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  1. Elusive Events

    The purpose of What Is an Event? by Robin Wagner-Pacifici is to “build a model for the analysis of events in general” (p. 3). To this end, it develops an “analytical apparatus, termed political semiosis,” the “basic features” of which are “performatives, demonstratives, and representations” (Chapter 1). At the forefront of this endeavor is the attempt to understand how “events take shape” (pp. 10, 83, 91, 109, 140) given the “grounds from which they erupt” (p. 48) and the “ruptures” that set them off (p. 105).
  2. Comment on Barbara Risman’s review of Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy

    The habit of contesting criticisms in print is one I have never acquired, in part because I am committed to the democracy and pace of scholarly debate. Nothing attracted me more to the sociological life than the opportunity to wrestle with ideas. But that is why I feel compelled to respond to Risman’s apoplectic interpretation of Cheap Sex. The reader learns next to nothing about what is actually in the book. Her remarks display far less interest in wrestling with ideas than in ad hominem assaults and sarcastic guesses at my character, values, and motives.
  3. Is Recreational Sex a Social Problem? Or, What’s Wrong with Kids Today?

    Decades have passed since we liberated normative sex from the confines of heterosexual marriage. But the divorce of sexual activity from romantic relationships among young people is still the topic of much debate. Both American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, by Lisa Wade, and Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, by Mark Regnerus, address what’s happening with sex and relationships today; and although they identify similar trends, their analyses could not be more different.
  4. At the Foot of the Grave: Challenging Collective Memories of Violence in Post-Franco Spain

    Understanding the development and meaning of collective memory is a central interest for sociologists. One aspect of this literature focuses on the processes that social movement actors use to introduce long-silenced counter-memories of violence to supplant the “official” memory. To examine this, I draw on 15 months of ethnographic observations with the Spanish Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH) and 200 informal and 30 formal interviews with locals and activists.
  5. “Raced” Organizations and the Academic Success of Underrepresented Minority Faculty Members in Sociology

    The purpose of this research is to determine whether participating in “raced” organizations benefits underrepresented minority (URM) faculty members in their quest for tenure and promotion to associate professor of sociology. Raced organizations such as historically black colleges and universities began as segregated institutions because black students and faculty members were prevented from attending or working at white-dominated institutions.
  6. Towards a Dynamic Theory of Civil Society: The Politics of Forward and Backward Infiltration

    This article develops a conceptual framework to theorize the processes of mutual penetration between civil society, the state, and the economy, where incumbents and challengers continuously formulate new strategies against each other. We criticize the prevailing Weberian and Tocquevillian concepts of civil society, and then, drawing on research in social movements and comparative political economy, propose a new framework: the politics of forward and backward infiltration.
  7. The Civic Side of Diversity: Ambivalence and Belonging at the Neighborhood Level

    Although diversity has become a cherished ideal for Americans, a growing literature suggests that many are also ambivalent about lived experiences of diversity. Focusing on three historically homogeneous neighborhoods in Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, this paper explores the “civic talk” used to express this ambivalence through interrelated frames of social order and civic engagement. In all three neighborhoods, long‐term residents and neighborhood association members speak fluently about race, class, and other forms of diversity in their neighborhoods.

  8. Feeling at Home in the Neighborhood: Belonging, the House and the Plaza in Helsinki and Madrid

    Drawing on multisited ethnographic fieldwork in two historic, attractive, and socially mixed neighborhoods, Kumpula in Helsinki and Malasaña in Madrid, this paper examines what makes people feel at home (or not) in their neighborhood. Marrying the literatures on social belonging and materiality, we analyze the interactions through which local places, people, and materials become familiar and personal. We identify the house in Kumpula and the plaza in Madrid as “everyday totems” that weave local life and community together.

  9. The Market Inscribed Landscape: An Institutional Logic of Food Deserts

    Focusing on the institutional logics of the grocery industry, this paper argues that the “neighborhood effects” of a lack of resources provided by organizations to economically disadvantaged areas are moderated by institutional logics. From the 1930s to early 1970s, the grocery industry had a logic of “economies of scale.” A new “mix‐margin” logic developed after the mid‐1970s: using low margins on high‐demand items to gain foot traffic needed to sell high‐margin items.

  10. Gangstering Grants: Bringing Power to Collective Efficacy Theory

    How do nonprofit organizations attempt to facilitate collective efficacy? Through an inductive ethnographic case study of efforts to reduce gang violence in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, this study shows the importance of power and funding competition. Specifically, nonprofits’ efforts to facilitate collective efficacy depended on (1) strategic actions to manage competitors, and (2) their position in the city political field.