The relation between age and poverty has been a concern of some scholars since the early days of gerontology (Gordon, 1960; Tibbitts, 1960). The theory should account for how a particular discriminatory behavior (or behaviors) will influence future behaviors and outcomes and should trace how cumulative discrimination is transmitted across generations, across domains, or over time within a domain. The CAD perspective has a strong intellectual resonance with several other traditions of sociological theorizing that interpret differential individual outcomes as resulting, in substantial part, from the operation of social processes. Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Recommendation 11.1. We use the “cumulative advantage” (CA) locution in the current paper, while noting that careful attention is needed to both sides of the advantage/disadvantage coin, and to a broader … Using self-reported information on past experiences of discrimination, Krieger (1990), Krieger and Sidney (1996), and others (for a review, see Krieger, 1999; Williams and Neighbors, 2001) have found that exposure to discrimination is positively related to higher levels of chronic high blood pressure and hypertension in blacks. One particularly interesting aspect of the dynamic processes that may generate cumulative discriminatory effects is the possibility of feedback effects (Blau et al., 1998). The theory of cumulative disadvantage highlights the influence of earlier life experiences in the quality of life in old age. The next section reviews the development of CAD and its relation to several major traditions in the social and behavioral sciences. MyNAP members SAVE 10% off online. Other researchers use statistical methods to relate past experiences of racial disparity and discrimination to current health outcomes. At the same time, this study does have its limitations. Next, one could impute the impact of discrimination in education on wages. Without such access, concentrated poverty becomes more acute, leading to a “concentration effect” in which the most disadvantaged members of society (in this case the poorest minorities) are concentrated disproportionately in the most isolated neighborhoods. Second, one needs to have the longitudinal data necessary to measure effects over time. In a set of analyses that has prompted considerable subsequent research, Rosenbaum proposed that these processes generate predictable patterns of sequencing and temporal movement, both in schools (1978) and in work organizations (1984), that he characterized as “tournament mobility.” The fundamental idea of tournament mobility is that falling behind (e.g., by not receiving timely promotion at work, or by being shifted to a lower track at school) leads to serious disadvantage or disqualification for some while other age peers continue to advance—in effect, a CAD process among members of the entering cohort. A theory that people who begin life with greater resources continue to have opportunities to accumulate more of them, while those who begin with few resources fall further behind. However, as an analytical frame, social allocation is based on the existence of relatively stable, institutionalized social entities that contain a fairly inelastic number of positions or roles to which individuals are allocated. The book conducts a thorough evaluation of current methodologies for a wide range of circumstances in which racial discrimination may occur, and makes recommendations on how to better assess the presence and effects of discrimination. The discussion in previous chapters focused on single instances of racial discrimination at a specific point in time within a particular domain. Define cumulative disadvantage and use at least two (2) examples to illustrate your argument on economic and health status in old age. Krieger and Sidney (1996), for example, use a self-report method to assess experiences of discrimination in multiple situations (e.g., at school, at work, obtaining medical care, obtaining housing) and to examine the association of discrimination with hypertension. In Thornberry, T. P. The effect is well known and is embodied in "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer". 1983). However, its theoretical origins, connections, and implications are not widely understood. The middle classes and the overall populations of societies with less social inequality have better health than those societies, such as the United States, in which income inequality is great (Kawachi et al., 1999; Wilkinson, 1999; cf. This week you read about the theory of cumulative disadvantage, which highlights the influence of earlier life experiences on the quality of life in old age as well as the (changing) experience of retirement. It is at least a logical possibility that the general empirical phenomena of age-related increases in diversity, inequality, and divergence in individual trajectories can be explained primarily by individual differences in, for example, personality characteristics, talent, or motivation. Elder (1974, 1975, 1985, 1991, 1998) has done extensive research on the societal influences that shape people’s lives from childhood through adolescence and finally adulthood. Even single instances of discrimination at a key decision point can have long-term cumulative effects. For example, if parents cannot afford to live in better school districts or provide extracurricular learning opportunities, their children are likely to do worse in school. Age and cumulative advantage/disadvantage theory have obvious logical, theoretical, and empirical connections, because both are inherently and irreducibly related to the passage of time. Differences in past work experience may be the result of limited access to employment or job networks but may also be the result of employer discrimination. Douglas Crawford-Brown, Sean Crawford-Brown. Abstract. Criminal Justice: A Life-Course Theory of Cumulative Disadvantage Life-course theory posits that social and historical contexts influence and shape experiences throughout a person’s lifetime. Some of the most persuasive research has occurred in recent years, as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has funded a series of randomized experiments seeking to identify the effects of residential location on family and child outcomes. Cumulative Disadvantage Theory and Contingent Work: Race and Gender Comparisons . Others argue that differentials persist across generations, affecting human capital accumulation (Alba et al., 2001; Borjas, 1994). Responding to essentially the same issue, Farkas (2003, pp. At points in this chapter, we reference suggestions from various colleagues to whom we wrote, seeking their advice about research on cumulative discrimination. For example, very small amounts of bias at each level of a multilayer organization can result over time in major bias at the top level with regard to the composition of top management (Martell et al., 1996). For instance, chronic, everyday exposure to small amounts of discrimination may occur in school, at work, or in public settings. As noted above, this discussion should be viewed as a suggested research agenda that might be pursued by those interested in trying to determine the importance of cumulative effects relating to discrimination. Nonetheless, such studies can provide an indication of the explanatory mechanisms that may link past discrimination to current health problems. Considering the implications of these theoretical perspectives for CAD suggests several lines of inquiry that have thus far received little attention from CAD researchers; therefore, I conclude by considering some research implications and by identifying some potential linkages between CAD and those working in intellectually resonant areas. Robert Merton's (1968a, 1988) articulation of the Matthew effect in science is one of the key concepts that led to theoretical developments related to cumulative advantage and disadvantage. The role of normative, legal, political, and other dimensions of institutional life—dimensions that are quite independent of the characteristics of individual workers—is thus seen to have an impact on factors such as earnings, job stability, and access to health care. Moreover, expected discrimination may lead to more labor force exits and longer periods spent outside the labor force. Wolff's (2003) recent analysis of the adverse wealth (pension accumulation) effects for many workers of the shift from defined benefits to defined contributions is an example of research documenting the relevance of these trends. Using this framework, speculate on how one's childhood and young adulthood might influence one's economic and health status in old age. This process typically begins in elementary school and continues through secondary school (Alexander et al., 1999; Kornhaber, 1997; National Research Council, 1999). What actual evidence existed concerning the relationship of variability and age? The emphasis in much of this literature tended to focus on poverty as a condition triggered by retirement, widowhood, or other adverse economic developments in later life. The concept of cumulative advantage/disadvantage (CAD) resonates with popular folk sayings such as “success breeds success” (e.g., Huber, 1998) and “the rich get richer; the poor get poorer” (Entwisle, Alexander, & Olson, 2001), but it goes beyond them: it explicates how the tendencies often occur independent of merit (Merton, 1968, 1988) and, in some cases, with mathematical precision (Egghe & Rousseau, 1995). The theory of cumulative disadvantage highlights the influence of earlier life experiences in the quality of life in old age. In Thornberry, T. P. For example, economic deprivation can limit access to affordable and nutritious food, which can lead in turn to later health problems (e.g., high blood pressure). To such questions, the CAD perspective has offered a needed response. The accentuation argument assumes that individuals possess significant and enduring differences in temperament and talent, differences that become magnified over time. This familiar situation constitutes, ceteris parabus, a prescription for increasing inequality in occupational status among the members of each entering cohort, because comparable movement “up the ladder” is not equally possible for all employees, as tenure with the organization progresses. In many cases, differences in racial outcomes are at least partially explainable by differences in the behavior of individuals. Clearly, CAD provides a key theoretical framework for organizing such a link. Not a MyNAP member yet? Very little research has attempted to model or estimate cumulative effects. Taken at face value, this research suggests that understanding racial differentials in the labor market requires an understanding of the processes that produce pre-labor market skill differences. Second, there is a need for better longitudinal data on different outcomes and events in a variety of domains, perhaps even across generations. Early criminal conviction and incarceration may disrupt schooling and often lead to poorer employment prospects and job instability later in life (Bondeson, 1989; Freeman, 1991; Hagan, 1993; Kasarda and Ting, 1996). Studies that relate past racial disparities to current health outcomes may not account for unmeasured factors, such as diet and exercise, that may be correlated with race and the observed outcome but that may not be due to discrimination. fect of outcome variable 1 on a (future) outcome variable 2 (say, employment outcomes) in domain 2. This is often a significant challenge; addressing it requires either direct information on discriminatory behavior or an exogenous source of variation in the conditions that would affect discriminatory behavior. Others have argued that blacks who anticipate lower future returns to skills—possibly as a result of discrimination—may invest less in acquiring those skills (Arrow, 1973; Coate and Loury, 1993; Lundberg and Startz. Such questions received almost no serious attention. Dupre ME(1). The first of these was the idea of the heterogeneity or diversity of older persons; second was the theme of poverty and inequality among the aged. Organizational mechanisms of people-processing have a clear conceptual affinity with CAD theory (Dannefer, 1987). The theory that indicates that people who begin life with greater resources continue to have the opportunities to accumulate them in later years is: A. convergence theory B. cumulative advantage/disadvantage theory C. contingent theory D.income disparity theory the cumulative effects of discriminatory events or to determine the extent to which past discrimination causes present disadvantage, the large and continuing racial disparities in the United States are at least consistent with the possibility that cumulative discrimination is important. Calculating experience–wage profiles among different populations in the labor market may reveal something about cumulative disadvantage (if not cumulative discrimination). CAD thus brings into focus questions concerning the extent to which observed age differences and age-related variability result from systemic processes. This is clearly a useful and important question, but it is not the question one might ask when focusing on the effects of cumulative and overtime exposure to discrimination during the life course. The Principle of