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Reflections on The Long Shadow in the Wake of Freddie Gray | March 5, 2018

Reflections on The Long Shadow in the Wake of Freddie Gray

Karl Alexander (Sociology, Johns Hopkins University)

The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth and the Transition to Adulthood tells the story of the Baltimore-based Beginning School Study Youth Panel (BSSYP), a probability sample of typical urban children who came of age over the last decades of the 20th Century and into the first decade of the 21st. It is an account of their social mobility from origins to destinations, framed in life-course perspective. Two characteristic mobility paths are documented, both grounded in family resources: 1) status attainment through school serves mainly to preserve middle-class privilege across generations; 2) status attainment in the non-college workforce privileges lower SES whites over African Americans of like background, white men most immediately through access to high wage employment in the remnants of Baltimore's old industrial economy and then, derivatively, to the lower SES white women who marry and partner with them.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology.