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Why Religion Matters for Educational Stratification

November 8, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

It’s well-known that Americans’ academic outcomes vary by race, class, and gender. But what about their religious upbringing? In this talk, Dr. Ilana Horwitz will discuss findings from her recent book, God, Grades, and Graduation: Religion’s Surprising Impact on Academic Success (January 2022, Oxford UniversityPress). Drawing on 10 years of survey data with over 3,000 teenagers and over 200 interviews, Dr. Horwitz identifies a new type of childrearing logic that cuts across social class groups: religious restraint. Dr. Horwitz will explain why teens raised with religious restraint earn higher grades, why they are more likely to graduate from college, and why boys from working class and lower middle-class families benefit the most from religious restraint. Dr. Horwitz will also show how religious restraint recalibrates the academic ambitions of teens from the professional class, especially girls, leading them to question the value of selective colleges.


Dr. Ilana Horwitz is a sociologist of education and religion who examines how people’s religious upbringing, social class, gender, ethnicity, and race influence their life course, especially their educational outcomes. Currently, Dr. Horwitz is an Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Sociology and Chair of Contemporary Jewish Life at Tulane University. Previously, Dr. Horwitz was the Education Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Center on Longevity, and she earned her PhD in Sociology of Education from Stanford University. Dr. Horwitz’s research has appeared in academic and public outlets, including the American Sociological Review, Social Science Research, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Inside Higher Ed. Her current book projects include The Entrepreneurial Scholar: A Guide for Academics (under contract with Princeton University Press), and The Price of Good Intentions: Why Universities Can’t Deliver on their Diversity Promise. You can learn more about her at www.ilanahorwitz.com.


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November 8, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm




Center for the Study of Religion
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