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  1. The Causes of Fraud in the Financial Crisis of 2007 to 2009: Evidence from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Industry

    The financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 was marked by widespread fraud in the mortgage securitization industry. Most of the largest mortgage originators and mortgage-backed securities issuers and underwriters have been implicated in regulatory settlements, and many have paid multibillion-dollar penalties. This article seeks to explain why this behavior became so pervasive. We evaluate predominant theories of white-collar crime, finding that theories emphasizing deregulation or technical opacity identify only necessary, not sufficient, conditions.

  2. Trust Thy Crooked Neighbor: Multiplexity in Chicago Organized Crime Networks

    Bureaucratic and patrimonial theories of organized crime tend to miss the history and mobility of crime groups integrating into and organizing with legitimate society. The network property of multiplexity—when more than one type of relationship exists between a pair of actors—offers a theoretical and empirical inroad to analyzing overlapping relationships of seemingly disparate social spheres.

  3. Manufacturing Gender Inequality in the New Economy: High School Training for Work in Blue-Collar Communities

    Tensions between the demands of the knowledge-based economy and remaining, blue-collar jobs underlie renewed debates about whether schools should emphasize career and technical training or college-preparatory curricula. We add a gendered lens to this issue, given the male-dominated nature of blue-collar jobs and women’s greater returns to college. Using the ELS:2002, this study exploits spatial variation in school curricula and jobs to investigate local dynamics that shape gender stratification.

  4. Geography, Joint Choices, and the Reproduction of Gender Inequality

    We examine the extent to which the gender wage gap stems from dual-earner couples jointly choosing where to live. If couples locate in places better suited for the man’s employment than for the woman’s, the resulting mismatch of women to employers will depress women’s wages.

  5. Educational Authority in the ''Open Door Marketplace: Labor Market Consequences of For-profit, Nonprofit, and Fictional Educational Credentials

    In recent years, private for-profit education has been the fastest growing segment of the U.S. postsecondary system. Traditional hiring models suggest that employers clearly and efficiently evaluate college credentials, but this changing institutional landscape raises an important question: How do employers assess credentials from emerging institutions? Building on theories of educational authority, we hypothesize that employers respond to an associate’s degree itself over the institution from which it came.

  6. Sociology Faculty Members Employed Part-time in Community Colleges: Structural Disadvantage, Cultural Devaluation, and Faculty-Student Relationships

    The large majority of faculty members teaching in community colleges are employed on a part-time basis, yet little is known about their working conditions and professional engagement. This article uses data from a recent national survey of faculty members teaching sociology in community colleges to provide this information, with particular attention to the different situations of those teaching full-time, part-time by choice, and part-time involuntarily.

  7. How Do We Integrate Students Vocational Goals into Introduction to Sociology Curricula, and What Are the Effects of Doing So?

    President Obama’s America’s College Promise proposal has brought renewed attention to community colleges’ capacity to connect the college and career aspirations of today’s undergraduates. Despite this capacity, however, community colleges have historically offered students two distinct educational pathways: a liberal education transfer-oriented program or a terminal vocational program.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.