Cumulative Advantage states that once a social agent gains a small advantage over other agents, that advantage will compound over time into an increasingly larger advantage. Nevertheless, few disputed its contribution in providing a cogent framework for approaching the relations of stratification, education, and the labor force. Cite this Concepts of cumulative advantage and disadvantage Essay Consider the contradiction between the ladder and the pyramid—the individual's sense of career ladder and the organizationally defined “need” for upward mobility, versus the organization's standard pyramidal structure. However, the CAD perspective shows that dynamics of social reproduction, in both microprocesses and in allocation mechanisms, operate with age and life-course processes as irreducible elements in their own dynamics. The relative weight accorded to capacity, location, and resources, and the interactions between them, are not specified in this description, and indeed the analysis of processes underlying such interaction is one significant problem area for the study of cumulative advantage. Although a number of papers look at the immediate impact of policy changes (such as the adoption of Title VII of the. Search the information of the editorial board members by name. Cumulative disadvantage apparently springs from Cumulative Inequality Theory which originally focused on scientific research and advantages to certain researchers. This empirical test of the cumulative disadvantage hypothesis suggests that minorities tend to be most disadvantaged at stages in the process where confinement decisions are made (detention, commitment). (Merton associated his observations of CAD with Jesus' statement, recorded in the gospel according to St. Matthew: ‘To him that hath, more shall be given, but to him that hath not shall be taken away, even that he hath’; see chap. Krieger (1999) notes a variety of problems with the use of self-reports on past discrimination in the health literature. Similarly, research in the traditions of feminist analysis, reproduction theory, interactionism, and ethnography has shown that such everyday processes as labeling and altercasting have the effect of constructing the life chances and future possibilities of individuals caught in such dynamics. They are more mathematically defined, with feedback effects modeled in precise ways. The continuing popularity of accentuation as an explanatory principle is well illustrated by recent controversy around the claim that longevity is a function of intelligence, with intelligence assumed to be a fixed and largely innate characteristic with substantial interindividual differences (Deary, 2000; Gottfredson, 2002; Holden, 2003). Investigating racial gaps in outcomes over time requires good data. b. Hence, disparities in behavior may be due in part to historical discrimination and current racial stratification. Third, current legal standards do not adequately address issues of cumulative discrimination. In what has been presented herein, I have argued for the relevance to CAD of empirical and conceptual developments in a number of subareas of social science work—the sociology of education, organizations and labor markets, labeling theory—in which scant attention is paid to the role of the dynamics of age or of individual trajectories. In particular, some suggest that racial and ethnic differentials narrow and even disappear after one or two generations (Gordon, 1964; Park, 1950). Some theories of discrimination and disadvantage describe ways in which individual behaviors, societal influences, institutional practices, and exposure to risk may cumulate over time to affect future life choices and opportunities. Krieger (1994) proposes an ecosocial theory of cumulative disadvantage for health status due to discrimination over the life course. Yet even if measurement is difficult, it is clear that some adverse outcomes for nonwhites, even when based on freely made personal choices, may partially reflect current and past discrimination that should concern society and motivate the need for research and measurement. In his analysis, CAD is presented as an empirically identifiable set of processes grounded in generic psychosocial and interactional dynamics. Williams and Neighbors (2001) discuss some laboratory and epidemiological studies using self-report measures, and Krieger (1999) reviews a range of approaches examining the association between institutional discrimination (e.g., residential segregation) and health outcomes within a population. This directs attention to microlevel and intermediate or mesolevel social processes and to the potentials of qualitative as well as quantitative data sources at both levels. It differed from functionalism in that, instead of denying stratification as a central social problem, it regarded differential socialization and the reproduction of inequalities through schooling as a well-developed process that fit the overall mobility and opportunity regimes of a highly stratified society, and therefore that was strongly entrenched and difficult to change. Discrimination in hiring can affect residential options, which can also affect schooling and employment options. For instance, frequent and prolonged negative interaction between police and residents in disadvantaged communities can contribute to the overrepresentation of nonwhite youth in the juvenile justice system (Fagan, 2002; National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2001). One challenge of using this perspective is in separating out the effects of the social and historical contexts when examining how current behaviors affect future outcomes in a person’s life. For example, graying boomers will mean not only a burgeoning senior population but also a population of older women who have had a distinct labor market experience. Weich and Angulo (2002) note that prison overcrowding and lack of health care led to an outbreak of tuberculosis in the early 1990s. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theoretical perspectives on racial bias and cumulative disadvantage … The result is the persistence of racial differentials, even in the absence of explicit discrimination. Both models mathematically estimate the … She suggests better measures, including experimental studies, in-depth interviews, and large-scale surveys, for capturing exposure to discrimination as well as cumulative exposure over the life course. With these considerations in mind, I have three main objectives in this paper. Exposure to chronic discrimination can negatively affect outcomes across multiple domains throughout an individual’s life course. 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