First-generation inequality and college integration

Oded Mcdossi, Ashley L. Wright, Anne McDaniel, Vincent J. Roscigno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Institutional integration has long been an important focus in literatures on inequality, education and mobility. Building on this work and drawing from multi-wave survey and records data from a large public university, the analyses we offer in this article provide unique and systematic comparative tests of first- versus continuing-generation inequalities in integration, disaggregated by academic versus social types, and with attention to other potentially influential status attributes. Our findings reveal: (1) clear overall inequalities in campus integration for first-generation students that cut across gender and race/ethnic lines; (2) a higher likelihood of employment among first-generation students—employment that tends to detract from integration opportunities; and (3) especially pronounced inequalities when it comes to forms of academic and social integration that entail bureaucratic- and resource-related barriers. We discuss the implications for understanding inequality and the first-generation experience in higher education and for more general sociological conceptions of institutional integration and mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102698
JournalSocial Science Research
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • First-generation students
  • Higher education
  • Inequality
  • Mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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