ASU ranks 18th worldwide for business, economics

August 15, 2012

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University celebrates another new accolade this week. One of the most prominent sets of global university rankings puts ASU at No. 18 worldwide for Economics/Business. This is the fourth year in a row the W. P. Carey School has been Top 25 on the prestigious list from the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

“This particular ranking is extremely significant on a worldwide scale and confirms our international reputation,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, W. P. Carey School of Business dean. “The list is widely recognized globally, and we continue to climb up, thanks largely to our stellar faculty and its global impact on business education.” Dean Robert Mittelstaedt Download Full Image

The W. P. Carey School went up three places on the list this year. It’s the 10th edition of the rankings, also known as the “Academic Rankings of World Universities.” In 2005, an article in The Economist called the list “the most widely used annual ranking of the world’s research universities.” A piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education called it “the most influential international ranking.”

More than 1,000 universities are ranked in the study each year, but only 500 are actually published. The rankings look at six factors, including the number of highly cited researchers, the number of staff and alumni with Nobel Prizes and Field Medals, and other objective indicators and third-party data.

The W. P. Carey School is especially well-regarded in China because it has a top executive MBA program in Shanghai. Senior-level executives and government officials who have graduated from the program include three vice governors of China’s major provinces, six vice mayors of Shanghai, the chief executive officer of the Shanghai Stock Exchange (the fifth-largest stock exchange in the world), several bank chairmen, the chairman of Shanghai Airlines, the chief executive officer of Baosteel and the deputy commissioner of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Britain’s Financial Times ranks the Shanghai program among the Top 20 executive MBA programs in the world.

Other recent high rankings for the W. P. Carey School of Business include Top 30 rankings from U.S. News & World Report for the undergraduate business, full-time MBA and evening MBA programs. The publication also places the school’s online MBA program on its “Honor Roll” of just 14 online graduate business programs. The Wall Street Journal ranks the school’s executive MBA program in Arizona No. 13 in the world.

Study: Racial socialization reduces effects of racial discrimination on crime

August 16, 2012

A new study, published in this month’s American Sociological Review, showed how experiencing racial discrimination increases the risk of crime among young African-American males. More importantly, results found that those risks are reduced by adaptive parenting practices in African American families known as racial socialization.

“A number of previous studies have shown that racial discrimination may increase the risk of offending among African-Americans, especially males,” said Callie Burt, an assistant professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. “And so in this study we were interested in understanding ‘how does this happen?’” Prof. Callie Burt, ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Download Full Image

Burt and a team of researchers followed 700 African-American families who were originally located in Iowa or Georgia over an eight-year period. The caregivers and their children were interviewed every two years starting when they were in the fifth grade.

“What we were interested in looking at is how different situations – how kinds of interactions – differ between African-Americans and whites?” Burt said. “And in particular we focused on one thing that African-Americans experienced that Whites do not – and that’s interpersonal racial discrimination.”

Burt viewed discrimination as a type of strain that was cumulative in its effect that produces distress and shapes individuals’ views of the world, including the nature of relationships and the fairness of the system. The resulting distress and view of relationships, in turn, influence people’s likelihood of violating the law as individuals try to cope and protect themselves against perceived threats.

“Those that experienced high levels of discrimination were at a much higher risk of criminal offending,” said Burt. “And we found that much of this effect occurred through the three social psychological mediators that were depression, hostile views of relationships, and disengaging it from conventional norms. Nearly 70 percent of the effect of racial discrimination was through these three factors. So this really sheds light on what it is about discriminatory experiences that leads individuals to even much later have a higher risk of crime and engage in criminal behavior.”

Recent studies have highlighted the importance of parenting practices that promote ethnic pride and cultural heritage in the African-American community. Burt wanted to find out if such racial socialization practices helped promote coping mechanisms for effectively dealing with racism.

“We were interested in seeing whether individuals who would experience these parenting practices were less likely to respond to racial discrimination with criminal behavior,” Burt said.

The study found that African-American kids whose families warned and prepared them for racial discrimination were less likely to engage in crime.

“The two forms of racial ethnic socialization that we examined, which were cultural socialization – promoting racial pride and knowledge of ethnic and racial heritage and preparation for bias – which as it sounds – warns about discrimination – they attenuated the link between discrimination and the likelihood of crime,” said Burt. “Kids who had high levels of preparation for bias were not at an increased risk for crime in response to moderate or even high moderate levels of racial discrimination.”

Burt says promoting racial pride and cultural heritage and preparing African-American kids for the potential of being discriminated against are useful tools that are being used in the black community to reduce the influence of racial discrimination on crime. But the criminologist says the goal should be to prevent racial discrimination in the first place.

“Reducing discrimination can be a potent crime reduction strategy,” said Burt. “Racial discrimination matters and harms African-Americans in a number of ways including by increasing their risks of crime.”

Burt suggests future research in this area explore these processes among females and other racial-ethnic groups and focus upon how other racial socialization messages, such as those in the media, from peers, and in school, impact the risk factors that lead to crime.

Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions