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  1. Inequality Frames: How Teachers Inhabit Color-blind Ideology

    This paper examines how public school teachers take up, modify, or resist the dominant ideology of color-blind racism. This examination is based on in-depth interviews with 60 teachers at three segregated schools: one was race/class privileged and two were disadvantaged. Inductive coding revealed that teachers at each school articulated a shared frame to talk about race and class: “legitimated advantage” at Heritage High School, “trickle-down dysfunction” at Bunker High School, and “antiracist dignity” at Solidarity High School.
  2. Thinking Globally, Interviewing Locally: Using an Intensive Interview Project to Teach Globalization and Social Change

    In this article, I connect globalization and qualitative methodological practice, describing a semester-long intensive interview project about the anti-apartheid movement. I provide a detailed overview of the project as well as considerations for those who might want to adapt it for their own courses. Using students’ reflections on the projects and their final papers, I demonstrate that this project successfully introduces students to a transnational social movement and provides valuable methodological practice.
  3. How to Do Ethnography Right

    Selected essays from the Contexts forum on ethnographic best practices explore the practice of ethnographic "masking," IRBs and legal counsel, and gaining access to vulnerable populations.

  4. When Two Bodies Are (Not) a Problem: Gender and Relationship Status Discrimination in Academic Hiring

    Junior faculty search committees serve as gatekeepers to the professoriate and play vital roles in shaping the demographic composition of academic departments and disciplines, but how committees select new hires has received minimal scholarly attention. In this article, I highlight one mechanism of gender inequalities in academic hiring: relationship status discrimination. Through a qualitative case study of junior faculty search committees at a large R1 university, I show that committees actively considered women’s—but not men’s—relationship status when selecting hires.
  5. Planning for Future Care and the End of Life: A Qualitative Analysis of Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Couples

    Two key components of end-of-life planning are (1) informal discussions about future care and other end-of-life preferences and (2) formal planning via living wills and other legal documents. We leverage previous work on the institutional aspects of marriage and on sexual-minority discrimination to theorize why and how heterosexual, gay, and lesbian married couples engage in informal and formal end-of-life planning. We analyze qualitative dyadic in-depth interviews with 45 midlife gay, lesbian, and heterosexual married couples (N = 90 spouses).
  6. I’ve Got My Family and My Faith: Black Women and the Suicide Paradox

    Although existing suicide literature proposes black women’s strong religious ties and social networks protect them against suicide, few studies offer black women’s perceptions. The present study examines the factors black women perceive of as protective against suicide by conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews with 33 U.S.-born black women. Results support current suicide literature on the role of social networks and religion in black women’s lives. The results also identify two important factors researchers continue to overlook.
  7. Enchanting Self-discipline: Methodical Reflexivity and the Search for the Supernatural in Charismatic Christian Testimonial Practice

    Social science has long operated under the assumption that enchantment, seeking out this-worldly manifestations of the supernatural, impedes the cultivation of self-discipline. How, then, to account for a Christian brotherhood whose testimonial practice is at once enchanting and disciplining of the self?
  8. The Uses of Ambiguity in Sociological Theorizing: Three Ethnographic Approaches

    Claims of causality and generalizability are the primary means through which sociologists triumph over ambiguity. Yet ambiguity also has significant uses in the process of theorizing.
  9. Conformers, Adaptors, Imitators, and Rejecters: How No-excuses Teachers’ Cultural Toolkits Shape Their Responses to Control

    In the past, sociologists have provided keen insights into the work of teaching, but classic studies by scholars like Dan Lortie and Willard Waller are now decades old. With the current emphasis on teacher evaluation and accountability, the field is ripe for new sociological studies of teaching. How do we understand the work of teaching in this new context of control? In this article, I use the case of an urban, ‘‘no-excuses’’ charter school to examine how teachers responded to the school’s intensive effort to socialize them into a uniform set of disciplinary practices.
  10. Book Review: Journey into Social Activism: Qualitative Approaches

    In a preliminary content analysis of articles in the top social movement journals, Atkinson finds that scholars of social activism typically use a broad range of qualitative research methodologies. However, scholars of activism rarely elaborate on the methods they use. Similarly, previous research has largely failed to bring together and critically assess the qualitative methodologies used to study social activism.