Lee-Campbell group at the American Sociological Association meetings, San Francisco, August 2014

I am happy to report that several members of the Lee-Campbell research group will be presenting at the American Sociological Association meetings in San Francisco over the next few days. Three students are presenting papers in regular sessions, and we have a thematic session devoted to the Eurasia Project with distinguished panelists on Monday morning. See below for information about specific sessions. Names of Lee-Campbell group members are in bold.

Sun, August 17, 10:30am to 12:10pm, Location TBA
241 – Section on Evolution, Biology and Society Paper Session. Integrating Evolutionary and Biological Thinking into Sociological Inquiry Link

Effects of Kin and Birth Order on Male Child Mortality: An East Asian Comparison

Hao Dong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Satomi Kurosu, Reitaku University
Wen Shan Yang, Academia Sinica
James Lee, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Human child survival, like many mammals, depends on parental supervision and support. In spite of the recent advances in research on the effects of parents and grandparents on infant and child mortality, studies that directly examine sibling mortality difference according to the presence or absence of specific kin by birth order are still rare. This paper attempts to supplement this literature by using individual level panel data from three East Asian historical populations from northeast China, northeast Japan, and northern Taiwan comprising 2.1 million observations of 0.3 million individuals to examine and compare male infant and child mortality by presence/absence of parents and other kin and their interaction effects with birth order. We apply discrete-time event-history methods on 141,370 observations of 64,733 boys 1 – 9 years-old. We find that in all three populations while presence of parents is important to child survival on average, both presence of parents and presence of grandmothers favors the survival of earlier-born over later-born. These findings underline the importance of birth order in understanding differential parental and grandmother effects on sibling mortality differences.

Mon, August 18, 10:30am to 12:10pm
Hilton Union Square, Plaza B, Lobby Level

371 – Thematic Session. Hard Times and Families in the Past: Lessons from the Eurasia Project Link

This session assesses the implications of the Eurasia Project in Family and Population (EAP) for our understanding of family organization and demographic behavior in past times, and for the conduct of historical and comparative research. For twenty years, EAP participants have engaged in a large-scale, comparative, quantitative investigation of family, community, household responses to hard times in the past via analysis of patterns of demographic responses to economic and other stress in longitudinal, individual-level historical data. Results have provided insight into family responses to hard times in Europe and Asia as revealed by differences in patterns of individual responses according to community, household, and family context. It has produced two volumes on mortality and fertility published by MIT Press. A third volume, on marriage, is forthcoming from MIT Press in 2014. After a brief introduction to the project, four distinguished panelists will assess its implications for historical and comparative sociology, demography, and family sociology.


Jason Beckfield, Harvard University
Cameron Campbell, HKUST
Jack Goldstone, George Mason University
Satomi Kurosu, Reitaku University
James Lee, HKUST
Daniel Little, University of Michigan, Dearborn
Andreas Wimmer, Princeton University

Mon, August 18, 2:30 to 4:10pm, Location TBA
442 – Section on Methodology Paper Session. Open Topic II Link

Prospective versus Retrospective Approaches to the Study of Intergenerational Social Mobility

Xi Song, UCLA
Robert Mare, UCLA

Most intergenerational social mobility studies are based upon retrospective data, in which samples of individuals report socioeconomic information about their parents, an approach that provides representative data for offspring but not the parental generation. When available, prospective data on intergenerational mobility, which are based on a sample of respondents who report on their progeny, have conceptual and practical advantages. Prospective data are especially useful for studying social mobility across more than two generations and for developing joint models of social mobility and demographic processes. Because prospective data remain relatively scarce, we propose a method that corrects retrospective mobility data for the unrepresentativeness of the parental generation, and thus permits them to be used for models of social mobility and demographic processes. We illustrate this method using both simulated data and data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. In our examples, this method removes more than 95% of the bias in the retrospective data.

Tuesday, August 19, 2:30 to 4:10pm
589 – Regular Session. The Experience of Social Mobility
Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Lobby Level, Golden Gate 1, Lobby Level Link

Intragenerational Social Mobility and Happiness in China: Does Upward Mobility Make People Happier?

Xiaolu Zang, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
Nan Dirk de Graaf, Nuffield College, University of Oxford

To date, few studies have examined the consequences of intragenerational social mobility. The present analysis investigates the effect of intragenerational social mobility on happiness, using data from the China General Social Survey 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008 waves. We find no support for the traditional hypothesis that social mobility produces higher levels of dissatisfaction, net of prior and current status and controls. Neither upward mobility nor downward mobility has significant effects on happiness. Mobile individuals tend to resemble their current social status more than their prior social status, and no difference of prior and current status’ relative importance has been found according to different mobility patterns or gender.