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  1. The Conditionality of Norms: The Case of Bridewealth

    Social norms are rules that prescribe and proscribe behavior. The application of norms is conditional. But scholars have little systematic understanding of the factors that affect conditionality. The authors argue that understanding norms requires assessing the costs and benefits of focal and nonfocal behaviors for norm targets, beneficiaries, and enforcers. The authors develop hypotheses about two combinations of these factors; they hypothesize that 1) costs to the norm target of complying with the norm, and 2) behavior by the norm beneficiary that hurts the norm target, weaken the norm.
  2. The Effects of Education on Beliefs about Racial Inequality

    It is commonly hypothesized that education promotes more “enlightened” beliefs about racial inequality, and many prior studies document that white Americans with higher levels of education are more likely to agree with structural rather than individualist explanations for black disadvantages. Nevertheless, an alternative perspective contends that the ostensibly liberalizing effects of education are highly superficial, while yet another perspective cautions that any association observed between education and racial attitudes may be due to unobserved confounding.
  3. Hooking Up and the “Ritual Retelling”: Gender Beliefs in Post-hookup Conversations with Same-sex and Cross-sex Friends

    Most scholarship on hookup culture has focused on college students’ sexual activity and has overlooked the post-hookup “ritual retelling” as a subject of systematic research. This study examines the impact of gender beliefs regarding sexual activity, particularly the recreational and relational orientations of men and women, respectively, as well as the situational context, namely, the gender of their conversational partners.
  4. Asian Americans in Small-Town America

    Capturing belonging as a dynamic social process for Asian Americans in the historically White rural United States.
  5. Place and Perception: Constructions of Community and Safety across Neighborhoods and Residents

    Residents of urban neighborhoods derive a sense of place and connection to their neighborhoods through their engagement with the neighborhood, including both the people in it and its amenities. In addition, one's perception of a neighborhood shapes one's sense of safety and fear of crime. In this paper, we analyze data from 84 interviews with residents in three Boston neighborhoods that varied on demographics, crime levels, and association to stereotypes about crime.

  6. Race as an Open Field: Exploring Identity beyond Fixed Choices

    This paper uses new, nationally representative data to examine how Americans describe their own racial and ethnic identities when they are not constrained by conventional fixed categories. Recent work on shifting racial classifications and the fluidity of racial identities in the United States has questioned the subjective and cultural adequacy of fixed categorization schemes. Are traditional racial boundaries breaking down? We explore the possibility in three ways.
  7. “I’m Not Spanish, I’m from Spain”: Spaniards’ Bifurcated Ethnicity and the Boundaries of Whiteness and Hispanic Panethnic Identity

    This study counters potentially premature demographic and sociological claims of a large-scale Hispanic transition into mainstream whiteness. Via in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations of recently arrived Spanish immigrants in the United States, it presents a distinctive shift in American categorization logic, whereby race and ethnicity switch in order of everyday importance. Despite Spanish immigrants’ direct links to Europe and few structural social boundaries between them and mainstream U.S.
  8. Interethnic Contact in Integrated Churches: Mediation without Transformation of Majority-Roma Relations in Central Europe

    While intergroup contact and group position scholars have found that individuals can maintain prejudice despite associational contact and affective ties, this study finds that integrated organizations can specifically mediate ethnic relations through managing threat to the privileged majority’s group position. In Slovakia, where Roma are generally even more impoverished and interethnic relations are just as tense, group-level interethnic conflict occurs less often than in the neighboring Czech Republic.
  9. God’s Country in Black and Blue: How Christian Nationalism Shapes Americans’ Views about Police (Mis)treatment of Blacks

    Research shows that Americans who hold strongly to a myth about America’s Christian heritage—what is called “Christian nationalism”—tend to draw rigid boundaries around ethnic and national group membership. Incorporating theories connecting ethnic boundaries, prejudice, and perceived threat with a tendency to justify harsher penalties, bias, or excessive force against racial minorities, the authors examine how Christian nationalist ideology shapes Americans’ views about police treatment of black Americans.
  10. Call Your Representatives: Connecting Classroom Learning to Real-world Policy Action

    This article presents an in-class exercise that teaches students how to call elected officials about a course-related issue of their choice. The goals are to connect classroom learning with real-life action, to show that contacting elected officials need not be difficult or intimidating, and to help students develop a sense of efficacy that can contribute to ongoing engagement. I describe the exercise and present evidence that it led students to call their elected officials, most for the first time ever.