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  1. A Systematic Assessment of “Axial Age” Proposals Using Global Comparative Historical Evidence

    Proponents of the Axial Age contend that parallel cultural developments between 800 and 200 BCE in what is today China, Greece, India, Iran, and Israel-Palestine constitute the global historical turning point toward modernity. The Axial Age concept is well-known and influential, but deficiencies in the historical evidence and sociological analysis available have thwarted efforts to evaluate the concept’s major global contentions. As a result, the Axial Age concept remains controversial.
  2. The Structure of Comparison in the Study of Revolution

    The social scientific study of revolution has been deviled by a lack of progress in recent years, divided between competing views on the universality of patterns in revolution. This study examines the origins of these epistemologies. Drawing on an insight that different modes of comparison yield different types of knowledge, I argue that the network structure of how cases are compared constrains or enables the development of a field’s theoretical sensibilities.
  3. Educational Inequalities in Depression: Do Labor Markets Matter?

    There is little theoretical understanding of why educational inequalities in depression are larger in some countries than in others. The current research tries to fill this gap by focusing on the way in which important labor market processes, specifically upgrading and polarization, affect the relationship between education and depression. Analyses are based on a subsample, aged between 20 and 65, in 26 countries participating in the European Social Survey (N = 56,881) in 2006, 2012, and 2014.
  4. Racial-ethnic Disparities in Inflammation: Evidence of Weathering in Childhood?

    Building on the weathering hypothesis, we advance health disparities research by assessing racial-ethnic differences in low-grade inflammation, a marker of chronic stress exposure, in young children. Using nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N = 6,652) and logistic regression, we find an increased risk of low-grade inflammation among Hispanic and African American children compared to white children.
  5. Featured Essay: The Contributions of Charles Tilly to the Social Sciences

    Evaluating Charles Tilly’s contributions to the social sciences is not an easy task: “Chuck Tilly was a master of sociological thinking and methodology,” wrote two of his former students when he passed away ten years ago; “But he was sufficiently concerned about getting to the heart and dynamics of questions and topics that he never permitted the blinkers of disciplinary orthodoxy to stand in his way” (Michelson and Wellman 2008).
  6. The Emergence of Statistical Objectivity: Changing Ideas of Epistemic Vice and Virtue in Science

    The meaning of objectivity in any specific setting reflects historically situated understandings of both science and self. Recently, various scientific fields have confronted growing mistrust about the replicability of findings, and statistical techniques have been deployed to articulate a “crisis of false positives.” In response, epistemic activists have invoked a decidedly economic understanding of scientists’ selves. This has prompted a scientific social movement of proposed reforms, including regulating disclosure of “backstage” research details and enhancing incentives for replication.
  7. 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.

  8. From the Bookshelf of a Sociologist of Diagnosis: A Review Essay

    The present essay will take readers through the bookshelf of this sociologist of diagnosis. It will demonstrate the wide-reaching topics that I consider relevant to the sociologist who considers diagnosis as a social object and also as a point of convergence where doctor and lay person encounter one another, where authority is exercised, health care is organized, political priorities are established, and conflict is enacted.

  9. Review Essays: The Sorry State of Civil Rights

    It has been more than half a century since Washington outlawed workplace discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 spawned a complex, unwieldy compliance system. An army of experts—diversity consultants, human resources professionals, government regulators, plaintiff attorneys, insurance underwriters, management attorneys, judges—has helped to develop, and justify, a host of “symbolic” workplace civil rights measures.