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  1. What is Critical Realism? And Why Should You Care?

    Critical realism (CR) is a philosophical system developed by the Indo-British philosopher, Roy Bhaskar, in collaboration with a number of British social theorists, including Margaret Archer, Mervyn Hartwig, Tony Lawson, Alan Norrie, and Andrew Sayer. It has a journal, a book series, an association, an annual meeting and, in short, all the usual trappings of an intellectual movement. The movement is centered in the UK but has followers throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas, and the Antipodes.

  2. Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent

    The origin of values and preferences is an unresolved theoretical question in behavioral and social sciences.

  3. The High of Cultural Experience: Toward a Microsociology of Cultural Consumption

    Does the experience of cultural consumption have its own sui generis attraction and value in itself, or is it an index of external social ranking? Four criteria are proposed that are observable in microsociological detail: (1) bodily self-absorption in the cultural experience, creating an intense internal interaction ritual; (2) collective effervescence among the audience; (3) Goffmanian front-stage self-presentation in settings of cultural consumption; and (4) verbal discourse during and around the cultural experience.

  4. A Theory of Resonance

    The metaphor of resonance often describes the fit between a message and an audience’s worldviews. Yet scholars have largely ignored the cognitive processes audiences use to interpret messages and interactions that determine why certain messages and other cultural objects appeal to some but not others. Drawing on pragmatism, we argue that resonance occurs as cultural objects help people puzzle through practical challenges they face or construct. We discuss how cognitive distance and the process of emotional reasoning shape the likelihood of cultural resonance.
  5. A Rosier Reality: Incongruency in Stated and Revealed Ingroup Preferences among Young Asian American Speed Daters

    Several studies have identified inconsistencies between “stated” interpersonal attitudes and those “revealed” after an interaction. The authors used the speed-dating paradigm to examine stated and revealed attitudes in ingroup preferences among Asian American subgroups (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Filipino Americans). Young single Asian Americans (n = 198) reported preferences for dating different ethnicities and went on speed dates, after which they could offer second dates to their partners. As expected, all four ethnic subgroups showed clear ingroup biases in stated preferences.
  6. Suspended Attitudes: Exclusion and Emotional Disengagement from School

    We know far less about the unintended social-psychological consequences of out-of-school suspensions on students than we do of the academic, behavioral, and civic consequences. Drawing on theories of socialization and deviance, I explore how suspension events influence students’ emotional engagement in school through changes in their attitudes. Using longitudinal middle school survey data connected to individual student administrative records, I find that students who receive out-of-school suspensions are psychologically vulnerable prior to their removal from school.
  7. 2018 Presidential Address: Feeling Race: Theorizing the Racial Economy of Emotions

    In this presidential address, I advance a theoretical sketch on racialized emotions—the emotions specific to racialized societies. These emotions are central to the racial edifice of societies, thus, analysts and policymakers should understand their collective nature, be aware of how they function, and appreciate the existence of variability among emoting racial subjects. Clarity on these matters is key for developing an effective affective politics to challenge any racial order. After the sketch, I offer potential strategies to retool our racial emotive order as well as our racial selves.
  8. Psychological Distress Transmission in Same-sex and Different-sex Marriages

    Ample work stresses the interdependence of spouses’ psychological distress and that women are more influenced by their spouse’s distress than men. Yet previous studies have focused primarily on heterosexual couples, raising questions about whether and how this gendered pattern might unfold for men and women in same-sex marriages.
  9. Go to More Parties? Social Occasions as Home to Unexpected Turning Points in Life Trajectories

    Reviving classical attention to gathering times as sites of transformation and building on more recent microsociological work, this paper uses qualitative data to show how social occasions open up unexpected bursts of change in the lives of those attending.
  10. Research Notes: Persistent Identity Threats: Emotional and Neurological Responses

    In the past few decades, sociologists have called for the incorporation of biological ideas and methods into sociology as a means of improving our understanding of social behavior. In this vein, researchers have argued that bringing neuroscience into the study of self and identity processes will help sociologists refine and construct more accurate theories. The present study pursues this agenda by using neuroscience insights and methodology to empirically examine a poorly understood aspect of identity processes: persistent identity nonverification.