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  1. Talking Your Self into It: How and When Accounts Shape Motivation for Action

    Following Mills, several prominent sociologists have encouraged researchers to analyze actors’ motive talk not as data on the subjective desires that move them to pursue particular ends but as post hoc accounts oriented toward justifying actions already undertaken.
  2. What’s Alter Got to Do with It? A Consideration of Network Content and the Social Ties That Provide It

    The strength of weak ties is among the most important theories in the social sciences. One paradoxical element of the theory has been widely understood and valued—that weak ties connect disparate regions of social structure. Less appreciated, however, is the arguably more paradoxical implication that someone only weakly connected to another would provide value beyond that which is provided by the recipient’s (ego’s) strong ties. Once this paradoxical feature of the theory and associated empirical literatures is acknowledged, the interests of the resource provider (alter) demand consideration.
  3. Network Effects in Blau Space: Imputing Social Context from Survey Data

    We develop a method of imputing ego network characteristics for respondents in probability samples of individuals. This imputed network uses the homophily principle to estimate certain properties of a respondent’s core discussion network in the absence of actual network data. These properties measure the potential exposure of respondents to the attitudes, values, beliefs, and so on of their (likely) network alters.

  4. Who Wants to Lead? Anticipated Gender Discrimination Reduces Women’s Leadership Ambitions

    We examine whether anticipated gender discrimination—specifically, gendered sanctions for leadership failure—decreases women’s leadership ambitions. We find that laypeople expect that women leaders will be punished more harshly for failure than otherwise similar men. We also compare the leadership ambitions of women and men under conditions of benign and costly failure and find that leadership roles with costly failure—which implicitly have the potential for gendered sanctions for failure—disproportionally depress women’s leadership ambitions relative to men’s.
  5. Who Is Called by the Dog Whistle? Experimental Evidence That Racial Resentment and Political Ideology Condition Responses to Racially Encoded Messages

    Do appeals that subtly invoke negative racial stereotypes shift whites’ political attitudes by harnessing their racial prejudice? Though widely cited in academic and popular discourse, prior work finds conflicting evidence for this “dogwhistle hypothesis.” Here we test the hypothesis in two experiments (total N = 1,797) in which white Americans’ racial attitudes were measured two weeks before they read political messages in which references to racial stereotypes were implicit, explicit, or not present at all.

  6. When Interest Doesn’t Turn into Action: Discrimination, Group Identification, and Muslim Political Engagement in the Post-9/11 Era

    This article examines the effect of exposure to post-9/11 stigmatization on various types of Muslim political engagement, using a mixed-methods approach that combines propensity score matching analysis of data from the Muslims in the American Public Square (MAPS) survey administered immediately after 9/11 with experimental data of the U.S. Muslim population. I find that increased discrimination results in increased political interest but has a neutral or dampening effect on political participation.
  7. Uncertainty and Social Influence

    Much research documents that uncertainty is an important factor in the social influence process. We argue that there are two senses in which uncertainty plays a role. First, task uncertainty is a necessary but variable condition for social influence to occur. Second, uncertainty reduction is a mechanism producing social influence. We discuss how tasks can vary in the level of uncertainty they entail and how this impacts the mechanisms resulting in social influence. In this context, we predict that task uncertainty moderates social influence and that uncertainty reduction mediates it.
  8. Freedom and the Iranian Women’s Movement

    The women of Iran are intimately familiar with repression and segregation. Iran’s mandatory dress code—veiling—is but one of many restrictions that regulate and control women’s bodies and shape their sense of agency and freedom.
  9. Beyond Tracking and Detracking: The Dimensions of Organizational Differentiation in Schools

    Schools use an array of strategies to match curricula and instruction to students’ heterogeneous skills. Although generations of scholars have debated ‘‘tracking’’ and its consequences, the literature fails to account for diversity of school-level sorting practices.

  10. The Meaning of 'Theory'

    ‘Theory’ is one of the most important words in the lexicon of contemporary sociology. Yet, their ubiquity notwithstanding, it is quite unclear what sociologists mean by the words ‘theory,’ ‘theoretical,’ and ‘theorize.’ I argue that confusions about the meaning of ‘theory’ have brought about undesirable consequences, including conceptual muddles and even downright miscommunication. In this paper I tackle two questions: (a) what does ‘theory’ mean in the sociological language?; and (b) what ought ‘theory’ to mean in the sociological language? I proceed in five stages.