Social Forces

Social Forces 80.3, March 2002

Contents

Articles

    Mayer, Thomas F., 1937-
  • The Collapse of Soviet Communism: A Class Dynamics Interpretation
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    Subject Headings:
    • Social classes -- Soviet Union -- Mathematical models.
    • Soviet Union -- Politics and government -- 1985-1991.
    Abstract:
      Concepts of class struggle and social reproduction are used to explain the sudden collapse of Soviet Communism. I explore these ideas by means of the mathematical theory of dynamical systems. Theoretical focus is upon the power of social classes and how this power changes over time. The Soviet bureaucracy gradually divided into two classes, and the power relations between these ruling classes caused a drastic loss of power by both, which is why the Communist system collapsed. Four classes of Soviet society are considered: political class, administrative class, working class, and capitalist class. I examine the reproduction of class power in two-, three-, and four-class systems. Also analyzed are the effects of random perturbations and the particular impact of the August 1991 coup attempt. Wherever possible, graphs are used instead of equations to explain class dynamics. The results indicate that drastic power loss was not the only possible outcome of Soviet class dynamics, which may be why the collapse was so surprising. The class dynamics approach emphasizes multiple historical possibilities and cuts against any rigid class determinism.
    Blair-Loy, Mary.
    Wharton, Amy S.
  • Employee's Use of Work-Family Policies and the Workplace Social Context
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    Subject Headings:
    • Work and family.
    • Organizational behavior.
    • Family policy.
    Abstract:
      This article analyzes the effects of workplace social context on managers' and professionals' use of work-family policies in a financial services corporation. These official policies are ambiguous and contested and, as institutional theory implies, may fail to become fully implemented. We use a multilevel model to determine the individual-level and work group-level factors that affect respondents' policy use. In addition to individual-level factors, the social context of the work group affects employees' decisions to use work-family policies. We find support for our hypotheses stressing the social resource of power and protection: employees are more likely to use these policies if they work with powerful supervisors and colleagues, who can buffer them from perceived negative effects on their careers.
    Greve, Henrich R.
  • An Ecological Theory of Spatial Evolution: Local Density Dependence in Tokyo Banking, 1894-1936
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    Subject Headings:
    • Banks and banking -- Location -- Japan -- Tokyo -- History.
    • Tokyo (Japan) -- Population -- Economic aspects -- History.
    • Social ecology -- Japan -- Tokyo -- History.
    Abstract:
      Organizations exist in a differentiated spatial ecology generated by past foundings and failures and affecting important organizational and individual outcomes. While ecological theory has traditionally emphasized the temporal evolution of organizational populations, this article considers their spatial evolution. Theories of spatial contagion, competition, and density dependence are used to make competing predictions on how geographically delineated subpopulations grow and interact with neighboring subpopulations. The hypotheses are tested on data from the early history of banking in Tokyo, with findings supportive of density dependence within areas and among neighboring areas. This suggests that the spatial evolution of organizational populations is a promising new area for ecological research, with opportunities for better understanding the theoretical and practical problems of spatial clustering and the boundaries of organizational populations.
    Guo, Guang.
    Stearns, Elizabeth.
  • The Social Influences on the Realization of Genetic Potential for Intellectual Development
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    Subject Headings:
    • Child development -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    • Parent and child -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    • Social mobility -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    Abstract:
      Much of sociological analysis is devoted to assessing the relative importance of ascribed and achieved characteristics for social mobility. In this article, we extend this line of sociological work by focusing on children's differential opportunity to achieve their genetic potential for intellectual development. We hypothesize that the extent to which a child realizes his or her genetic potential depends on socioeconomic environment. Using a large sibling sample collected by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we test this hypothesis with a variant of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) as the dependent variable. When measures of social environment are considered simultaneously, parental unemployment and ethnicity have a significant effect on the extent to which genetic potential for intellectual development is realized. Our findings suggest that policymakers can help children in disadvantaged environments realize full genetic potential for intellectual development by altering their social circumstances.
    Andrews, Kenneth T.
  • Movement-Countermovement Dynamics and the Emergence of New Institutions: The Case of "White Flight" Schools in Mississippi
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    Subject Headings:
    • Segregation in educaton -- Mississippi -- History -- 20th century.
    • Civil rights movements -- Mississippi -- History -- 20th century.
    • Mississippi -- Race relations -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      This article examines the foundation of private segregationist academies that emerged throughout the U.S. South in the wake of court-ordered desegregation. I focus on the state of Mississippi where private academies grew dramatically from 1969 to 1971. I provide an analytic history of civil-rights and school-desegregation conflicts in Mississippi, and I use OLS models to examine county-level variation in local support for private academies during this period. My analysis shows that the formation of academies occurs as a response to desegregation (1) when there is a credible threat that desegregation will be implemented (implicitly signaling the "success" of the movement); (2) when blacks have the organizational capacity to make claims and voice protest within newly desegregated schools; and (3) when whites have the organizational capacity to resist desegregation. These three specifications extend models of racial competition that have been used to explain white countermobilization. I argue that the establishment of academies was a countermovement strategy that flowed out of the prior history of organized white resistance to the civil-rights movement. In other words, whites were not only responding to court intervention and the proportion of African Americans in their community, but to the social movement mobilization of that community.
    Krysan, Maria.
    Farley, Reynolds, 1938-
  • The Residential Preferences of Blacks: Do They Explain Persistent Segregation?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Segregation -- United States.
    • Housing -- United States.
    • African Americans -- Attitudes.
    Abstract:
      For many decades, it has been argued that the U.S. remains racially segregated because of discrimination in the real-estate market reflecting whites' desire to isolate themselves from African Americans. The only modest declines in black-white segregation since the prohibition of such discrimination in 1968 have provoked a competing hypothesis: residential segregation persists because blacks prefer to live in racially isolated neighborhoods and are reluctant to live in largely white areas. These ideas have not been subject to empirical scrutiny.

