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AJS; American Journal of Sociology

John R Logan, Matthew Martinez
Studies of residential segregation typically focus on its degree without questioning its scale and configuration. We study Southern cities in 1880 to emphasize the salience of these spatial dimensions. Distance-based and sequence indices can reflect spatial patterns but with some limitations, while geocoded 100% population data make possible more informative measures. One improvement is flexibility in spatial scale, ranging from adjacent buildings to whole districts of the city. Another is the ability to map patterns in fine detail...
January 2018: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Christopher R Browning, Catherine A Calder, Brian Soller, Aubrey L Jackson, Jonathan Dirlam
Drawing on the social disorganization tradition and the social ecological perspective of Jane Jacobs, the authors hypothesize that neighborhoods composed of residents who intersect in space more frequently as a result of routine activities will exhibit higher levels of collective efficacy, intergenerational closure, and social network interaction and exchange. They develop this approach employing the concept of ecological networks-two-mode networks that indirectly link residents through spatial overlap in routine activities...
May 2017: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Jennifer Glass, Robin W Simon, Matthew A Andersson
The recent proliferation of studies examining cross-national variation in the association between parenthood and happiness reveal accumulating evidence of lower levels of happiness among parents than nonparents in most advanced industrialized societies. Conceptualizing parenting as a stressor buffered by institutional support, we hypothesize that parental status differences in happiness are smaller in countries providing more resources and support to families. Our analyses of the European Social Surveys (ESS) and International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) reveal considerable variation in the parenthood gap in happiness across countries, with the U...
November 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Brea L Perry
Evidence that social and biological processes are intertwined in producing health and human behavior is rapidly accumulating. Using a feminist approach, this research explores how gender moderates the interaction between biological processes and men's and women's behavioral and emotional responses to similar social environments. Using data from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism, the influence of gender, social integration, and genetic risk on nicotine and alcohol dependence is examined. Three-way interaction models reveal gender-specific moderation of interactions between genetic risk score and social integration...
May 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Douglas S Massey, Jorge Durand, Karen A Pren
In this article we undertake a systematic analysis of why border enforcement backfired as a strategy of immigration control in the United States. We argue theoretically that border enforcement emerged as a policy response to a moral panic about the perceived threat of Latino immigration to the United States propounded by self-interested bureaucrats, politicians, and pundits who sought to mobilize political and material resources for their own benefit. The end result was a self-perpetuating cycle of rising enforcement and increased apprehensions that resulted in the militarization of the border in a way that was disconnected from the actual size of the undocumented flow...
March 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Daniel Navon, Gil Eyal
This article builds on Hacking's framework of "dynamic nominalism" to show how knowledge about biological etiology can interact with the "kinds of people" delineated by diagnostic categories in ways that "loop" or modify both over time. The authors use historical materials to show how "geneticization" played a crucial role in binding together autism as a biosocial community and how evidence from genetics research later made an important contribution to the diagnostic expansion of autism. In the second part of the article, the authors draw on quantitative and qualitative analyses of autism rates over time in several rare conditions that are delineated strictly according to genomic mutations in order to demonstrate that these changes in diagnostic practice helped to both increase autism's prevalence and create its enormous genetic heterogeneity...
March 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Mattias Smångs
This article presents a theoretical framework of how intergroup violence may figure into the activation and maintenance of group categories, boundaries, and identities, as well as the mediating role played by organizations in such processes. The framework's analytical advantages are demonstrated in an application to southern lynchings. Findings from event- and community-level analyses suggest that "public" lynchings, carried out by larger mobs with ceremonial violence, but not "private" ones, perpetrated by smaller bands without public or ceremonial violence, fed off and into the racial group boundaries, categories, and identities promoted by the southern Democratic Party at the turn of the 20th century and on which the emerging Jim Crow system rested...
March 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Geoffrey T Wodtke
This study outlines a theory of social class based on workplace ownership and authority relations, and it investigates the link between social class and growth in personal income inequality since the 1980s. Inequality trends are governed by changes in between-class income differences, changes in the relative size of different classes, and changes in within-class income dispersion. Data from the General Social Survey are used to investigate each of these changes in turn and to evaluate their impact on growth in inequality at the population level...
March 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Sanne Smith, Frank Van Tubergen, Ineke Maas, Daniel A McFarland
Ethnically diverse settings provide opportunities for interethnic friendship but can also increase the preference for same-ethnic friendship. Therefore, same-ethnic friendship preferences, or ethnic homophily, can work at cross-purposes with policy recommendations to diversify ethnic representation in social settings. In order to effectively overcome ethnic segregation, we need to identify those factors within diverse settings that exacerbate the tendency toward ethnic homophily. Using unique data and multiple network analyses, the authors examine 529 adolescent friendship networks in English, German, Dutch, and Swedish schools and find that the ethnic composition of school classes relates differently to immigrant and native homophily...
January 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Geoffrey T Wodtke, David J Harding, Felix Elwert
Effects of disadvantaged neighborhoods on child educational outcomes likely depend on a family's economic resources and the timing of neighborhood exposures during the course of child development. This study investigates how timing of exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods during childhood versus adolescence affects high school graduation and whether these effects vary across families with different income levels. It follows 6,137 children in the PSID from childhood through adolescence and overcomes methodological problems associated with the joint endogeneity of neighborhood context and family income by adapting novel counterfactual methods--a structural nested mean model estimated via two-stage regression with residuals--for time-varying treatments and time-varying effect moderators...
January 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Adam Gamoran, Sarah Barfels, Ana Cristina Collares
School racial composition has modest effects on test score gaps, but evidence of a longer-term impact is scarce. Perpetuation theory suggests that blacks who attend schools with higher proportions of white classmates may have better job outcomes. Multilevel analyses of two national longitudinal surveys reveal no effects of high school racial composition on occupational status, employment, or annual earnings for blacks or whites. For other minority groups, attending schools with more whites impedes occupational advancement...
January 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Mads Meier Jaeger, Richard Breen
The authors draw on Pierre Bourdieu's theory of cultural reproduction to develop a formal model of the pathways through which cultural capital acts to enhance children's educational and socioeconomic success. The authors' approach brings conceptual and empirical clarity to an important area of study. Their model describes how parents transmit cultural capital to their children and how children convert cultural capital into educational success. It also provides a behavioral framework for interpreting parental investments in cultural capital...
January 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Michael L Walker
This article provides a ground-level investigation into the lives of penal inmates, linking the literature on race making and penal management to provide an understanding of racial formation processes in a modern penal institution. Drawing on 135 days of ethnographic data collected as an inmate in a Southern California county jail system, the author argues that inmates are subjected to two mutually constitutive racial projects--one institutional and the other microinteractional. Operating in symbiosis within a narrative of risk management, these racial projects increase (rather than decrease) incidents of intraracial violence and the potential for interracial violence...
January 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Alex V Barnard
How do people maintain deeply held moral identities in a seemingly immoral social environment? Cultural sociologists and social psychologists have focused on how individuals cope with contexts that make acting on moral motivations difficult by building supportive networks and embedding themselves in communities of like-minded people. In this article, however, the author argues that actors can achieve a moral "sense of one's place" through a habitus that leverages the material dimensions of place itself. In particular, he shows how one community of radical environmental activists make affirming moral identities centered on living "naturally" seem like "second nature," even in a seemingly unnatural and immoral urban environment, by reconfiguring their physical world...
January 2016: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Guang Guo, Yi Li, Hongyu Wang, Tianji Cai, Greg J Duncan
The authors draw data from the College Roommate Study (ROOM) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to investigate gene-environment interaction effects on youth binge drinking. In ROOM, the environmental influence was measured by the precollege drinking behavior of randomly assigned roommates. Random assignment safeguards against friend selection and removes the threat of gene-environment correlation that makes gene-environment interaction effects difficult to interpret. On average, being randomly assigned a drinking peer as opposed to a nondrinking peer increased college binge drinking by 0...
November 2015: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Elizabeth H Boyle, Minzee Kim, Wesley Longhofer
Controversy sets abortion apart from other issues studied by world society theorists, who consider the tendency for policies institutionalized at the global level to diffuse across very different countries. The authors conduct an event history analysis of the spread (however limited) of abortion liberalization policies from 1960 to 2009. After identifying three dominant frames (a women's rights frame, a medical frame, and a religious, natural family frame), the authors find that indicators of a scientific, medical frame show consistent association with liberalization of policies specifying acceptable grounds for abortion...
November 2015: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Maria Abascal, Delia Baldassarri
According to recent research, ethnoracial diversity negatively affects trust and social capital. This article challenges the current conception and measurement of "diversity" and invites scholars to rethink "so-cial capital" in complex societies. It reproduces the analysis of Putnam and shows that the association between diversity and self-reported trust is a compositional artifact attributable to residential sorting: non-whites report lower trust and are overrepresented in heterogeneous communities. The association between diversity and trust is better explained by differences between communities and their residents in terms of race/ethnicity, residential stability, and economic conditions; these classic indicators of inequality, not diversity, strongly and consistently predict self-reported trust...
November 2015: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Bernice A Pescosolido, Jack K Martin, Sigrun Olafsdottir, J Scott Long, Karen Kafadar, Tait R Medina
The WHO's International Studies of Schizophrenia conclude that schizophrenia may have a more benign course in "developing" societies than in the West. The authors focus on this finding's most common corollary: cultural schemata are shaped by the transition from agrarian to industrial society. Developing societies are viewed as traditional, gemeinschaft cultures lacking the stigmatizing beliefs about persons with mental illness held in modern, gesellschaft cultures of developed societies. The Stigma in Global Context-Mental Health Study formalized the cultural myth of public stigma (CMPS) with propositions linking level of development to intolerant, exclusionary, and individualistic attitudes...
November 2015: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Joachim J Savelsberg, Hollie Nyseth Brehm
This article examines how international judicial interventions in mass atrocity influence representations of violence. It relies on content analysis of 3,387 articles and opinion pieces in leading newspapers from eight Western countries, compiled into the Darfur Media Dataset, as well as in-depth interviews to assess how media frame violence in the Darfur region of Sudan. Overall, it finds that UN Security Council and International Criminal Court interventions increase representations of mass violence as crime in all countries under investigation, although each country applies the crime frame at a different level...
September 2015: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
Markus Gangl, Andrea Ziefle
The authors investigate the relationship between family policy and women's attachment to the labor market, focusing specifically on policy feedback on women's subjective work commitment. They utilize a quasi-experimental design to identify normative policy effects from changes in mothers' work commitment in conjunction with two policy changes that significantly extended the length of statutory parental leave entitlements in Germany. Using unique survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and difference-in-differences, triple-differenced, and instrumental variables estimators for panel data, they obtain consistent empirical evidence that increasing generosity of leave entitlements led to a decline in mothers' work commitment in both East and West Germany...
September 2015: AJS; American Journal of Sociology
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