Department of Sociology

Amy Bailey - "Community Origins and Individual Characteristics of New Military Enlistees, 1990 - 2008"

Mon, November 12, 2012 | BUR 214

12:00 PM

Abstract: How much do the people who choose to join the military reflect the places that they come from?  Males, African Americans, those with mediocre high school academic performance, and young adults from rural communities and lower-middle class backgrounds are disproportionately likely to join the U.S. armed forces today.  We know less about the economic and social contexts that propel them into enlistment.  In this paper, I explore the individual characteristics and community origins of military enlistees between 1990 and 2008.  I first identify the socio-demographic and economic profiles of the kinds of communities that send high and low percentages of their young adults into the armed forces.  Next, I estimate a series of zero-inflated negative binomial regression models to identify the conditional effects of a variety of community-level characteristics on the number of enlistments.  Results suggest that like the individuals they send, communities with high levels of military participation face economic and social challenges but are not among the most distressed.

Bio: Amy Kate Bailey is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Utah State University.  Prior to joining the USU faculty, she held an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University’s Office of Population Research.  Prof. Bailey’s research focuses on race and inequality.  She has a contemporary strain investigating individual and community effects of the U.S. military, and an historical line of work that examines racial violence in the American South.  Her work has appeared in outlets including The American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, and Population Research and Policy Review.  Prof. Bailey earned her PhD in 2008 and MA in 2004 from the University of Washington.  She holds a BA in women’s studies and health from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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  • Department of Sociology

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