American Sociological Review - ASR - Am Sociol Rev

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American Sociological Review - ASR - Am Sociol Rev

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Structural Sexism and Health in the United States: A New Perspective on Health Inequality and the Gender System
American Sociological Review, .
Women in the One Percent: Gender Dynamics in Top Income Positions
American Sociological Review, .
The Relation between Inequality and Intergenerational Class Mobility in 39 Countries
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
We study the relationship between inter-class inequality and intergenerational class mobility across 39 countries. Previous research on the relationship between economic inequality and class mobility remains inconclusive, as studies have confounded intra- with between-class economic inequalities. We propose that between-class inequality across multiple dimensions accounts for the inverse relationship between inequality and mobility: the larger the resource distance between classes, the less likely it is that mobility from one to the other will occur. We consider inequality in terms of between-class differences in three areas—education, wages, and income—and in a composite measure. Building on sociological mobility theory, we argue that cross-country variation in mobility results, in part, from families adapting to different levels of between-class inequality. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find a negative correlation between inter-class inequality and social fluidity, with between-class inequality being a better predictor of mobility chances than conventional distributional measures. We also find that the resource distance between classes is negatively related to the strength of their intergenerational association for some off-diagonal origin and destination (OD) class combinations.
The Moral Limits of Predictive Practices: The Case of Credit-Based Insurance Scores
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Corporations gather massive amounts of personal data to predict how individuals will behave so that they can profitably price goods and allocate resources. This article investigates the moral foundations of such increasingly prevalent market practices. I leverage the case of credit scores in car insurance pricing—an early and controversial use of algorithmic prediction in the U.S. consumer economy—to unpack the premise that predictive data are fair to use and to understand the conditions under which people are likely to challenge that moral logic. Policymaker resistance to credit-based insurance scores reveals that contention arises when predictions depend on mathematical distinctions that do not align with broader understandings of good and bad behavior, and when theories about why predictions work point to the market holding people accountable for actions that are not really their fault. Via a de-commensuration process, policymakers realign the market with their own notions of moral deservingness. This article thus demonstrates the importance of causal understanding and moral categorization for people accepting markets as fair. As data and analytics permeate markets of all sorts, as well as other domains of social life, these findings have implications for how social scientists understand the novel forms of stratification that result.
Linked Lives, Linked Trajectories: Intergenerational Association of Intragenerational Income Mobility
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Most intergenerational mobility studies rely on either snapshot or time-averaged measures of earnings, but have yet to examine resemblance of earnings trajectories over the life course of successive generations. We propose a linked trajectory mobility approach that decomposes the progression of economic status over two generations into associations in four life-cycle dimensions: initial position, growth rate, growth deceleration, and volatility. Using father-son dyad data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we show that men resemble their fathers not only in the overall level of earnings but also in the pattern by which their earnings develop over time. The intergenerational persistence of earnings varies substantially across life stages of both generations; it is strongest for fathers’ early-career and sons’ mid-career, with an intergenerational elasticity (IGE) as high as .6. This result can be explained by the concurrence of the parent’s early career and the offspring’s early childhood. Our findings suggest the intergenerational economic association between parents and offspring is not age-constant but is contingent on the respective life stages of both generations and, most importantly, the period during which they overlap.
Race and Networks in the Job Search Process
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Racial disparities persist throughout the employment process, with African Americans experiencing significant barriers compared to whites. This article advances the understanding of racial labor market stratification by bringing new theoretical insights and original data to bear on the ways social networks shape racial disparities in employment opportunities. We develop and articulate two pathways through which networks may perpetuate racial inequality in the labor market: network access and network returns. In the first case, African American job seekers may receive fewer job leads through their social networks than white job seekers, limiting their access to employment opportunities. In the second case, black and white job seekers may utilize their social networks at similar rates, but their networks may differ in effectiveness. Our data, with detailed information about both job applications and job offers, provide the unique ability to adjudicate between these processes. We find evidence that black and white job seekers utilize their networks at similar rates, but network-based methods are less likely to lead to job offers for African Americans. We then theoretically develop and empirically test two mechanisms that may explain these differential returns: network placement and network mobilization. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for scholarship on racial stratification and social networks in the job search process.