      We use open- and closed-ended survey data from more than 2,000 African Americans in the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality to examine blacks' preferences and the important related issue of what drives those preferences. We find that African Americans overwhelmingly prefer 50-50 areas, a density far too high for most whites — but their preferences are driven not by solidarity or neutral ethnocentrism but by fears of white hostility. Moreover, almost all blacks are willing to move into largely white areas if there is a visible black presence. White preferences also play a key role, since whites are reluctant to move into neighborhoods with more than a few African Americans.

    Kandel, William.
    Massey, Douglas S.
  • The Culture of Mexican Migration: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis
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    Subject Headings:
    • United States -- Emigration and immigration -- Social aspects.
    • Mexico -- Emigration and immigration -- Social aspects.
    • Teenagers -- Mexico -- Attitudes.
    Abstract:
      Many field investigators have observed the evolution of a "culture of migration" in certain Mexican communities characterized by a high rate of out-migration to the U.S. Within such communities, international migration becomes so deeply rooted that the prospect of transnational movement becomes normative: young people "expect" to live and work in the U.S. at some point in their lives. Males, especially, come to see migration as a normal part of the life course, representing a marker of the transition to manhood, in addition to being a widely accepted vehicle for economic mobility. International migration is cultural in the sense that the aspiration to migrate is transmitted across generations and between people through social networks. In this article, we develop a formal theory of the culture of migration and test it using a special data set collected by the first author as well as data from the Mexican Migration Project. We show that children from families involved in U.S. migration are more likely to aspire to live and work in the U.S. and that these aspirations, in turn, influence their behavior, lowering the odds that they will continue in school, and raising the odds of their eventual out-migration to the U.S.
    Harris, Kathleen Mullan, 1950-
    Duncan, Greg J.
    Boisjoly, Johanne.
  • Evaluating the Role of "Nothing to Lose" Attitudes on Risky Behavior in Adolescence
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    Subject Headings:
    • Risk-taking (Psychology) in adolescence -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    • Health behavior in adolescence -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    • School environment -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    • Mother and child -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    Abstract:
      This article examines the extent to which adolescents' expectations about their future in terms of health and education affect their risk-taking behavior. With data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we test the theory that a "nothing to lose" attitude about the future predicts greater involvement in risky behaviors involving early sexual intercourse, selling drugs, and weapon use. We examine the effects of both individual- and school-level conditions. Results provide mixed support for our "nothing to lose" hypothesis. We do find noteworthy school-level effects of "school climate," including aggregate expectations, mental health, and the prevalence of single-mother families, that influence adolescent risk-taking behavior more than school measures of SES.
    Cast, Alicia D.
    Burke, Peter, 1945-
  • A Theory of Self-Esteem
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    Subject Headings:
    • Self-esteem.
    • Identity (Psychology)
    • Interpersonal relations.
    Abstract:
      Self-esteem has been conceptualized as an outcome, motive, and buffer, but there is no overall theory of self-esteem. In this article it is suggested that identity theory can provide a theoretical framework for the integration of the various conceptualizations of self-esteem. We suggest that self-esteem is an outcome of, and necessary ingredient in, the self-verification process that occurs within groups, maintaining both the individual and the group. Verification of role identities increases an individual's worth-based and efficacy-based self-esteem. The self-esteem built up by self-verification buffers the negative emotions that occur when self-verification is problematic, thus allowing continued interaction and continuity in structural arrangements during periods of disruption and change. Last, a desire for self-esteem, produced in part through self-verification, stabilizes the group because it motivates individuals to form and maintain relationships that verify identities.
