“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!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research