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  1. 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.
  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. The Temporal Logic of Deservingness: Inequality Beliefs in Two Postsocialist Societies

    Employing a cultural sociological approach, this article asks how individuals from two postsocialist societies articulate principles of justice by providing narrative accounts of other peoples’ perceived choices and social mobility trajectories after 1989.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Disentangling the Effects of Race and Place in Economic Transactions: Findings from an Online Field Experiment

    Scholarship on discrimination consistently shows that non‐Whites are at a disadvantage in obtaining goods and services relative to Whites. To a lesser extent, recent work has asked whether or not place of residence may also affect individuals’ chances in economic markets. In this study, we use a field experiment in an online market for second‐hand goods to examine transactional opportunities for White, Black, Asian, and Latino residents of both advantaged and disadvantaged neighborhoods.

  8. The Growth Machine Across the United States: Business Actors’ Influence on Communities’ Economic Development and Limited‐Government Austerity Policies

    The growth machine (GM) perspective has long guided urban research. Our study provides a new extension of this perspective, focusing on local business actors’ influence on communities across the United States. We question whether GM‐oriented business actors remain widely associated with contemporary local economic development policies, and further, whether these actors influence the use of limited‐government austerity policies. Conceptually, we extend the GM framework by bringing it into dialogue with the literature on urban austerity policy.

  9. Data Collection as Disruption: Insights from a Longitudinal Study of Young Adulthood

    Research disrupts the social world, often by making respondents aware that they are being observed or by instigating reflection upon particular aspects of life via the very act of asking questions. Building on insights from the first Hawthorne studies, reflexive ethnographers, and methodologists concerned with panel conditioning, we draw on six years of research within a community in southern Malawi to introduce a conceptual framework for theorizing disruption in observational research.

  10. Featured Essay Review: The Durability and Dynamism of David Harvey

    With an export-oriented manufacturing economy dependent on consumer demand in the United States, China confronted a massive crisis of unemployment when the U.S. economy crashed in 2008. To address this crisis, the Chinese government organized an extraordinary wave of investment in physical infrastructure—employing over 20 million workers to build cities, industrial zones, transportation grids, communications networks, and other megaprojects. In just three years, China consumed 1.5 times as much cement as the United States consumed during the entire twentieth century.