On SAGE Insight: “Raced” Organizations and the Academic Success of Underrepresented Minority Faculty Members in Sociology

From Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

The purpose of this research is to determine whether participating in “raced” organizations benefits underrepresented minority (URM) faculty members in their quest for tenure and promotion to associate professor of sociology.  This article provides a longitudinal account of raced organizations and follow this with an analysis of how these organizations may improve the likelihood of climbing this ladder. Raced organizations, developed by and oriented to the needs and interests of URM scholars, began in segregated institutions because minority students and faculty members were prevented from attending white-dominated institutions. The authors find that there is a significant relationship between publishing and being promoted. URM faculty members must follow historically white male norms for an “ideal” career in the academic world, a history of black and Latina/o efforts to develop organizations that would give them the space and networks to climb the academic ladder. It examines further if there are differences by type of institutions.

The study examines members who obtained their PhDs between 1995 and 2006. It conducts univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses. A panel of experts was employed to go through the list of PhD recipients to place them in race/ethnicity and gender categories. The result is a total of 298 black and Latina/o sociologists who are currently academics and represent about half of the sociologists in the larger, original pool of URM scholars. Throughout the analysis, institutions of higher education are divided into two types, research-extensive institutions and non-research-extensive institutions. Black and Latina/o faculty members in sociology must follow the “publish or perish” model for academic success. This is indicative of a historically white male norms for an “ideal” career in the academic world. Only one type of raced organization or activity, belonging to a raced-oriented section of the American Sociological Association, is significantly related to upward mobility at either research-extensive or non-research-extensive institutions. The paper concludes with a series of policy suggestions, based on this research, for disciplinary associations that can increase the number of URM faculty members in academia, validate their work (especially around topics of race/ethnicity), and help them become involved in professional and scholarly networks.

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to determine whether participating in “raced” organizations benefits underrepresented minority (URM) faculty members in their quest for tenure and promotion to associate professor of sociology. Raced organizations such as historically black colleges and universities began as segregated institutions because black students and faculty members were prevented from attending or working at white-dominated institutions. Over time, raced organizations developed within the white-dominated institutions and were often created in opposition to white or “mainstream” sociology. Latina/o organizations (including Hispanic-serving institutions) started years after organizations for black scholars and have followed a similar pattern and purpose. Although historically white institutions no longer legally segregate URM organizations and activities, these organizations and activities often remain marginalized and devalued. The authors examine the relationship of participating in such organizations in contrast to publishing in peer-reviewed journals for climbing the academic ladder at research-extensive and other institutions. The authors find that there is a significant relationship between publishing and being promoted. URM faculty members must follow the “publish or perish” model, following historically white male norms for an “ideal” career in the academic world. The work of black and Latina/o sociologists still appears to be marginalized. Only one type of raced organization or activity, belonging to a URM-oriented section of the American Sociological Association, is significantly related to upward mobility at either research-extensive or non-research-extensive institutions. The authors conclude with a series of policy recommendations for increasing the academic status and well-being of URM faculty members.

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Article details
“Raced” Organizations and the Academic Success of Underrepresented Minority Faculty Members in Sociology
Roberta Spalter-Roth, Jean H. Shin, Jason A. Smith, Amber C. Kalb, Kyle K. Moore, Ismael Cid-Martinez, Jermaine Toney
DOI: 10.1177/2332649218807951
First Published November 1, 2018 Research Article
Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

 

 

     
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