Higher education policy and reform. The community college. College students. Sociology of education. Political sociology. Economic sociology.
Prof. Dougherty's current research is focused on two main topics: (1) class and race inequalties in information about higher education and the role of those inequalities in the production and legitimation of class and race gaps in college access and success; (2) post-Lukesian theories of political power integrating insights from post-structuralist theory and the sociology of culture. In the past, Professor Dougherty has done extensive research and writing on neoliberalism and higher education policymaking; the origins and impacts of state performance funding programs; state policies affecting access to, and success in, community colleges by low-income students and students of color; policies affecting immigrant student access to higher education; the historical origins and educational impacts on students of community colleges; the role of higher education in economic and workforce development; and industrial policy and state programs for science and technology-based economic development.
U.S. Industrial Policies, Left and Right: Convergence, Divergence, and Political Implications (with Tara Habibi). New York, NY: Teachers College, April 2021. Available from: https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/doi/10.7916/d8-1449-9k03
Reforming the American Community College: Promising Prospects and their Challenges (with Hana Lahr and Vanessa S. Morest). New York, NY: Teachers College, Community College Research Center, November 2017. https://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/publications/reforming-american-community-college-promising-changes-challenges.html
Performance Funding for Higher Education (with Sosanya Jones, Hana Lahr, Rebecca S. Natow, Lara Pheatt, & Vikash Reddy), Johns Hopkins University Press, October 2016.
The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education: Origins, Discontinuations, and Transformations (with Rebecca S. Natow), Johns Hopkins University Press, May 2015.
“Looking Inside the Black Box of Performance Funding for Higher Education: Policy Instruments, Outcomes, Obstacles, and Unintended Impacts” (with Sosanya Jones, Hana Lahr, Rebecca S. Natow, Lara Pheatt, & Vikash Reddy). Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 2(1) (2016). https://www.rsfjournal.org/content/2/1/147
Performance Funding for Higher Education: What Are the Mechanisms? What Are the Impacts? (with Vikash Reddy). ASHE Higher Education Report: Vol. 39, Number 2 (June 2013), pp. 1-133.
“Undocumented Immigrants and State Higher Education Policy: The Contrasting Politics of In-State Tuition Eligibility in Texas and Arizona” (with H. Kenny Nienhusser and Blanca E. Vega). Review of Higher Education 34 (1) (Fall 2010), pp. 123-173.
“It’s Not Enough to Get Through the Open Door: Inequalities by Social Background in Transfer from Community Colleges to Four-Year Colleges” (with Greg Kienzl). Teachers College Record 108 (March 2006): 452-487.
“Community Colleges and Contract Training: Content, Origins, and Impacts” (with Marianne Bakia). Teachers College Record 102 (1) (Feb. 2000): 197-243.
"Opportunity to Learn Standards: A Sociological Critique." Sociology of Education 68 (May 1996): 40-65.
The Contradictory College: The Conflicting Origins, Impacts, and Futures of the Community College. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994. Winner of the Willard Waller Award for the Outstanding Book in the Sociology of Education in the years 1994-1996.
Willard Waller Award for the Outstanding Book in Sociology of Education, 1994-1996, Section on Sociology of Education, American Sociological Association, August 1997, for The Contradictory College (SUNY Press, 1994)
Critics' Choice Award, American Educational Studies Association, 1995, for The Contradictory College (SUNY Press, 1994)
Analysis and critique of who are the US supporters of infrastructure and industrial policy on both the left and the right and the political implications of their policy differences.
The role of information inequality in producing class and race differences in higher education choices, both going into, during, and aftger college.
Analysis of the content of the guided pathways approach to improving college success for community college entrants.