American Sociological Association

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  1. Trouble in Tech Paradise

    The structures of the tech industry, with its dependence on highly skilled immigrant workers, and the H-1B visa, with its dependence on sponsoring companies, bind tech workers in a cycle of legal violence.

  2. Are Robots Stealing Our Jobs?

    The media and popular business press often invoke narratives that reflect widespread anxiety that robots may be rendering humans obsolete in the workplace. However, upon closer examination, many argue that automation, including robotics and artificial intelligence, is spreading unevenly throughout the labor market, such that middle-skill occupations that do not require a college degree are more likely to be affected adversely because they are easier to automate than high-skill occupations.

  3. Urban Redevelopment, Cultural Philanthropy and the Commodification of Artistic Authenticity in Toronto

    This article offers a multiscalar, sociohistoric account of the spatial struggles of Toronto artists from 1970 until the present to secure affordable living and work space downtown that foregrounds the contemporary role of the cultural philanthropist‐developer. It argues that the cultural capital of artists to identify and embody authenticity facilitated temporary spatial claims that supported the development of a local art scene on Queen Street West, but one that became dependent upon, yet vulnerable to, the sociospatial unevenness of cultural philanthropy.

  4. On the Enactment of Roundabout Art: A Praxeological Analysis

    The growth in the use of roundabouts to regulate traffic in many European countries has been accompanied for some years now by the planned use of their central islands. With the enactment of roundabout art, a new art form has established itself in the public space. Cities and regions that make use of such deployments generally do so for urban branding and community identity building purposes.

  5. Elusive Events

    The purpose of What Is an Event? by Robin Wagner-Pacifici is to “build a model for the analysis of events in general” (p. 3). To this end, it develops an “analytical apparatus, termed political semiosis,” the “basic features” of which are “performatives, demonstratives, and representations” (Chapter 1). At the forefront of this endeavor is the attempt to understand how “events take shape” (pp. 10, 83, 91, 109, 140) given the “grounds from which they erupt” (p. 48) and the “ruptures” that set them off (p. 105).
  6. Who Counts as a Notable Sociologist on Wikipedia? Gender, Race, and the “Professor Test”

    This paper documents and estimates the extent of underrepresentation of women and people of color on the pages of Wikipedia devoted to contemporary American sociologists. In contrast to the demographic diversity of the discipline, sociologists represented on Wikipedia are largely white men. The gender and racial/ethnic gaps in likelihood of representation have exhibited little change over time. Using novel data, we estimate the “risk” of having a Wikipedia page for a sample of contemporary sociologists.
  7. The Life Cycle of a Cultural Object

    The study of books, as cultural objects and media of communication, has long lagged in sociology. Consistent with popular prognostications about the demise of print, books have been treated as the stodgy relics of eras past, gradually being replaced by electronic media and unable to tell us much about contemporary processes of cultural production, reproduction, and change.
  8. Visualizing Stochastic Actor-based Model Microsteps

    This visualization provides a dynamic representation of the microsteps involved in modeling network and behavior change with a stochastic actor-based model. This video illustrates how (1) observed time is broken up into a series of simulated microsteps and (2) these microsteps serve as the opportunity for actors to change their network ties or behavior. The example model comes from a widely used tutorial, and we provide code to allow for adapting the visualization to one’s own model.

  9. Text Analysis with JSTOR Archives

    I provide a visual representation of keyword trends and authorship for two flagship sociology journals using data from JSTOR’s Data for Research repository. While text data have accompanied the digital spread of information, it remains inaccessible to researchers unfamiliar with the required preprocessing. The visualization and accompanying code encourage widespread use of this source of data in the social sciences.

  10. Featured Essay: Lost and Saved . . . Again: The Moral Panic about the Loss of Community Takes Hold of Social Media

    Why does every generation believe that relationships were stronger and community better in the recent past? Lamenting about the loss of community, based on a selective perception of the present and an idealization of ‘‘traditional community,’’ dims awareness of powerful inequalities and cleavages that have always pervaded human society and favors deterministic models over a nuanced understanding of how network affordances contribute to different outcomes. Taylor Dotson’s (2017) recent book proposes a broader timeline for the demise of community.