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RSF Bulletin

New Issue of RSF Journal: Changing Job Quality: Causes, Consequences, and Challenges

Over the last forty years, U.S. workers have experienced stagnant or falling wages, growing wage inequality, and an increasing incidence of low and poverty-wage jobs. Young workers who lack advanced degrees and workers of color have been the hardest hit. In this issue of RSF, co-sponsored by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and edited by economist David R. Howell and sociologist Arne L. Kalleberg, an interdisciplinary group of contributors analyze the changing state of job quality, especially for low-wage workers and those in nonstandard work arrangements.

As a result of technological changes, changes in employer practices and outsourcing, unpredictable and uncertain work schedules are now widespread. Contributors Cathy Yang Liu and Luísa Nazareno demonstrate that workers in nonstandard employment arrangements earn less and work fewer hours than full-time workers. Susan Lambert, Julia Henly, and Jaesung Kim demonstrate that in addition to the financial insecurity associated with precarious work schedules, those who experience shortfalls in hours are increasingly distrustful of societal institutions. Other contributors examine job quality for women and people of color. David S. Pedulla and Katariina Mueller-Gastell study the rates at which various groups of workers apply for nonstandard jobs, and find that black and Hispanic workers are overrepresented in such positions. Michael Schultz examines mobility out of low-wage work and finds that women and nonwhites are the most entrenched in such jobs, but that there is greater mobility out of low-wage work where workers are unionized.

The authors consider a range of policies for creating better jobs, including increasing the federal minimum wage; strengthening collective and individual bargaining rights; and widening access to health insurance, paid sick and family leave, and childcare. In the absence of family-friendly policies at the federal level, sociologists Rachel Dwyer and the late Erik Olin Wright propose investments in the “social and solidarity” economy, including NGOs, nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, and worker cooperatives.

Enhancing the quality of jobs is of urgent concern to workers, employers, and society at large. This issue of RSF helps us better understand the reasons for and consequences of declining job quality and suggests policies that would better protect the most vulnerable workers.

Click here to access this issue of RSF.


RSF Welcomes Incoming Class of Visiting Scholars, Journalists and Researchers

The foundation is pleased to welcome the incoming class of 2019-2020 visiting scholars (listed below), along with Margaret Olivia Sage scholars Greg Duncan, Christopher Jencks, Jane Mansbridge, and Mary Waters, visiting researcher Andrew Cherlin, and visiting journalists Sylvia A. Harvey, Jude Joffe-Block, and Mosi Secret.

RSF visiting scholars, researchers, and journalists pursue their writing and research at the foundation’s headquarters in New York City. Visiting scholars conduct research in areas of programmatic interest to the foundation. Among the subjects of the visitors’ research are: immigration, race and diversity, unions, income inequality, incarceration, and neighborhood violence. The 19 visiting scholars for 2019-2020 are:

Sofya Aptekar, University of Massachusetts Boston
Marisa Chappell, Oregon State University
Frank Dobbin, Harvard University
Timothy Frye, Columbia University
Larisa Heiphetz,  Columbia University
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Columbia University
Amy Hsin, Queens College, CUNY
Onoso Imoagene, New York University, Abu Dhabi
Shinobu Kitayama, University of Michigan
Eric Knowles, New York University
Wojciech Kopczuk, Columbia University
Michèle Lamont, Harvard University
Monica McDermott, Arizona State University
Lisa Sun-Hee Park, University of California, Santa Barbara
Sunita Sah, Cornell University
Rebecca Sandefur, Arizona State University
Miriam Ticktin, New School for Social Research
Kristin Turney, University of California, Irvine
Abigail Weitzman, University of Texas at Austin


RSF Launches New Pipeline Grants Competition with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

RSF has launched a new Pipeline Grants Competition for early- and mid-career researchers in collaboration with the Economic Mobility and Opportunity program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program seeks to promote diversity in the social sciences defined broadly, including racial and ethnic diversity, gender diversity, disciplinary diversity, institutional diversity beyond R1 universities, and geographic diversity. Researchers who have not previously received a trustee or Presidential research grant or fellowship from RSF will be eligible to apply. The program includes pre-application trainings, mentorship for early career researchers, proposal development summer institutes, and conferences at which grantees present and receive feedback on their research findings.

Advisory committee members for the Pipeline Grants Competition include RSF trustees Cathy J. Cohen (University of Chicago, political science) and Michael Jones-Correa (University of Pennsylvania, political science), Mesmin Destin (Northwestern University, psychology), Rucker Johnson (University of California, Berkeley, economics), and Jennifer Lee (Columbia University, sociology). A formal call for proposals (RFP) will be released in Fall 2019. We anticipate a proposal deadline on December 3, 2019, for funding starting in Summer 2020.

View more info about the Pipeline Grants Competition here.


Funding Opportunities in RSF Programs and Special Initiatives

The next letter of inquiry deadline is November 26, 2019, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time for the  programs on Social, Political, and Economic Inequality, Future of Work, Behavioral Economics, and Decision Making and Human Behavior in Context.

View all funding deadlines and application guidelines.


How to Apply for Funding at RSF: Grant Writing Webinar Recording

RSF program staff will host a webinar on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time focused on how to write and submit letters of inquiry and proposals for funding. To sign up to attend the webinar, please visit this link. For more information on RSF’s grant making process, please visit our website to review our grant writing guidelines. You may also view a 5-minute video on how to use our grants management system.


New Books for Fall 2019

A look at new and forthcoming books for fall 2019 is available on our website. The list includes the following titles: Status: Why Is It Everywhere? Why Does It Matter? by Cecilia L. Ridgeway (Stanford University); The Company We Keep: Interracial Friendships and Romantic Relationships from Adolescence to Adulthood by Grace Kao (Yale University), Kara Joyner (Bowling Green State University), and Kelly Stamper Balistreri (Bowling Green State University); and Stagnant Dreamers: How the Inner-City Shapes the Integration of Second-Generation Latinos by María G. Rendón (University of California, Irvine).


RSF Journal Call for Articles

RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal for the Social Sciences is seeking article submissions for a new issue, Growing Up in Rural America: How Place Shapes Education, Health, Family and Economic Outcomes. Edited by Shelley Clark (McGill University), Sam Harper (McGill University), and Bruce Weber (Oregon State University), this volume will examine how being born and raised in rural America shapes the immediate and longer-term wellbeing of children and youths. The deadline for submissions is September 26, 2019.

Please click here for more information about the open call.


RSF Sponsors Summer Institutes

The foundation sponsored five Summer Institutes in 2019 which ranged from three days to two weeks, and gathered emerging scholars and journalists to learn from leading experts, network, and discuss issues of importance to them and their fields, with a focus on RSF’s major program areas. They included the Social Science Summer Institute for Journalists; the Summer Institute in Computational Social Science, co-sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the Summer Institute on Migration Research Methods, co-sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York; and two co-sponsored by the JPB Foundation, the Summer Institute in Social Science Genomics and the Summer Institute on Biological Approaches in the Social Sciences.

Read more about this year’s Summer Institutes here.


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