Department of Sociology



Expertise:

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Maria Krysan focuses her research on racial residential segregation and racial attitudes. Her investigations of these substantive issues often connect to methodological questions about how to study this sensitive area of social life. She combines standard closed-ended survey analysis with mode of administration experiments, analyses of open-ended survey questions, focus groups, and in-depth interviews. In addition to an edited volume with Amanda Lewis, The Changing Terrain of Race and Ethnicity, her most recent work has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Science Research, Social Problems, and The DuBois Review. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Russell Sage Foundation, and Ford Foundation.  Her most recent work focuses on understanding the causes of residential segregation, particularly as viewed through the question of how people end up living where they do.



Expertise:

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Rachel Gordon's research broadly aims to measure and model the contexts of children and families' lives, often using longitudinal data sets. She has examined numerous contextual and social factors that affect children and families, including the use of child care and preschool quality measures for high-stakes policy purposes, the health outcomes of child care and maternal employment, the implications of teenagers' looks for their social and academic achievement, the association between community context and child well-being, the relationships between youth gang participation and delinquency, the causes and consequences of grandmother co-residential support for young mothers, and the evaluation of an innovative job program for young couples.

Gordon has received extensive funding from numerous sources and is currently Principal Investigator (PI) on two large grants. The first, from the Institute of Education Sciences (R305A130118: Measuring Preschool Program Quality: Multiple Aspects of the Validity of Two Widely-Used Measures) examines two widely used measures of quality -- the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) -- including their structural validity (dimensions of each scale), response process validity (order, fit and separation of items along underlying dimensions), and predictive validity specific to cutoffs defined in policy system (Quality Rating and Information Systems; Head Start Recompetition). The collaborators are studying these aspects of validity across a dozen datasets, using meta-analyses to systematically accumulate results. The second, from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01HD081022; Predictors of Achievement from Early Childhood to Adulthood), contributes to the growing body of research on physical attractiveness as a source of social stratification with wide implications for health, akin to more frequently studied factors like race and gender. Based on the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, the project will create and analyze the largest-ever public repository of physical attractiveness ratings for a cohort from birth into young adulthood.


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