Ben Rosche has been awarded a two-year $240,000 National Science Foundation grant. He is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Sociology department, advised by Michael Macy, Filiz Garip, Eleonora Patacchini, and Felix Elwert. His research examines network and family dynamics as drivers of social inequality and how complex dependencies among observations, such as spatial, multilevel, and network embeddedness, can be modeled within the regression framework.
The National Science Foundation for Social and Economic Sciences (SES) that has awarded the grant is dedicated to supporting disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and methodological research and big data and survey infrastructure.
Ben’s project examines the consequences of adolescent friendships that bridge socioeconomic boundaries for the long-term socioeconomic attainment of disadvantaged youth. Special attention will be given to contextual dependencies of such cross-SES friendship effects because of the high level of racial and socioeconomic segregation of U.S. schools and communities. Moreover, by focusing on long-term effects beyond spillover in school, the project takes Coleman’s (1966) analyses one step further, to examine the extent to which cross-SES friendship acts as a counteracting force against the self-reinforcing mechanisms of segregation and stratification.
More generally, the project builds towards a relational model of status attainment. While existing social-psychological attainment models, such as the Wisconsin status attainment model (Sewell et al. 1969), include network processes, they are unable to fully address concerns about causality due to the intractability of the network endogeneity problem. Newly available data and advances in causal inference for networked data now make it possible to attack the endogeneity problem head-on, and in doing so, bridge the disciplinary divide between social network analysis and stratification research.
Ben will be working with Michael Macy, Professor of Sociology, and Eleonora Patacchini, Professor of Economics at Cornell University, and David Grusky, Professor of Sociology at Stanford University.