“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!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences