Below is a first look at new and forthcoming books from RSF for fall 2021. The list includes Judging Inequality, an exploration of the role of State Supreme Courts in alleviating or worsening inequality; Who Should Pay? an examination of rapidly changing public opinion on who should shoulder the cost of higher education – parents, students, or the government; and States of Belonging an investigation of how differing immigration policies in Arizona and New Mexico affect sense of belonging among residents, both immigrants and U.S.-born.
Two new issues of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences will also be released this fall, and include “Wealth Inequality and Child Development,” which looks at the impacts of wealth inequality on children and policies that promote wealth acquisition in child households, and a special double issue “State Monetary Sanctions and the Costs of the Criminal Legal System,” which examines social and economic consequences of the monetary sanctions imposed on individuals who encounter the criminal legal system.
Fall 2021 Books
By James L. Gibson (Washington University in St. Louis) and Michael J. Nelson (Pennsylvania State University)
Social scientists have convincingly documented soaring levels of political, legal, economic, and social inequality in the United States. Missing from this picture of rampant inequality, however, is any attention to the significant role of state law and courts in establishing policies that either ameliorate or exacerbate inequality. In Judging Inequality, political scientists James L. Gibson and Michael J. Nelson demonstrate the influential role of the fifty state supreme courts in shaping the widespread inequalities that define America today, focusing on court-made public policy on issues ranging from educational equity and adequacy to LGBT rights to access to justice to worker’s rights. Read more.
By Natasha Quadlin (University of California, Los Angeles) and Brian Powell (Indiana University)
Americans now obtain college degrees at a higher rate than at any time in recent decades in the hopes of improving their career prospects. At the same time, the rising costs of an undergraduate education have increased dramatically, forcing students and families to take out often unmanageable levels of student debt. The cumulative amount of student debt reached nearly $1.5 trillion in 2017, and calls for student loan forgiveness have gained momentum. Yet public policy to address college affordability has been mixed. While some policymakers support more public funding to broaden educational access, others oppose this expansion. Noting that public opinion often shapes public policy, sociologists Natasha Quadlin and Brian Powell examine public opinion on who should shoulder the increasing costs of higher education and why. Read more.
By Tomás R. Jiménez (Stanford University), Deborah J. Schildkraut (Tufts University), John F. Dovidio (Yale University), and Yuen J. Huo (University of California, Los Angeles)
Political turmoil surrounding immigration at the federal level and the inability of Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform have provided an opening for state and local governments to become more active in setting their own immigration-related policies. States largely dictate the resources, institutions, and opportunities immigrants can access: who can get a driver’s license or attend a state university, what languages are spoken in schools and public offices, how law enforcement interacts with the public, and even what schools teach students about history. In States of Belonging, an interdisciplinary team of immigration experts—Tomás R. Jiménez, Deborah J. Schildkraut, Yuen J. Huo, and John F. Dovidio—explore the interconnections among immigration policies, attitudes about immigrants and immigration, and sense of belonging in two neighboring states—Arizona and New Mexico—with divergent approaches to welcoming newcomers. Read more.