What I Am Thinking About Now: Jayanti Owens, “What Drives Racial/Ethnic Disparities in School Discipline?”

, Room 103

Please join us for a “What I Am Thinking About Now” presentation by Jayanti Owens, Mary Tefft and John Hazen White, Sr. Assistant Professor of Sociology and International & Public Affairs at Brown University. Her talk is titled, “What Drives Racial/Ethnic Disparities in School Discipline?”

Are Black and Latinx students suspended and expelled from school at higher rates than White students because of their greater exposure to punitive schools (“racialized sorting”) or because they are perceived and/or treated more harshly for identical misbehavior in the same types of schools (“differential behavior perceptions” and “differential treatment/support,” respectively)? This article disentangles these three key mechanisms of racial disparities in school discipline by combining school administrative data with an online video vignette experiment with 1,000 teachers across the U.S. As front-line actors, teacher-respondents provide both textual and quantitative reports of a randomly-assigned student’s misbehavior and their decisions on whether to instigate school intervention. I find that racialized school sorting plays the largest role: if White students were to equally attend disadvantaged and minority schools, they would experience similarly high rates of school discipline as Black and Latinx students. Differential behavior perceptions and differential treatment/support also gain some empirical support.

RSVP: [email protected]. Snacks and caffeine will be provided.

“What I Am Thinking About Now” is an on-going informal workshop/seminar series to which faculty and graduate students are invited to present and discuss recently published work and work in progress. All are invited to attend and participate.