Status Characteristics, Implicit Bias, and the Production of Racial Inequality
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Racial stratification is well documented in many spheres of social life. Much stratification research assumes that implicit or explicit bias on the part of institutional gatekeepers produces disparate racial outcomes. Research on status-based expectations provides a good starting point for theoretically understanding racial inequalities. In this context it is understood that race results in differential expectations for performance, producing disparate outcomes. But even here, the mechanism (i.e., status-based expectations) is often assumed due to the lack of tools to measure status-based expectations. In this article, we put forth a new way to measure implicit racial status beliefs and theorize how they are related to consensual beliefs about what “most people” think. This enables us to assess the mechanisms in the relationship between race and disparate outcomes. We conducted two studies to assess our arguments. Study 1 demonstrates the measurement properties of the implicit status measure. Study 2 shows how implicit status beliefs and perceptions of what “most people” think combine to shape social influence. We conclude with the implications of this work for social psychological research, and for racial stratification more generally.
The Geometry of Culture: Analyzing the Meanings of Class through Word Embeddings
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
We argue word embedding models are a useful tool for the study of culture using a historical analysis of shared understandings of social class as an empirical case. Word embeddings represent semantic relations between words as relationships between vectors in a high-dimensional space, specifying a relational model of meaning consistent with contemporary theories of culture. Dimensions induced by word differences (rich – poor) in these spaces correspond to dimensions of cultural meaning, and the projection of words onto these dimensions reflects widely shared associations, which we validate with surveys. Analyzing text from millions of books published over 100 years, we show that the markers of class continuously shifted amidst the economic transformations of the twentieth century, yet the basic cultural dimensions of class remained remarkably stable. The notable exception is education, which became tightly linked to affluence independent of its association with cultivated taste.
The Sociology of Gaslighting
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Gaslighting—a type of psychological abuse aimed at making victims seem or feel “crazy,” creating a “surreal” interpersonal environment—has captured public attention. Despite the popularity of the term, sociologists have ignored gaslighting, leaving it to be theorized by psychologists. However, this article argues that gaslighting is primarily a sociological rather than a psychological phenomenon. Gaslighting should be understood as rooted in social inequalities, including gender, and executed in power-laden intimate relationships. The theory developed here argues that gaslighting is consequential when perpetrators mobilize gender-based stereotypes and structural and institutional inequalities against victims to manipulate their realities. Using domestic violence as a strategic case study to identify the mechanisms via which gaslighting operates, I reveal how abusers mobilize gendered stereotypes; structural vulnerabilities related to race, nationality, and sexuality; and institutional inequalities against victims to erode their realities. These tactics are gendered in that they rely on the association of femininity with irrationality. Gaslighting offers an opportunity for sociologists to theorize under-recognized, gendered forms of power and their mobilization in interpersonal relationships.
Mapping Cultural Schemas: From Theory to Method
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
A growing body of research in sociology uses the concept of cultural schemas to explain how culture influences beliefs and actions. However, this work often relies on belief or attitude measures gleaned from survey data as indicators of schemas, failing to measure the cognitive associations that constitute schemas. In this article, we propose a concept-association-based approach for collecting data about individuals’ schematic associations, and a corresponding method for modeling concept network representations of shared cultural schemas. We use this method to examine differences between liberal and conservative schemas of poverty in the United States, uncovering patterns of associations expected based on previous research. Examining the structure of schematic associations provides novel insights to long-standing empirical questions regarding partisan attitudes toward poverty. Our method yields a clearer picture of what poverty means for liberals and conservatives, revealing how different concepts related to poverty indeed mean fundamentally different things for these two groups. Finally, we show that differences in schema structure are predictive of individuals’ policy preferences.
