[UCP Books]: Intersectional Inequality: Race, Class, Test Scores, and Poverty

“This is a breakthrough book. Ragin’s substantial corpus of research has demonstrated how QCA and related methods can be used with small and moderate size data sets. In this new research with Fiss, he shows how these methods cannot only be applied to large data sets, but to a central problem of sociology—the prediction of poverty. In doing so, they demonstrate that their methods can provide new insights that are wholly missed by regression and related methods.”
—Christopher Winship, Harvard University

Intersectional Inequality

Race, Class, Test Scores, and Poverty

Publication date: January 30, 2017 978-0-226-414409-9
International publication date: January 30, 2017 $25.00/£17.50


For over twenty-five years, Charles C. Ragin has developed Qualitative Comparative Analysis and related set-analytic techniques as a means of bridging qualitative and quantitative methods of research. Now, with Peer C. Fiss, Ragin uses these impressive new tools to unravel the varied conditions affecting life chances.

Ragin and Fiss begin by taking up the controversy regarding the relative importance of test scores versus socioeconomic background on life chances, a debate that has raged since the 1994 publication of Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve. In contrast to prior work, Ragin and Fiss bring an intersectional approach to the evidence, analyzing the different ways that advantages and disadvantages combine in their impact on life chances. Moving beyond controversy and fixed policy positions, the authors propose sophisticated new methods of analysis to underscore the importance of attending to configurations of race, gender, family background, educational achievement, and related conditions when addressing social inequality in America today.

Charles C. Ragin is Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of many books, including Redesigning Social Inquiry, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Peer C. Fiss is associate professor of management and organization at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He is coeditor of Configurational Theory and Methods in Organizational Research.


Please contact Ashley Pierce at (773) 702-0279 or apierce@uchicago.edu for more information.


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