American Sociological Association

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  1. Between Tolerant Containment and Concerted Constraint: Managing Madness for the City and the Privileged Family

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. “It’s Hard to Be Around Here”: Criminalization of Daily Routines for Youth in Baltimore

    The authors examine how youth in Baltimore experience criminalization in their everyday routines in two key social settings, schools and neighborhoods, and how this can affect their transition to adulthood. Respondents are African Americans between the ages of 15 and 24 who have spent some of their childhood in Baltimore’s poorest neighborhoods. The authors conducted qualitative, semistructured, in-depth interviews with 150 respondents.
  6. Getting to Know You: Welfare Fraud Investigation and the Appropriation of Social Ties

    State-level public assistance agencies completed nearly a million SNAP fraud investigations in fiscal year 2016. These investigations hinge on compiling incriminating information about clients. Drawing on interviews with welfare fraud workers in five U.S. states, this article shows how fraud investigators creatively exploit clients’ social networks to extract such information, and thus use clients’ social ties against them. Investigators gain some information through elective cooperation, when people voluntarily implicate others.
  7. The Heavy Hands of the State

    The modern state is that ensemble of fields of struggle among actors, agencies, and institutions over the capacity and right to monopolize not only the legitimate means of physical violence, as Max Weber famously argued, but also the means of symbolic violence over a given territory and its inhabitants. So argues Pierre Bourdieu, whose critical sociology of symbolic power is globally one of the most widely acknowledged approaches in sociology today.
  8. Masters of the Mint

    John Stuart Mill once wrote, “there cannot, in short, be intrinsically a more insignificant thing, in the economy of society, than money” (1848:48). _Money Talks: Explaining How Money Really Works_ proves that Mill was not always correct in his assessments. In this engaging set of essays, an interdisciplinary group of authors illustrates just how varied money can be and how the different forms it takes are—contra Mill—of tremendous significance for social organization, governance, economic performance, and the formation and maintenance of social relationships.
  9. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

    Stanley Cohen revisits Foucault's _Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison_.
  10. Neighborhood Residence and Assessments of Racial Profiling Using Census Data

    People frequently compare the racial composition of stopped individuals with the racial composition of the local residential population to assess unequal policing. This type of evaluation rests on the assumption that the census-derived population accurately reflects the population at risk to be stopped. For vehicle stops, existing research indicates that this assumption is very problematic, resulting in highly unreliable assessments of black-white policing disparities. However, there is little research on the significance of this assumption for stopped urban pedestrians.