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  1. The Societalization of Social Problems: Church Pedophilia, Phone Hacking, and the Financial Crisis

    This article develops a theory of “societalization,” demonstrating its plausibility through empirical analyses of church pedophilia, media phone-hacking, and the financial crisis. Although these strains were endemic for decades, they had failed to generate broad crises. Reactions were confined inside institutional boundaries and handled by intra-institutional elites according to the cultural logics of their particular spheres. The theory proposes that boundaries between spheres can be breached only if there is code switching.
  2. A Haunted Generation Remembers

    by Shruti Devgan

    Second-generation Sikhs grew up with fragments and half-told stories of the anti-Sikh violence of 1984, but it is not just direct descendants of survivors who “remember” traumatic experiences. Sikhs’ collectivist orientation, cultural traditions and diasporic location offer new insights into understanding intergenerational trauma and memory work.

  3. Worshiping across the Color Line: The Influence of Congregational Composition on Whites’ Friendship Networks and Racial Attitudes

    Religious participation has reinforced the color line in American society for generations. Despite rising racial and ethnic diversity across U.S. communities, most Americans continue to belong to congregations composed primarily of others from their own racial/ethnic groups. Yet recent scholarship suggests that the presence of multiple racial or ethnic groups in the same congregation is increasing. The authors examine how the racial/ethnic composition of U.S.
  4. 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.
  5. Analyzing the Social Construction of Media Claims: Enhancing Media Literacy in Social Problems Classes

    Recent research has called on scholars to develop pedagogical interventions to address issues of media literacy. This teaching note answers that call by describing a media literacy project designed for use in social problems classes. The project acquaints students to the constructionist approach to social problems and the method of content analysis. Guided by the principles of scaffolding, the note discusses how students are guided through a series of readings, assignments, and activities that enables them to analyze how social problems are portrayed in news media.
  6. Biblical Literalism Influences Perceptions of History as a Scientific Discipline

    Recent work on religious conservatives frequently finds biblical literalism to have a negative influence on individuals’ attitudes toward science. We present a science-related issue for which biblical literalism seems, at least on the surface, to have a more positive influence. Specifically, individuals expressing a literalist view of the Bible are more likely than those who view the Bible as a book of fables to say that the field of history is scientific.
  7. Who Counts as a Notable Sociologist on Wikipedia? Gender, Race, and the “Professor Test”

    This paper documents and estimates the extent of underrepresentation of women and people of color on the pages of Wikipedia devoted to contemporary American sociologists. In contrast to the demographic diversity of the discipline, sociologists represented on Wikipedia are largely white men. The gender and racial/ethnic gaps in likelihood of representation have exhibited little change over time. Using novel data, we estimate the “risk” of having a Wikipedia page for a sample of contemporary sociologists.
  8. Mental Health and the Role of Religious Context among Inmates in State and Federal Prisons: Results from a Multilevel Analysis

    Inmates confined to correctional institutions are exposed to stressors that induce psychological distress. One factor that may be important for inmate mental health is religion. Accordingly, scholars have examined the role of participation in religious activities on inmate mental health. Yet, the role of the religious concentration of prisons on inmate mental health remains unexamined, in spite of research showing that religious contexts impact adjustment to prison.
  9. Not by Bread Alone: Mobility Experiences, Religion, and Optimism about Future Mobility

    Americans are quite optimistic about their chances of upward mobility, but sometimes even they have their doubts. The authors examine how mobility experiences boost or dampen American optimism about mobility and how the relationship is connected to religion. The authors find that Americans whose subjective financial situations have recently worsened are less optimistic, whereas those whose situations have improved are more optimistic. Objective measures of mobility were not connected to optimism.

  10. Racial and Other Sociodemographic Disparities in Terrorism Sting Operations

    Previous research suggests a high prevalence of entrapment in post-9/11 terrorism sting operations, but it is unknown whether entrapment abuses are disproportionately targeted at specific racial/ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic groups. Drawing on Black’s theory of law, symbolic threat theory, and research on stereotypes, cognitive biases, and institutional incentives, the authors hypothesize that government agents and informants will use problematic tactics disproportionately against certain marginalized groups.