University of Connecticut

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Zachary Kline Doctoral Dissertation Proposal

Tuesday, June 8, 2021
12:00pm – 2:00pm


A Doctoral Dissertation Proposal: To be Completed in Partial Fulfillment of the Ph.D. in Sociology

Zachary D. Kline Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut

Tuesday, June 8th, 12:00 P.M.

Committee Members: Dr. Jeremy Pais (Chair) Dr. Mary Fischer Dr. Simon Cheng Dr. Andrew Deener Dr. Christin Munsch

Abstract The question of governments' role in providing social services is longstanding. The dominant school of thought is that government counter-acts the concentration of resources from market forces through social service provision. A contemporary school of thought is more multifaceted: Governments directly manage and provide social services, but governments also affect social services provision through market regulations and even the creation of new marketplaces. The emergence of “choice programs” is a quintessential example of this multifaceted approach. Choice programs are where individuals – rather than governments or employers – rely on social service “products” provided by markets. Choice programs have emerged as a defining feature of policy trends in retirement (Shuey and O’Rand 2004; DeWitt 2010), healthcare (Gutierrez 2018), education (Ravitch 2010), and housing (Pattillo 2013). This study assesses the extent to which the operation of various choice programs depends upon four social sorting mechanisms to equally and fairly distribute services: eligibility criterion, selective enrollment, circumstantial constraints, and instrumental action. These four mechanisms are hypothesized to create segments of services that operate differently across a hierarchically stratified population. The stratification process through which people are assigned to these categories is referred to as the segmentation of social welfare services (Hudson 2007; Rueda 2014; Kim 2016). Primary data come from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the American Housing Survey (AHS), with multiple other supplemental data. In summary, this research provides a comprehensive examination of: (a) how social sorting interfaces within service domains through the segmentation of various choice programs and, in turn, and (b) how the operation of these various choice programs affects social inequality more broadly through the unequal provision of services.


Dr. Jeremy Pais to request WebEx link

Sociology Department (primary), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UConn Master Calendar

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