Below is a first look at new and forthcoming books from RSF for Fall 2017. The list includes Who Will Care for Us?, an investigation of the challenges facing the long-term care industry and its low-wage workers; Bridging the Gaps, a study of how community colleges can help nontraditional students achieve better academic and job outcomes; Where Bad Jobs Are Better, a comparative study of retail work across different industries and countries; and Cycle of Segregation, an examination of the ways that everyday social processes shape residential segregation.
Two new issues of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences will also be released this fall, and include “The Underground Gun Market,” which brings together new research on firearms markets and the supply chains that deliver guns to dangerous offenders, and “New Immigrant Labor Market Niches,” which looks at how immigrant workers navigate the opportunities and constraints presented by various niches in the labor market.
by Paul Osterman
The number of elderly and disabled adults who require assistance with day-to-day activities is expected to double over the next twenty-five years. As a result, direct care workers such as home care aides and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) will become essential to many more families. Yet these workers tend to be low-paid, poorly trained, and receive little respect. Is such a workforce capable of addressing the needs of our aging population? In Who Will Care for Us? economist Paul Osterman assesses the challenges facing the long-term care industry. He presents an innovative policy agenda that reconceives direct care workers’ work roles and would improve both the quality of their jobs and the quality of elder care. Read more
by James E. Rosenbaum, Caitlin E. Ahearn, and Janet E. Rosenbaum
College-for-all has become the new American dream. Most high school students today express a desire to attend college, and 90 percent of on-time high school graduates enroll in higher education in the eight years following high school. Yet, degree completion rates remain low for nontraditional students—students who are older, low-income, or have poor academic achievement—even at community colleges that endeavor to serve them. What can colleges do to reduce dropouts? In Bridging the Gaps, education scholars James Rosenbaum, Caitlin Ahearn, and Janet Rosenbaum argue that when institutions focus only on bachelor’s degrees and traditional college procedures, they ignore other pathways to educational and career success. Using multiple longitudinal studies, the authors evaluate the shortcomings and successes of community colleges and investigate how these institutions can promote alternatives to BAs and traditional college procedures to increase graduation rates and improve job payoffs. Read more
by Françoise Carré and Chris Tilly
Retail is now the largest employer in the United States. For the most part, retail jobs are “bad jobs” characterized by low wages, unpredictable work schedules, and few opportunities for advancement. However, labor experts Françoise Carré and Chris Tilly show that these conditions are not inevitable. In Where Bad Jobs Are Better, they investigate retail work across different industries and seven countries to demonstrate that better retail jobs are not just possible but already exist. By carefully analyzing the factors that lead to more desirable retail jobs, Where Bad Jobs Are Better charts a path to improving job quality for all low-wage jobs. Read more
by Maria Krysan and Kyle Crowder
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 outlawed housing discrimination by race and provided an important tool for dismantling legal segregation. But almost fifty years later, residential segregation remains virtually unchanged in many metropolitan areas, particularly where large groups of racial and ethnic minorities live. Why does segregation persist at such high rates and what makes it so difficult to combat? In Cycle of Segregation, sociologists Maria Krysan and Kyle Crowder examine how everyday social processes shape residential stratification. Past neighborhood experiences, social networks, and daily activities all affect the mobility patterns of different racial groups in ways that have cemented segregation as a self-perpetuating cycle in the twenty-first century. Read more