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  1. Summer 2016 Contexts online free until November 17

    Dateline: Seattle. Sitting together at the American Sociological Association’s annual conference, we’re reminded (not that we really needed reminding) that sociologists do a really good job of documenting and analyzing so many different facets of our social world. While the last issue was themed “Good News,” this issue is a cornucopia of sociological goodness.

  2. Bisexual Men and Women Face Pay Gap

    Bisexual men and women are paid less for doing the same jobs than similarly qualified heterosexual men and women, according to Indiana University research that breaks new ground by treating bisexual individuals as distinct from gay men and lesbians in the workplace.

    The study, "Sexual Orientation in the Labor Market," was published online today (Nov. 15) by the American Sociological Review, the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association. The author is Trenton D. Mize, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

  3. Category Taken-for-Grantedness as a Strategic Opportunity: The Case of Light Cigarettes, 1964 to 1993

    Theories within organizational and economic sociology that center on market categories often equate taken-for-grantedness with increased constraint on category members’ features. In contrast, we develop a novel perspective that considers how market participants’ changing category-related attributions decrease the scrutiny of category offerings, opening up strategic opportunities for firms. We further argue that whether producers should be expected to take advantage of these opportunities depends on the extent to which they are incentivized to do so.

  4. Can Ratings Have Indirect Effects? Evidence from the Organizational Response to Peers’ Environmental Ratings

    Organizations are increasingly subject to rating and ranking by third-party evaluators. Research in this area tends to emphasize the direct effects of ratings systems that occur when ratings give key audiences, such as consumers or investors, more information about a rated firm. Yet, ratings systems may also indirectly influence organizations when the collective presence of more rated peers alters the broader institutional and competitive milieu.

  5. Can We Finish the Revolution? Gender, Work-Family Ideals, and Institutional Constraint

    Why has progress toward gender equality in the workplace and at home stalled in recent decades? A growing body of scholarship suggests that persistently gendered workplace norms and policies limit men’s and women’s ability to create gender egalitarian relationships at home. In this article, we build on and extend prior research by examining the extent to which institutional constraints, including workplace policies, affect young, unmarried men’s and women’s preferences for their future work-family arrangements. We also examine how these effects vary across education levels.

  6. Executive Compensation, Fat Cats, and Best Athletes

    Income gains in the top 1 percent are the primary cause for the rapid growth in U.S. inequality since the late 1970s. Managers and executives of firms account for a large proportion of these top earners. Chief executive officers (CEOs), in particular, have seen their compensation increase faster than the growth in firm size. We propose that changes in the macro patterns of the distribution of CEO compensation resulted from a process of diffusion within localized networks, propagating higher pay among corporate executives.

  7. Study Finds Couples’ Division of Paid and Unpaid Labor Linked to Risk of Divorce

    A new study suggests that financial factors, including couples’ overall resources and wives’ ability to support themselves in the event of a divorce, are not predictive of whether marriages last. Rather, it is couples’ division of labor — paid and unpaid — that is associated with the risk of divorce.     

  8. Work Disability among Women: The Role of Divorce in a Retrospective Cohort Study

    We assess how divorce through midlife affects the subsequent probability of work-limiting health among U.S. women. Using retrospective marital and work disability histories from the Survey of Income and Program Participation matched to Social Security earnings records, we identify women whose first marriage dissolved between 1975 and 1984 (n = 1,214) and women who remain continuously married (n = 3,394). Probit and propensity score matching models examine the cumulative probability of a work disability over a 20-year follow-up period.

  9. Elements of Professional Expertise: Understanding Relational and Substantive Expertise through Lawyers’ Impact

    Lawyers keep the gates of public justice institutions, particularly through their roles in formal procedures like hearings and trials. Yet, it is not clear what lawyers do in such quintessentially legal settings: conclusions from past research are bedeviled by a lack of clear theory and inconsistencies in research design. Conceptualizing litigation work in terms of professional expertise, I conduct a theoretically grounded synthesis of the findings of extant studies of lawyers’ impact on civil case outcomes.

  10. Innovative Education? A Test of Specialist Mimicry or Generalist Assimilation in Trends in Charter School Specialization Over Time

    By most media accounts, charter schools are innovative schools. But little empirical work interrogates this idea. We examine the growth and decline of specialist charter school mission statements as one indicator of innovation. In line with theories of resource partitioning, we find that specialist charter school missions—those asserting innovation with regards to populations served, curricula utilized, and/or educational focus—have become increasingly diverse over time.