Family Complexity into Adulthood: The Central Role of Mothers in Shaping Intergenerational Ties
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
As a result of the divorce revolution, more children grow up in complex families. Yet, we know little about how family complexity affects relationships when children are adults and parents are ageing. In this article, we use unique survey data to test fundamental ideas about intergenerational ties: the role of biology, partnerships (marriage and cohabitation), residence, and selection. The survey used a register-based oversample of Dutch adults who grew up in nonstandard families, collected data among adult children and their parent figures, and used a double multi-actor design in which adult children reported on their parents and parents reported on their children. Using random- and fixed-effects models, we confirm most hypotheses but the results are highly gendered. For fathers, we find evidence for a partnership premium and no disadvantage of being a stepparent once the length of residence is adjusted. For mothers, the partnership premium is weaker but the effect of biology is strong: stepmother-stepchild ties are much weaker, even after taking residence patterns into account. Biological mothers are the primary kinkeepers, and for fathers of any type, their relationship to children depends on their partnership to the biological mother. Within-family comparisons suggest that selection into divorce and remarriage do not explain these disadvantages.
Hearing Gender: Voice-Based Gender Classification Processes and Transgender Health Inequality
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
This study examines the link between self-rated health and two aspects of gender: an individual’s gender identity, and whether strangers classify that person’s voice as male or female. In a phone-based general health survey, interviewers classified the sex of transgender women (n = 722) and transgender men (n = 446) based on assumptions they made after hearing respondents’ voices. The flawed design of the original survey produced inconsistent sex classification among transgender men and transgender women respondents; this study repurposes these discrepancies to look more closely at the implications of voice-based gender classification for the health of transgender men and women. Average marginal effects from logistic regression models show transgender men who are classified as women based on their voices are more likely to report poor self-rated health compared to transgender men who are classified as men. Conversely, transgender women who are classified as men are less likely to report poor self-rated health than are transgender women who are classified as women. Additionally, Black transgender men are more likely than any other group to be classified inconsistently with their gender identity, suggesting a link between race/ethnicity and gender perception.
Complaint-Oriented Policing: Regulating Homelessness in Public Space
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Over the past 30 years, cities across the United States have adopted quality-of-life ordinances aimed at policing social marginality. Scholars have documented zero-tolerance policing and emerging tactics of therapeutic policing in these efforts, but little attention has been paid to 911 calls and forms of third-party policing in governing public space and the poor. Drawing on an analysis of 3.9 million 911 and 311 call records and participant observation alongside police officers, social workers, and homeless men and women residing on the streets of San Francisco, this article elaborates a model of “complaint-oriented policing” to explain additional causes and consequences of policing visible poverty. Situating the police within a broader bureaucratic field of poverty governance, I demonstrate how policing aimed at the poor can be initiated by callers, organizations, and government agencies, and how police officers manage these complaints in collaboration and conflict with health, welfare, and sanitation agencies. Expanding the conception of the criminalization of poverty, which is often centered on incarceration or arrest, the study reveals previously unforeseen consequences of move-along orders, citations, and threats that dispossess the poor of property, create barriers to services and jobs, and increase vulnerability to violence and crime.
Certainty, Uncertainty, or Indifference? Examining Variation in the Identity Narratives of Nonreligious Americans
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Much research in social science concludes that uncertainty surrounding individual beliefs and identities is negative and anxiety-inducing, and that people are continuously searching for certainty. In the context of rising rates of religious disaffiliation in the United States, and the rise of social and political organizations created to promote nonreligious beliefs and values, the nonreligious offer a strategic case to explore the meaning and lived experience of certainty and uncertainty surrounding belief and identity formation. Drawing on an analysis of identity narratives from 50 nonreligious Americans, I find that uncertainty is just as often experienced as positive and motivating as it is isolating or anxiety-inducing, and although certainty-filled beliefs and identities are available for the nonreligious, they are just as often rejected for more uncertain ones. I reveal how some nonreligious individuals fluctuate between different orientations toward certainty and uncertainty regarding their nonreligion, whereas others exhibit more trait-like orientations to certainty and uncertainty. These findings have important implications for understanding how orientations to certainty and uncertainty shape identity and belief development in the modern world.
