“African-American coaches have a more difficult time advancing in their field. So we set out to try to understand why,” says Jacob Day, a Ph. D. student in sociology at NC State and lead author of the new paper. “We found that the paths to opportunity for white and black coaches are very different,” explains Steve McDonald, assistant professor of sociology at NC State and co-author of the study.
The numbers illustrate the inequality among coaches at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level of college football – formerly known as Division I-A. Approximately 10 percent of the 120 FBS head coaches are black, compared with almost 30 percent of the assistant coaches and more than 50 percent of the players. But why is this the case, and what can be done to create new opportunities for black assistant coaches?
The researchers looked at surveys from 320 FBS assistant coaches, 218 white and 102 black, which provided data on each coach’s social networks – the people that each coach knew had helped him in his career. One finding was that black coaches who reported having a large number of strong social ties in their networks were less likely to find opportunities for career advancement. However, white coaches who reported having many strong social ties were more likely to get new job opportunities.
“Weak social ties are better for black coaches because they indicate a broader range of contacts and, therefore, a broader range of potential opportunities,” Day says. “Having weak ties can mean that a coach has contacts that run in many different social circles, so he may be more likely to learn about new job openings.” However, most head coaches and coordinators are white, so white assistant coaches with strong ties to other white coaches are more likely to find greater career opportunities, Day says.
This finding is also reflected in research results showing that black coaches with a lot of ties to other black coaches were promoted less often than white coaches with a lot of ties to other white coaches. “Black football coaches improve their chances for professional advancement when they cultivate a diverse range of contacts, rather than focusing on the development of a close-knit network,” McDonald says. Day adds that, “These results contradict the common perception that developing a strong network of black coaches will, by itself, lead to greater equality of opportunity in the college ranks.”
The research, “Not So Fast, My Friend: Social Capital And The Race Disparity In Promotions Among College Football Coaches,” was published online Feb. 5 by Sociological Spectrum.
Note to editors: The study abstract follows.
“Not So Fast, My Friend: Social Capital And The Race Disparity In Promotions Among College Football Coaches”
Authors: Jacob C. Day, Steve McDonald, North Carolina State University
Published: Online Feb. 5, 2010, Sociological Spectrum
Abstract: To better understand persistent racial inequality in occupational mobility, we examine the influence of race and social capital on the promotions of 320 assistant college football coaches. The results from quantitative analyses demonstrate that social capital matters a great deal for promotions, but its impact is contingent on the race of the respondent. Specifically, network connections to heterogeneous contacts (racially heterophilous ties, weak ties, and high-status ties) appear to be more effective for black coaches than for white coaches. The findings underscore the importance and complexity of the relationships between race, social capital, and occupational mobility.
Matt Shipman | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine