American Sociological Association

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  1. Do Readers Judge Books by Author Gender? Results from a Randomized Experiment

    We run a randomized experiment to examine gender discrimination in book purchasing with 2,544 subjects on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. We manipulate author gender and book genre in a factorial design to study consumer preferences for male versus female versus androgynous authorship. Despite previous findings in the literature showing gender discrimination in book publishing and in evaluations of work, respondents expressed no gender preference across a variety of measures, including quality, interest, and the amount they were willing to pay to purchase the book.

  2. Why Are Women Penalized in Product Markets?

    Previous research using data from eBay found that women receive lower prices than men when selling the exact same products. The current project explores why this gender gap obtains and why some products have larger gender price gaps than others. To answer these questions, we exploit the variation in the gender price gap across products found in the earlier eBay data together with new survey data on the perceptions people have about seemingly male-typed and female-typed products and about people’s uncertainty about the prices of products.

  3. Medicalization, Direct-to-Consumer Advertising, and Mental Illness Stigma

    In late 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidelines that allowed pharmaceutical companies to air prescription drug ads on television. These guidelines have expanded the pharmaceutical industry’s role as one of the major “engines” of medicalization. One arena in which there has been a dramatic increase in direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of pharmaceuticals is the marketing of psychotherapeutic drugs, especially for depression.

  4. Do Green Behaviors Earn Social Status?

    Do green behaviors earn social status among liberals and conservatives? Although evidence shows that high-status consumers incorporate ecological concerns into their consumption choices, politically polarized views on environmentalism in the United States complicate the relationship between green behaviors and status. A vignette experiment shows that across political ideology, people grant status to green consumption. Results from semistructured interviews suggest that green consumers are seen as wealthy, knowledgeable, and ethical, although these status beliefs vary with political ideology.
  5. Racial and Ethnic Differences in Consumers’ Economic Expectations

    Consumers’ expectations about the future of their own finances and the macroeconomy are used to forecast consumption, but forecasts do not typically account for differences by race and ethnicity. In this report, the author asks (1) whether there is consistent racial and ethnic variation in consumers’ economic expectations, (2) if differences can be explained by economic experiences, and (3) how the scope of expectations matters.
  6. Asian Americans in Small-Town America

    Capturing belonging as a dynamic social process for Asian Americans in the historically White rural United States.
  7. Encultured Biases: The Role of Products in Pathways to Inequality

    Recent sociological work shows that culture is an important causal variable in labor market outcomes. Does the same hold for product markets? To answer this question, we study a product market in which selection decisions occur absent face-to-face interaction between intermediaries and short-term contract workers. We find evidence of “product-based” cultural matching operating as a pathway to inequality.
  8. Place-based Inequality in “Energetic” Pain: The Price of Residence in Rural America

    Despite the tendency for some to view rural life or living close to nature with nostalgia, the unpalatable truth is that rural America is beset with many problems, including lower incomes, higher poverty rates, limited access to well-paying jobs, higher morbidity and mortality rates, inadequate access to health care, and lower educational attainment. In this study, we question whether this palpable rural disadvantage extends to residential energy costs, a subject with serious implications for the well-being of households.
  9. The Role of Social Media in Collective Processes of Place Making: A Study of Two Neighborhood Blogs in Amsterdam

    The wide use of social media has facilitated new social practices that influence place meaning. This paper uses a double case study of two neighborhood blogs in gentrifying communities, to explore the role of social media in sharing place associations and community formation. Drawing on Collins’ theory of interaction ritual chains, this research project investigates how the intertwining of online and offline interaction around the blogs creates interaction chains whereby the place associations of participants in the blog become more aligned, creating an alternative place narrative.

  10. White Integration or Segregation? The Racial and Ethnic Transformation of Rural and Small Town America

    Rural America has seemingly been “left behind” in an era of massive immigration and growing diversity. The arrival of new immigrants has exposed many rural whites, perhaps for the first time, to racial and ethnic minority populations. Do rural whites increasingly live in racially diverse nonmetropolitan places? Or is white exposure to racially diverse populations expressed in uneven patterns of residential integration from place to place? We link microdata from the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics (1989‐to‐2009 waves) to place data identified in the 1990–2010 decennial censuses.