Immigration and Welfare Support in Germany: Methodological Reevaluations and Substantive Conclusions
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Does Immigration Reduce the Support for Welfare Spending? A Cautionary Tale on Spatial Panel Data Analysis
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
There has been a long-lasting debate over whether increasing ethnic diversity undermines support for social welfare, and whether this conflict thesis applies not only to the United States, but also to European welfare states. In their 2016 ASR article, Schmidt-Catran and Spies analyzed a panel (1994 to 2010) of regional units in Germany and concluded that this thesis also holds for Germany. We argue that their analysis suffers from misspecification: their model specification assumes parallel time trends in welfare support in all German regions. However, time trends strongly differed between Western and Eastern Germany after reunification. In the 1990s, Eastern Germans’ attitudes adapted to a less interventionist Western welfare system (“Goodbye Lenin effect”). When allowing for heterogeneous time trends, we find no evidence that increasing proportions of foreigners undermine welfare support, or that this association is moderated by economic hardship (high unemployment rates). We conclude with some general suggestions regarding the conceptualization of context effects in spatial analyses.
Data Collection as Disruption: Insights from a Longitudinal Study of Young Adulthood
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Research disrupts the social world, often by making respondents aware that they are being observed or by instigating reflection upon particular aspects of life via the very act of asking questions. Building on insights from the first Hawthorne studies, reflexive ethnographers, and methodologists concerned with panel conditioning, we draw on six years of research within a community in southern Malawi to introduce a conceptual framework for theorizing disruption in observational research. We present a series of poignant-yet-typical tales from the field and two additional tools—the refresher-sample-as-comparison and study-focused ethnography—for measuring disruption empirically in a longitudinal study. We find evidence of study effects in many domains of life that relate directly to our scope of inquiry (i.e., union formation, fertility) and in some that extend beyond it (i.e., health). Moreover, some study effects were already known and discussed in the broader community, which was also affected by our research in unintended ways. We conclude that the assumption of non-interactivity in observational research is shaky at best, urging data-gatherers and users to think more seriously about the role of disruption in their work.
Rhetorics of Radicalism
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
What rhetorics run throughout radical discourse, and why do some gain prominence over others? The scholarship on radicalism largely portrays radical discourse as opposition to powerful ideas and enemies, but radicals often evince great interest in personal and local concerns. To shed light on how radicals use and adopt rhetoric, we analyze an original corpus of more than 23,000 pages produced by Afghan radical groups between 1979 and 2001 using a novel computational abductive approach. We first identify how radicalism not only attacks dominant ideas, actors, and institutions using a rhetoric of subversion, but also how it can use a rhetoric of reversion to urge intimate transformations in morals and behavior. Next, we find evidence that radicals’ networks of support affect the rhetorical mixture they espouse, due to social ties drawing radicals into encounters with backers’ social domains. Our study advances a relational understanding of radical discourse, while also showing how a combination of computational and abductive methods can help theorize and analyze discourses of contention.
The Cognitive Dimension of Household Labor
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Household labor is commonly defined as a set of physical tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping. Sociologists sometimes reference non-physical activities related to “household management,” but these are typically mentioned in passing, imprecisely defined, or treated as equivalent to physical tasks. Using 70 in-depth interviews with members of 35 couples, this study argues that such tasks are better understood as examples of a unique dimension of housework: cognitive labor. The data demonstrate that cognitive labor entails anticipating needs, identifying options for filling them, making decisions, and monitoring progress. Because such work is taxing but often invisible to both cognitive laborers and their partners, it is a frequent source of conflict for couples. Cognitive labor is also a gendered phenomenon: women in this study do more cognitive labor overall and more of the anticipation and monitoring work in particular. However, male and female participation in decision-making, arguably the cognitive labor component most closely linked to power and influence, is roughly equal. These findings identify and define an overlooked—yet potentially consequential—source of gender inequality at the household level and suggest a new direction for research on the division of household labor.
Segregation and Violence Reconsidered: Do Whites Benefit from Residential Segregation?
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Despite marked declines in black-white segregation over the past half century, there has been limited scholarly attention to the effects of increasing integration. This is a significant omission given that sociologists have long viewed residential segregation as a fundamental determinant of racial inequality, and extant research has produced inconsistent findings on the consequences of segregation for different racial groups. Using the case of violence, this study leverages a unique combination of race-specific information on homicide, socioeconomic, and demographic characteristics for 103 major metropolitan areas across five decades (1970 to 2010) to examine the criminogenic consequences of segregation for whites and blacks. Three notable findings emerge from our inquiry: (1) racial segregation substantially increases the risk of homicide victimization for blacks while (2) simultaneously decreasing the risk of white homicide victimization. The result of these heterogeneous effects is that (3) segregation plays a central role in driving black-white differences in homicide mortality. These findings suggest the declines in racial segregation since 1970 have substantially attenuated the black-white homicide gap.
