegitimation of inequality in a way that really didn't happen to the same extent with the liberal theory. So, I think they've
been deployed in very different ways as ideologies and that matters because the way which we deploy these ideologies has effects for the extent which inequality is reproduced or not.
CECILIA L. RIDGEWAY: Anybody else that want to say anything briefly? Then we have time for about one -- if there somebody wants one or two, we have about two or three minutes, one or two, there are
mic right there, questions from the floor, here's a brave volunteer.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: So, John Booshe, I'm with George Mason University. This is for Paula England just a clarifying question. So, the women that have moved into men's jobs are those jobs reducing in value
in the market place, if you know what I mean?
PAULA ENGLAND: Yes. I follow you. There is some evidence that they do, that is that as the present female in a -- in an occupation goes up, its pay, relative to other occupations goes down. As I've
living on and I did a paper in social forces, sometime in the last five years that showed that using the IPOM so we looked at 1950 to 2000. Now, that doesn't mean that in absolute terms all of these,
you know, jobs went down but in relative terms, feminization does seem to drive changes in wage, yeah. And that affects men and women's wage that are in that occupation.
CECILIA L. RIDGEWAY: We can maybe take one question but we really just have about two minutes. Right here. Okay. Thank you.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: So, this is a question for Paula again. In terms of the employment trends and wage trend between men and women and the question of how to make sense of that and where this is going,
wouldn't the starting point be to identify the causal mechanisms and try to model the trend and ask, well are the coefficients in these models changing overtime? Is that -- is that kind of work being
done? I'm just curious.
PAULA ENGLAND: Well, what I think we have lots of good work on which I didn't well represent given time is take one point in time and people have really dealt into the causal of mechanisms of the sex
gap and pay quite sectionally, you know, how much is within versus between occupation, how much is explained by human capital, etcetera, what's the role of motherhood. Then doing all of that but also
moving across time, I think hasn't been done as much. Now, there maybe people out here that can email me studies doing that but I feel like we haven't done that so much. And it's very challenging.
And also, when you start talking about a cross time, you may want to not just look it coefficients is changing but, you know, just the net additive effect of sex changing but mediated by what. And --
but then if it does, well was that because of public policy changes, was that because of fertility going down, you know, it's like very, very complicated.
PAULA ENGLAND: There have been decompositions of how much is explained by the declining gap and experience and it has an affect. And it is part of how we got to decline -- so, that's the best I can
CECILIA L. RIDGEWAY: Well, I mean that's -- the -- it's complicated of course, as a summary statement on what we were talking about this session, but on the other hand I think we can also take care
that the way -- we've had some very innovative ideas here and insightful ideas about how to pull it all together and begin to unpack it. We don't have all the answers but then we have some good hints
about where to look or at least I found that to be the case. So, I want to thank our presenters and thank you for attending this.