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Article

The Sociology of Grit: Exploring Grit as a Sociological Variable and its Potential Role in Social Stratification

Sociology Compass. 2017. Vol. 11. P. 1-13.
Kwon H. W.

This paper proposes the currently fashionable psychological notion of “grit” as a potentially useful variable in sociological analysis and explores its potential for contributing to addressing sociological concerns. Grit, comprising perseverance and passion toward long‐term goals, has received growing attention within academia and from the general public as a strong predictor of achievement. Grit captures an important, noncognitive, underdeveloped aspect of agency not included in life course or stratification studies. Grit can contribute to our understanding about how the subjective beliefs that are typically treated as agency are actually translated into volitional action that constructs one's life course, a crucial potential life course mechanism. This paper suggests incorporating grit into sociological understanding of individual‐level aspects of stratification, moving beyond its current conception anchored fully in psychology, to further understand what it is, where it comes from, and why it is sociologically useful.