Between Tolerant Containment and Concerted Constraint: Managing Madness for the City and the Privileged Family
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
How do public safety net and elite private mental health providers cope with a key dilemma since psychiatric deinstitutionalization—managing madness when people have the right to refuse care? I observed two approaches to voluntary community-based services, one that tolerates “non-compliance” and deviant choices, and another that attempts to therapeutically discipline clientele. The puzzle, given theories of the paternalistic governance of poverty, is that select poor patients are given autonomy while the privileged are micro-managed. Drawing on comparative fieldwork in Los Angeles, I show how contrasting ecological pressures and resource bases shape divergent practices. In the context of urban poverty governance, mental health care and low-barrier housing offer a way to remove problem people from public space. This “tolerant containment” is linked to limited therapeutic capacity and the construction of clients as beyond transformation. In the context of family systems governance, elite private mental health care is a project to reform wayward relatives and equip them with respectable futures. A “concerted constraint” of deviance, akin to Lareau’s theory of privileged childrearing, is reserved for those who can afford rehabilitation and conceivably recover. Using these cases, I contribute to theories of social control and inequality in advanced liberal societies.
Does Intra-household Contagion Cause an Increase in Prescription Opioid Use?
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Opioid use claims many thousands of lives each year. This article considers the diffusion of prescription opioid (PO) use within family households as one potential culprit of the proliferation of these medications. In an analysis of hundreds of millions of medical claims and almost 14 million opioid prescriptions in one state between 2010 and 2015, we show that the use of POs spreads within family households. We also show that the treatment effect of exposure to a family member’s PO use is driven by an increase in PO consumption for medical conditions that members of treated and untreated families experience at nearly identical rates. This pattern of results suggests household exposure causes an uptick in patient demand for prescription opioids. We use an instrumental variable estimation strategy to address the well-known challenges to estimating a causal effect of intra-household contagion, such as genotypic similarities among family members, assortative matching in partner selection, and clustering of health conditions within households. The results spotlight the salience of the most ubiquitous social structure, the family household, in accelerating opioid consumption to unprecedented levels. The findings also suggest that rather than direct social influence between physicians, the spread of prescription behavior in physician networks may be driven by shifts in patient demand that propagate through the patient sharing network.
The Global Increase in the Socioeconomic Achievement Gap, 1964 to 2015
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Public Ideas: Their Varieties and Careers
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Crossing Categorical Boundaries: A Study of Diversification by Social Movement Organizations
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
What Drives Ethnic Homophily? A Relational Approach on How Ethnic Identification Moderates Preferences for Same-Ethnic Friends
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Equalization or Selection? Reassessing the “Meritocratic Power” of a College Degree in Intergenerational Income Mobility
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Brilliant or Bad: The Gendered Social Construction of Exceptionalism in Early Adolescence
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
School-to-Work Linkages, Educational Mismatches, and Labor Market Outcomes
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Measuring Automatic Cognition: Advancing Dual-Process Research in Sociology
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Low-Income Black Mothers Parenting Adolescents in the Mass Incarceration Era: The Long Reach of Criminalization
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Scaling Down Inequality: Rating Scales, Gender Bias, and the Architecture of Evaluation
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Performative State-Formation in the Early American Republic
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Corrigendum
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Aggressive Policing and the Educational Performance of Minority Youth
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Consequences of Routine Work-Schedule Instability for Worker Health and Well-Being
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
The Organization of Neglect: Limited Liability Companies and Housing Disinvestment
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
A Theory of Racialized Organizations
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Feeling Race: Theorizing the Racial Economy of Emotions
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Getting to Know You: Welfare Fraud Investigation and the Appropriation of Social Ties
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
Encultured Biases: The Role of Products in Pathways to Inequality
American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
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