    Wu, Xiaogang.
  • Work Units and Income Inequality: The Effect of Market Transition in Urban China
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    Subject Headings:
    • Income distribution -- China.
    • Capitalism -- China.
    • China -- Economic conditions -- 1976-2000.
    Abstract:
      This article analyzes the effect of marketization on personal income inequality in urban China as mediated by three types of work units: low-profit state firms(LPFs), high-profit state firms (HPFs), and market firm (MFs). Results based on two urban survey data sets show that while the influence of redistributive power declines, returns to human capital do not monotonically increase as a firm's proximity to the market increases. Although returns to human capital are higher in the market sector than in the state sector, the effects of education on earnings are weaker in HPFs than LPFs within the state sector. The inconsistency is attributed to the effects of bonuses that are equally distributed among employees in HPFs.
    Padilla, Yolanda.
    Boardman, Jason D.
    Hummer, Robert A.
    Espitia, Marilyn.
  • Is the Mexican American "Epidemiologic Paradox" Advantage at Birth Maintained through Early Childhood?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Child development -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    • Mexican American children -- Longitudinal studies.
    • Parent and child -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    Abstract:
      We examine the influence of the relative good health at birth in the Mexican American population on their subsequent well-being. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth Child Data (NLSY-CD), we conduct a comparative analysis of child development among Mexican American, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white children ages 3 and 4 (N = 3710). We use the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised (PPVT-R) as our operationalization of child development. Descriptive results suggest that, unlike the relative similarity in the rates of low birth weight between the white and Mexican American populations, Mexican Americans have much lower developmental outcomes. Multivariate analysis shows that birth weight is not a powerful predictor of child development, nor does it explain pronounced racial and ethnic differences. Mother's education, poverty, and immigrant status of parents remain significantly more important in the developmental process of all children in our sample.

Reviews

    Carpenter, Cheryl Jan.
  • Visions of Charity: Volunteer Workers and Moral Community (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Allahyari, Rebecca Anne, 1963- Visions of charity: volunteer workers and moral community.
    • Church work with the homeless -- California -- Sacramento -- Case studies.
    Schock, Kurt K.
  • Geography and Social Movements: Comparing Anti-Nuclear Activism in the Boston Area (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Miller, Byron A., 1957- Geography and social movements: comparing anti-nuclear activism in the Boston area.
    • Antinuclear movement -- Massachusetts -- Boston.
    Kligman, Gail.
  • The Culture of Power in Serbia: Nationalism and the Destruction of Alternatives (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gordy, Eric D., 1966- Culture of power in Serbia: nationalism and the destruction of alternatives.
    • Serbia -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
    Sacks, Howard L.
  • Children of the Land: Adversity and Success in Rural America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Elder, Glen H. Children of the land: adversity and success in rural America.
    • Conger, Rand.
    • Rural youth -- United States -- Family relationships.
    Reed, Deborah, 1967-
  • The Color of Opportunity: Pathways to Family, Welfare, and Work (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Shtayer, Hayah. Color of opportunity: pathways to family, welfare, and work.
    • Tienda, Marta.
    • Poor -- Illinois -- Chicago.



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